Saturday, July 7, 2012

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

"The stars are a free show; it don't cost anything to use your eyes." -Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

This was Orwell's (Eric Blair)first book, and recounts two sides... first the desperate conditions of breadlines in Paris and the working poor... also the weird lazy kitchen restaurant culture in Paris...

"The moral is, never be sorry for the waiter..." -Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

AND... then a travelogue of a tramp's life around the small sections of London. It's an immense read!

"It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you." -Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

What I love about this book, while forcing myself to live through it at times... is that it is about people in the margins... and how they often want it that way.

"Dirt is a great respecter of persons; it lets you alone when you are well dressed, but as soon as your collar is gone..." -Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

While strolling around Paris... I'm not actually living off crumbs... but I force myself to speak to as many people as possible who are living this way.

"The strange this is that when a word is well established as a swear word, it seems to lose its original meaning." -Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

It keeps me thankful... keeps me motivated.

"It is a feeling of relief, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out..." -Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

The city posters depicted in this blog were found all across the city, from Montmarte to Montparnasse...

"An illiterate man, with the work habit in his bones, needs work more than money." -Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

They are the eyes and ears of the street. Ripped up, rained on, beaten and covered up... but if they could speak?
"It is worth saying something about the social position of beggars, for when one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes toward them." -Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

That's why literature and travel and life is so important... because nobody tells you this, these are secrets, you have to read it and go there and live it yourself. If you don't, what are you?

"The educated man pictures a horde of submen, wanting only a day's liberty to loot his house, burn his books, and set him to work minding a machine..." -Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

I know what you're thinking... I see you shaking your head... it's okay.  I'll keep the secret to myself.  It's best that way, isn't it?

No comments:

Post a Comment