Down and Out in Paris and London Down and Out in Paris and London question


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Who is today's George Orwell?
Peter Peter Jun 13, 2012 11:06AM
Having read George Orwell writings I am impressed with the level of insight that he showed into the events and trends of his times. Many of his anticipations came to be, (I'm not talking about 1984) I'm thinking of his essays,Down and Out... and The Road to Wigan Pier.
I wonder which contemporary writers display the same level of insight and foresight today?
I'm aware of Noam Chomski, and a few others in a limited sense
Please discuss



I will readily point you to the late Christopher Hitchens who passed in 2011. He comes the closest to Orwell' style. I really enjoyed his works.


Any conclusion?

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Jon No, I don't think anyone comes close to Orwell or Huxley. Just my opinion. I think Noam Chomsky doesn't come close.
Jan 21, 2018 05:29AM

Chris Hedges


Aren't really any. Its too late for any writer to come along and warn us like Orwell did. We've crossed the line into a form of what he imagined. Thank Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Tim Berners-Lee, and the boys at Facebook for that.

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Hildegard Fonebone Very true!
Feb 22, 2018 03:13AM

Irvine Welsh


Jack London was Orwell before Orwell. I just finished reading his People of the Abyss. It's about London at the turn of the 20th century.

Andrew O'Hagan went homeless for a few nights for an essay. It might be in his essay collection the Atlantic Ocean, but most of his stuff is nothing really like Orwell.

Some of Bukowski's poetry has some Orwell vision to it: read or listen to Born Into This


How about Will Self? Although it's hard to be sure what position Orwell would have taken on today's political issues - he never fitted neatly into any category, still less political party - I wonder if his fiery left-ness torch is now carried by Self?


John Pilger (journalist) and Peter Tatchell (campaigner) get my vote as neither seems to have sold out.


There is only one George Orwell, thought David Foster Wallace is/was pretty solid.


In terms of authors who have experience of war, the first one that occurred to me was Jonathan Littell. But then I thought that John Farebrother might be more appropriate, because his memoirs The Damned Balkans: A Refugee Road Trip are exactly that, while Littell uses his experiences to inform a work of fiction. Although Orwell did that too.


Rudolf Wurlitzer


I think Mark Thompson's Enough Said captures Orwell's spirit of beauty in language. If you like Orwell's writings about usages of language, and specifically the beauty of effective writing, you will like Thmpson.


Ron Paul 2012!


Chomsky is a big-picture public intellectual unafraid to openly 'mention the war'(s) and take on the massive externalities of capitalism. But he has more ideology going on (an 'anarcho-syndicalist') and doesn't write incredibly readable prose for public consumption.

David Foster Wallace was an amazing free-ranging essayist with a keen eye for detail, irony, cynicism and hypocrisy. But his lens is intense, always on, and his style experimental; very different feel to Orwell.

Would it even be possible for a parallel to exist right now? There are certainly efforts being made to highlight inequality and social ills. Would Orwell be writing in the same way if he were around now? Would he write scripts for Black Mirror?


Walter (last edited Jun 13, 2012 04:49PM ) Jun 13, 2012 04:43PM   0 votes
Have you read anything by David Foster Wallace? Stuart Ewen? Neil Postman? Naomi Klein? Christopher Hitchens?


In terms of clarity of ideas and writing, I would suggest John Berger (especially 'The Seventh Man' but many others besides) and Theodore Dalrymple (especially 'The Wilder Shores of Marx') - politically, they are as close to polar opposites as you can probably get but they are both forceful writers.

Hitchens, as Walter says above, is a good candidate too.


Ron Paul has made many warnings similar to Orwell and we have seen some of them come true.


Jon (last edited Dec 23, 2013 04:48PM ) Dec 20, 2013 11:48PM   -1 votes
Who the fuck is Noam Chomski? I have heard of Noam Chomsky though.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Down and Out in Paris and London (other topics)
The Damned Balkans: A Refugee Road Trip (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Jonathan Littell (other topics)
John Farebrother (other topics)