Sonia Brownell was from October 13, 1949, the wife of Eric Arthur Blair (d. January 21, 1950). He had taken the pen name of George Orwell. In the English literary journal Horizon, Brownell reviewed a novel by Roger Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés Particulières. She therein outlined a scenario central to Blair's own plot, at precisely the July 1946 juncture when Blair launched writing Nineteen Eighty-Four. Les Amitiés Particulières (subsequently translated as Special Friendships) evokes a repressive grammar-level boarding school. Brownell and Blair had been revolted by experiences in just such schools. Cyril Connolly was Blair's schoolmate at their boarding school (which had repulsed Connolly similarly), and lifelong friend. Connolly captained Horizon.
The Peyrefitte novel as proximate source of Blair's is posited. The association of Sonia to Nineteen Eighty-Four already is accepted. Parallels between Sonia’s life, and events in Nineteen Eighty-Four relevant to its heroine Julia, have been too little remarked-upon. Numerous events of, or details within, Special Friendships, recur in Nineteen Eighty-Four. The role of Special Friendships as proximate source of Nineteen Eighty-Four has been overlooked because of Brownell's gender.
Table of Contents:
The following pages will recall Sonia Brownell, from October 13, 1949, the wife of Eric Arthur Blair (d. January 21, 1950). Blair had taken the pen name of George Orwell. They review Brownell's relationship with Blair, and with the English literary journal Horizon. In Horizon, the Francophone Brownell reviewed a French novel by Roger Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés Particulières. She therein outlined a scenario to become a central element of his own plot, precisely at the July 1946 juncture when the Francophone Blair launched his writing of his famed dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Les Amitiés Particulières evokes a repressive grammar-level boarding school. Brownell, Blair, and Cyril Connolly all had been revolted by their own respective experiences in just such schools. Connolly was Blair's childhood schoolmate at their boarding school, and his lifelong friend. Connolly captained Horizon, and hence hired and supervised Brownell.
The seeming influence of the Peyrefitte novel (published in English during 1950 as Special Friendships) upon Nineteen Eighty-Four, as proximate source thereof, will be posited herein. The close association of Sonia to Nineteen Eighty-Four already is widely-accepted. Sonia is supposed to have provided the model for Blair's heroine, Julia. Parallels between Sonia's personal life, and events in Nineteen Eighty-Four relevant to Julia, have been too cursorily remarked-upon previously. And numerous events of, or details within, Special Friendships, recur in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The imprint of Special Friendships upon Nineteen Eighty-Four actually marks the impact of the Francophone Sonia Brownell. It is possible that the role of Special Friendships as proximate source of Nineteen Eighty-Four has been overlooked because of Brownell's gender. This oversight has obtained notwithstanding the widespread availability of Brownell's July 1946 review thereof, in a periodical obviously linked with the Francophone Blair (by his own publications therein, and through Cyril Connolly). Many were the wellsprings of Nineteen Eighty-Four.1 Further investigation of the influences of Special Friendships, and of Sonia Brownell, upon the work of Blair's last years is requisite.
II. Sonia Brownell and the Origins of »Nineteen Eighty-Four«
Brownell was a faithful managerial presence at Horizon.2 There she proved a formidable figure making felt her own views.3 She was assistant to Cyril Connolly.4 Connolly had been a boyhood schoolmate of Blair's at their boarding school, St. Cyprian's.5 Sonia first had met Blair during 1940 or 1941.6 By the point when she again encountered him after World War II, Blair had become a widower.7 Eric approached her in late 1945,8 bootlessly proposing marriage.9 Sonia allowed him to sleep with her.10 On May 22, 1946, Eric made his way to Jura,11 a remote Scottish island.12 Sonia scarcely saw him between the spring of 1947 and the spring of 1949.13
Between December 1945 and May 22, 1946, the ideas Blair would marshal in Nineteen Eighty-Four were growing clearer. In the April 1946 issue of Horizon, Blair published Politics and the English Language.14 This essay is deemed a background to the novel.15 The essay particularly is relevant to the Appendix to Nineteen Eighty-Four, entitled "The Principles of Newspeak."16 Sonia herself, as Eric recalled her on Jura, fed immediately into Nineteen Eighty-Four's heroine, Julia.17 He had just begun Nineteen Eighty-Four around August 1946.18 And he was at work on Such, Such Were the Joys,19 his bitter memoir of St. Cyprians, while embroiled in the initial stages of penning Nineteen Eighty-Four.20 "Orwell's experience of bullying at St. Cyprian's cannot be discounted as an influence on Nineteen Eighty-Four,"21 according to Blair's 1991 biographer Michael Shelden.
