Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.
And the bigger the fall, the bigger the joke. It would be better fun to throw a custard pie at a bishop than at a curate.
Envy is a horrible thing. It is unlike all other kinds of suffering in that there is no disguising it, no elevating it into tragedy. It is more than merely painful, it is disgusting.
Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.
Dickens seems to have succeeded in attacking everybody and antagonizing nobody.
But every writer, especially every novelist, has a 'message,' whether he admits it or not, and the minutest details of his work are influenced by it. All art is propaganda.
I have managed to make the Capitalist class pay me several pounds a week for writing books against Capitalism.
The Victorian happy ending -- a vision of a huge loving family of three or four generations, all crammed together in the same house and constantly multiplying, like a bed of oysters.
All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.
A fat man is never so happy as when he is describing himself as robust.
A fat man is never so happy as when he is describing himself as "robust."
We were once told that the aeroplane had abolished frontiers; actually it is only since the aeroplane became a serious weapon that frontiers have become definitely impassable.
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
A man receiving charity always hates his benefactor- it is a fixed characteristic of human nature.
Many of the people who came to us were of the kind who would be a nuisance anywhere but have special opportunities in a bookshop.
Before the war, and especially before the Boer War, it was summer all the year round.
In this game that we're playing, we can't win. Some kinds of failure are better than other kinds, that's all.
Human beings were behaving as human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine.
The urge to shout filthy words at the top of his voice was as strong as ever.
Like the crocodile, he strikes always at the weakest spot.
The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another.
The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothing else,and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit.
Has it ever occurred to you,' he said, 'that the whole history of English poetry has been de-termined by the fact that the English language lacks rhymes?
Freedom of the Press,
if it means anything at all,
means the freedom
to criticize and oppose.
It is quite true that it is wasteful, messy and the cause of avoidable work: all the same things could be said with equal truth of a baby.
The modern writer who has influenced me most is W. Somerset Maugham.
Power-worship blurs political judgment because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible.
The consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.
The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon.
What opinions the masses hold, or do not hold, is looked upon as a matter of indifference. They can be granted intellectual liberty becasue they have no intellect.
War is war. The only good human being is a dead one.
England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality.
Imperialism as he Kipling sees it is a sort of forcible evangelising.
During five literary generations every enlightened person had despised him, and at the end of that time nine-tenths of those enlightened persons are forgotten and Kipling is in some sense still there.
The high-water mark, so to speak, of Socialist literature is W.H. Auden, a sort of gutless Kipling.
For a second, two seconds, they had exchanged an equivocal glance, and that was the end of the story. But even that was a memorable event, in the locked loneliness in which one had to live.
The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely.
Man's greatest drive is not love or hate but to change another person's writing.
Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble.
It is a mysterious thing, the loss of faith--as mysterious as faith itself.
The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.
Since pacifists have more freedom of action in countries where traces of democracy survive, pacifism can act more effectively against democracy than for it. Objectively the pacifist is pro-Nazi.
The only good human being is a dead one.
It is bound to be a failure, every book is a failure, but I do know with some clarity what kind of book I want to write.
The Penguin books are splendid value for sixpence, so splendid that if other publishers had any sense they would combine against them and suppress them.
England will still be England, an everlasting animal, stretching into the future and the past and like all living things having the power to change out of all recognition and yet remain the same.
His answer to every problem, every setback was I will work harder! --which he had adopted as his personal motto.
Preventive war is a crime not easily committed by a country that retains any traces of democracy.
This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.
Pessimism is reactionary because it makes the very idea of improving the world impossible.
Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever.
Reality is inside the skull.
Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
The English are not happy unless they are miserable, the Irish are not at peace unless they are at war, and the Scots are not at home unless they are abroad.
I have the most evil memories of Spain, but I have very few bad memories of Spaniards.
As time went on, the Communists and the POUM wrote more bitterly about one another than about the Fascists.