The Road to Wigan Pier: Penguin Modern Classics Livres audio Audible – Version intégrale
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George Orwell's searing account of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1930s, The Road to Wigan Pier is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time.
Orwell's graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, cramped slum housing, dangerous mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity. It crystallized the ideas that would be found in his later works and novels and remains a powerful portrait of poverty, injustice and class divisions in Britain.
Détails sur le produit
|Durée||8 heures et 23 minutes|
|Date de publication sur Audible.fr||07 janvier 2021|
|Type de programme||Livre audio|
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Meilleures évaluations de France
Un problème s'est produit lors du filtrage des commentaires. Veuillez réessayer ultérieurement.
Un livre qu’il faut lire car c’est un chef-d’œuvre d’Orwell.
Outdated because G. Orwell tries to save the idea of Socialism against the splits in classes, sub-classes, groups and subgroups. He forsees the reasons why Socialism and Communism will end in the worst dictatorship and economical failures of the twelve century. We (almost) all know that now.
Meilleurs commentaires provenant d’autres pays
The second half is an interesting, often funny account of why people are turned off the socialist cause. I had many a moment where I laughed out loud, particularly at these kind of quotes:
"It would help enormously, for instance, if the smell of crankishness which still clings to the Socialist movement could be dispelled. If only the sandals and the pistachio-coloured shirts could be put in a pile and burnt, and every vegetarian, teetotaller, and creeping Jesus sent home to Welwyn Garden City to do his yoga exercises quietly! But that, I am afraid, is not going to happen."
"The truth is that, to many people calling themselves Socialists, revolution does not mean a movement of the masses with which they hope to associate themselves; it means a set of reforms which 'we', the clever ones, are going to impose upon 'them', the Lower Orders."
Whether you agree or not, you have to admit at times Orwell had a point and that point persists today.
As I indicated, the structure of the book feels a bit clunky though. My advice is not to read the forward before reading the book but to read it afterwards. It gives away a lot of the structure and how it was received which I preferred to think about after the event. The reason for the lack of an editing eye was Orwell had left for the Spanish Civil War just before publication.
One thing I would say is you don't have to be hard left to read Orwell, in fact he's as critical of the hard left as he is of capitalism. Also Orwell is really easy to read and you feel like you've read something of note every time you read one of his books.
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 17 juillet 2020
By modern standards the structure is probably rather shambolic, and it is stronger on personal experience than evidence, but as a writer, Orwell has the ability to just vanish and let the lives of those he is describing come fully alive before you.
The second half was not originally published, and it is easy to see why. It is part debate, part rant, about his desire for the rise of socialism. He takes swipes at all and sundry, from nouveau Catholics, to sandal wearing lefties and Quakers in their garden cities. He debates the attractiveness of the English physique and whether the working class smell. Despite this, he comes across as sincere, well intentioned, and uncannily astute on a great many things.
After this, Orwell headed off to fight in the Spanish civil war, and he is surely one of the most impressive Britons of the twentieth century.
Overall, very highly recommended.
The book is in two parts: Part One is the story of his living among the unemployed of Northern England in 1935. As I was alive in the 1930s, the son of a father who was unemployed for two years, what George Orwell reports strikes a chord in my memory, though I lived in Southern England at the time. He describes in detail the appalling conditions in which the working class unemployed lived in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Yet in so doing, he is unable to distance himself from his middle class upbringing, and this is manifest in his comments on the people he lived with.
Part Two is an attempt to indicate how socialism might remedy the situation. It also contains his analysis of why the then existing left wing parties would not succeed in bringing about socialism in the UK. Again his own prejudices come out in this analysis, for example, he is obsessed by the social class issue, and he seems to dislike vegetarians, Quakers and sandal wearers! There is also a tendency for Orwell to repeat himself, consequently, Part Two is overlong for what he has to say .
Thus although there is a hint in this book of the intellectual promise of his later works, apart from the revelation of the poverty of the northern working class in Part One, this book is not, in my view, a classic.