Heyoka’s Workbench

By the Pond

George Orwell’s novel »Coming Up for Air« is a magnificent book although it seems to be almost totally (and unduly!) eclipsed by the over-cited »Animal Farm« and »1984«. So much so that I almost feel like a heretic, contending that for me »Coming Up for Air« is the better read.

Maybe it’s the captivating contrast between the main character’s musings about his boyhood and youth in a small English country town and his forebodings about an impending gloomy future. Poetry of almost heartrending beauty side by side with meditations of a wellnigh brutal clarity. And all this put down in Orwell’s matchless ease and limpidness and irony.

There’s time for everything except the thing worth doing. Think of something you really care about. Then add hour to hour and calculate the fraction of your life that you’ve actually spent in doing it. And then calculate the time you’ve spent on things like shaving, riding to and fro on buses, waiting in railway junctions, swapping dirty stories and reading the newspapers.

(George Orwell, »Coming Up for Air«)

It’s a bit early but I daresay that this is my book of the year. The fact that I’ve read it twice in a row is not too weak an indicator, right?

Drawing: “By the Pond” – inspired by George Orwell’s nvel “Coming Up for Air”