Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Orwell's tale of working 17-hour days as a dishwasher (plongeur) in Paris, and starving as a bookstore assistant (and then a tramp living in a shelter) in London, is a marvelous read, and is worth it if only for the fact that T.S. Eliot pointedly rejected it's publication.
"At present I do not feel that I have seen more than the fringe of poverty. Still I can point to one or two things I have definitely learned by being hard up. I shall never again think that all tramps are drunken scoundrels, nor expect a beggar to be grateful when I give him a penny, nor be surprised if men out of work lack energy, nor subscribe to the Salvation Army, nor pawn my clothes, nor refuse a handbill, nor enjoy a meal at a smart restaurant. That is a beginning."