Brownell's biographer Hilary Spurling calls attention to Sonia's review in the July 1946 Horizon22 of Roger Peyrefitte's novel Les Amitiés Particulières.23 Reports Spurling: "Peyrefitte's novel centres on a particular friendship between two boys [George and Alexander] at a Catholic boarding-school, whose feelings for one another (like Winston's for Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four) constitute subversion."24 Spurling adds: "There is probably no way of establishing whether or not Orwell read the July issue of Horizon, but it is hard to write off as coincidence the fact that, at the very moment when he started work on Nineteen Eighty-Four, his ex-mistress outlined in print precisely the scenario that would become the central section of his plot."25
The terms of Orwell's will rendered Sonia directly responsible for enforcing his determination that he have no biography.26 Sonia lacked any advance warning of the provision.27 Although she never had been consulted28 about this express clause,29 it created great, and mounting, misery for her until her death.30 It would generate more trouble than anything else in the instrument.31 In the generation following her death in 1980,32 Sonia's reputation underwent a systematic blackening.33 Although it was Orwell who had enplaced her into impossible circumstances,34 it was not his reputation that paid the price.35 A myth recreated the Widow Orwell as a monster: greedy, obstinate, and willfully obstructive.36 Even into the twenty-first century, nothing had suppressed the upswell of venom pursuing her, even beyond the grave. It depicts the Widow Orwell as a cold, calculating golddigger.37
By the date of his marriage to Sonia Brownell, Orwell long since had shed the name of Blair for any but legal purposes.38 Sonia, like everybody else who met him in the final decade of his life, never knew him as anyone but George Orwell.39 However, the central figure of Special Friendships is named George also. Therefore, the instant discussion uses Blair's legal name, not his pen name, to avoid confusion.
III. Sonia Brownell and »Les Amitiés particulières«
Sonia's review of Peyrefitte's novel expatiates on Roman Catholic education generally:
Through laziness it is not admitted that all upper-class education is now simply 'the formation of character', a training for endurance. But in this huge workshop there is a minority section, whose products—at first sight indistinguishable from those of all the other schools—bear, on closer inspection, a different trade mark, for Catholic education has the additional and specific aim of training its pupils to remain Catholics and where possible, i.e. where it is expedient, to proselytize their fellows. Since in most countries Catholics are in the minority and liable to be assailed by intellectual arguments which have certainly gained in momentum during the last two centuries, this preparation has all the thoroughness that characterizes the activities of minorities. What can be roughly termed the 'Jesuitical' education is perhaps the most perfect weapon devised for entrapping the child, for it respects the intellect and recognizes that emotion is many-edged and deliberately sets out to use these two manifestations for its own ends; no area of the human personality is safe from the priests' probing cauterization, and it is this process that is so well described in Les Amitiés Particulières.40
The most singular difference between Catholic and other education is one of colour; in the Catholic school all the senses are attacked, everything shines, candles and lamps, scarlet wounds twinkle out of the pictures of martyrs, incense creeps through the cracks and half-open doors, the organ boom accompaniment, and ritual, with its atavistic tom-tom calls, begins and rounds off every day.41
The question of sex is hardly important; love to Georges and Alexandre... is the vague romantic absorption in another person, the exchanging of trifling gifts, etc., but the Jesuit discipline is less interested in sex than in the danger which a private emotion threatens to their system. Two children who love each other create a world they cannot enter and their whole object is to control, utterly, every thought and feeling.42
This is the clue to the real spirit of Catholic education, the double vision which is not hypocrisy, as is so often supposed, but simply a mental twist which grows out of a life where reality and appearance are seldom the same...43
But what Les Amitiés Particulières explains so well is that additional twist given by the Catholics to the mistakes made in all boarding-school education: the great error of such education is to treat the school years which are so much a part of life as a preparation for life, a kind of Spartan training against some future excursion into Athens; but all that happens is that the world turns out to be a shoddy replica of school, the candid eye is lost forever, and the child who has lived a whole life-time he was made to understand was unreal, either wearily accepts situations whose importance he finds it hard to believe, or, better warned by some almost atavistic battle-cry, never commits himself at all for fear of tearing open some ancient wound. But the Catholics go one stage further. Their approach is personal, each separate child must be controlled, every secret corner of his heart disinterred, and to do this they tear away any belief in the support that one human being can give to another: but nothing is overt, there are no hearty lectures on responsibility, etc., the acid is dropped in little by little until everything is eaten away; when you no longer trust another human being you can get on with the business of trusting God; when you have seen through the world you can never become its victim but can fight it with the only unanswerable weapon—cynical despair; when you have learnt the lesson of the double vision, action and emotion are equally meaningless.
