Orwell's roses

Rebecca Solnit
Book - 2021

"A fresh take on George Orwell as a far more nature-loving figure than is often portrayed, and a dazzlingly rich meditation on roses, gardens, and the value and use of beauty and pleasure in the face of brutality and horror. "In the spring of 1936 a man planted roses." That man was George Orwell, shortly before he went off to fight against fascism in Spain. Today, those rosebushes are still thriving. This is the starting point for Rebecca Solnit's new book, which presents another side of Orwell, a neglected arcadian Orwell who took enormous pleasure in the natural world and found great meaning and value in it. Orwell's planting of the roses is an axle from which Solnit's chapters radiate out like spokes as she brilliantly explores its various contexts, perspectives, and meanings, following the contours of Orwell's life and tracking how deeply enmeshed the love of nature is in all his writing. Journeying to the cottage in Wallingford where Orwell lived in 1936, she examines his desire to be agrarian and settled, how gardening restored him, and how planting something can be an act of fidelity and faith. Probing at the beauty and meaning of roses, she draws in the revolutionary photography and politics of Tina Modotti and makes a clandestine visit to a Columbian rose factory, where 80% of America's roses for sale are grown. She tracks the history of gardening, showing how the desire to garden is culturally determined and often rooted in class, recounts the immense battles over breeding and genetics in Russia during Stalin's time, and probes into the colonialist roots of Orwell's forebears, who worked in opium production in India and profiteered from sugar and slavery in Jamaica. Solnit shows how these points of intersection illuminate Orwell's work, and how that illumination shines forth on larger questions about beauty, pleasure, meaning, relationship, and hope. Her book establishes that "Orwellian" could stand for something more than ominous, corrupt, and sinister"--

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37413319082659 Available Non-fiction B ORWELL SOLNIT  Place a Hold
Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Solnit, Rebecca (Author)
Format: Book
Language:English
Published: [New York, New York] : Viking, [2021]
Subjects:

MARC

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