Saturday, 1 September 2012

Orwell and the Wonga Question

Andy Croft's 1948 is still picking up reviews. Here's the latest, in London Grip: The reviewer is generally positive, but comments that Andy too frequently steps back to comment on his work within the text. Other reviewers have also admired the work but suggested these authorial asides were best avoided. Indeed, that's about a summary of the reviews. I congratulate the author for the admiration, I blame the publisher for leaving in too many of the asides. But reviewer Thomas Ovans also says "I cannot help reflecting that Orwell’s precise writing style would surely never have found room for so graceless and ugly a word as “wonga” – even for the sake of a rhyme". Aha. Off to my Orwell... The only problem is that dipping into Orwell takes time as dipping in takes an afternoon. There's always this wonderful collection of Orwell quotes for the time-challenged (a phrase Orwell would also have found graceless) - But one good quote might answer Thomas - "A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?”
Sadly, Wonga does the trick. Just don't borrow money from them.

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