[ilds] The Wisdom of George Orwell in relation to LawrenceDurrell

Denise Tart & David Green dtart at bigpond.net.au
Wed Oct 14 14:45:16 PDT 2009

Bruce wrote:

David, Orwell is always good to read, a very careful and true essayist.

David Green writes:-

Orwell's writing provide a further insight, at least to me, on the failure, real or imagined, of Durrell's Oxbridge campaign. It is clear that the left leaning orthodoxy of British intellectuals at the time and the dominance in many areas - especially English and History - of the proletarian scholars would not have been to Lawrence's taste at all. It may be true to say that he could have cut with the flambouyant aesthetes so wonderfully described in Waugh's Brideshead Revisited but here the matter of class cuts in. The aesthetes were usually nobs. Of his own school days at St. Cyprian's Orwell writes:-

In effect there were three castes at the school. There was the minority with an aristocratic or millionaire background, there were the children of the ordinary suburban rich, who made up the bulk of the school, and there were a few underlings like myself, the sons of clergymen, Indian civil servants, struggling widows and the like. (p 78)

I imagine the situation at West Wrattling would have been very similar and that Durrell would have firstly felt well out of place and secondly well down the pecking order and being small would not have helped. I suspect RW Hedges is right in that these schools were 'horrible places'. Orwell certainly describes them as such and Larry's reaction to his schooling in England was hardly positive. Unfortunately for Orwell he had no where else to go, while Larry, with his small private income and supportive family, did. He fled the tyranny of leftist thought and the English class system. Oxbridge was not for him.

David Green

16 William Street
Marrickville NSW  2204
+61 2 9564 6165
0412 707 625
dtart at bigpond.net.au

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