Eric Arthur Blair, who is better known by his pen name, wrote in 1940, "I believe the modern writer who has influenced me most is..." Who was this influential writer he refers to?
#74191. Asked by Eolena. (Jan 05 07 10:10 AM)
Eric Arthur Blair a.k.a George Orwell refers to Somerset Maugham.|
In an autobiographical sketch Orwell sent to the editors of Twentieth Century Authors in 1940, he wrote:
The writers I care about most and never grow tired of are: Shakespeare, Swift, Fielding, Dickens, Charles Reade, Flaubert and, among modern writers, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence. But I believe the modern writer who has influenced me most is Somerset Maugham, whom I admire immensely for his power of telling a story straightforwardly and without frills.
Elsewhere, Orwell strongly praised the works of Jack London, especially his book The Road. Orwell's investigation of poverty in The Road to Wigan Pier strongly resembles that of Jack London's The People of the Abyss, in which the American journalist disguises himself as an out-of-work sailor in order to investigate the lives of the poor in London.
In the essay "Politics vs. Literature: An Examination of Gulliver's Travels" (1946) he wrote: "If I had to make a list of six books which were to be preserved when all others were destroyed, I would certainly put Gulliver's Travels among them."
Other writers admired by Orwell included G. K. Chesterton, George Gissing, Graham Greene, Herman Melville, Henry Miller, Tobias Smollett, Mark Twain, Evelyn Waugh, H. G. Wells and Yevgeny Zamyatin.
He also publicly defended P.G. Wodehouse against charges of being a Nazi sympathizer.
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