George Orwell: Keep the Aspidistra Flying

(1714 words)

Written in 1936, Keep the Aspidistra Flying was Orwell’s fourth published work and his third novel. Orwell, far from satisfied with the outcome, subsequently wrote,

There are two or three books which I am ashamed of and have not allowed to be reprinted or translated, and that [Keep the Aspidistra Flying] is one of them […]At that time I simply hadn’t a book in me, but I was half starved and had to turn out something to bring in £100 or so.(CEJL 4: 241)

However, in castigating Keep the Aspidistra Flying so unreservedly Orwell (always his own sternest critic) fails to identify the novel’s descriptive and observational strengths and the significant iterative role i…

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Williams, Nigel. "Keep the Aspidistra Flying". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 May 2013
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]