This is the heritage of Catholic education that made it possible for the Church to be a temporal power, for a society to flourish in which divorce was impossible, but where every wife had a lover and every husband a mistress; a society where volupté had meaning and love had very little. It is an attitude of mind very different from that of the Catholic convert and which always presents a riddle to the Puritan, but it is one which those who went to Catholic schools always recognize in each other, members of a secret society who, when they meet, huddle together, temporarily at truce with the rest of the world, while they cautiously, untrustingly, lick each other’s wounds.44
What fuels Brownell's fury?
Sonia was forever shaped by her nine years at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Rochampton.45 These had begun precisely a week following her sixth birthday.46 Shelden records:
Part of the normal routine at the convent was for the girls to take their baths wearing long white gowns so they would not have to confront their nakedness. To keep them from taking any undue interest in their bodies, they were forbidden to have mirrors. And to make certain that they kept their minds on the hereafter, each girl was required to sleep on her back with her arms folded on her chest, so she would be prepared to receive God if He came to her in the night. The result of this morbid, repressed upbringing was that Sonia became determined to rebel against it in every way possible. She rejected Catholicism completely as soon as she left the convent, and in later life made a point of spitting on the pavement whenever she saw a nun.47
Thus was Sonia at the age of six enlisted in the ranks of Catholic school veterans including Albert Einstein, Nikos Kazantzakis, Simone de Beauvoir, Bill Clinton, Babe Ruth, C. Wright Mills, Patty Hearst, Patty Duke, Fidel Castro, Clarence Thomas, Mary McCarthy, Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler,... and Eric Blair! For Eric at the age of five first had been taught by French Ursuline nuns as a solitary boy in a Catholic convent school for girls.48
IV. Sonia Brownell as Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four
A. The Idyllic Amour
To recapitulate: Eric Blair sleeps with Sonia Brownell in early 1946. He is brewing language and political ideas for Nineteen Eighty-Four, as published in Horizon in April. She, possibly, is mulling the 1945 novel by Peyrefitte for her July book review. Peyrefitte feeds Sonia's fires of revulsion toward her Roman Catholic boarding-school childhood. Eric too is a memoirist then reigniting his own repugnance toward his own boarding-school childhood. The link between these two is Connolly, Eric's publisher and Sonia's employer. Connolly, also, is revolted by the St. Cyprian's ordeal he shared with Blair. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the first lover (Winston) to obtain the book by the supposed heretic Emmanuel Goldstein, reads it aloud to his copiless partner (Julia).49 One imagines the first of the two real-world lovers to discover the Peyrefitte fiction (Sonia) reading it between their bedsheets to Eric. Her reading incites him to incorporate it into his own forthcoming creation.
This summary throws fresh light upon a rare idyllic moment in Nineteen Eighty-Four, when Winston (Eric) is alone in London with Julia (Sonia):
A yellow ray from the sinking sun fell across the foot of the bed and lighted up the fireplace, where the water in the pan was boiling fast. Down in the yard the woman had stopped singing, but the faint shouts of children floated in from the street. He wondered vaguely whether in the abolished past it had been a normal experience to lie in bed like this, in the cool of a summer evening, a man and a woman with no clothes on, making love when they chose, talking of what they chose, not feeling any compulsion to get up, simply lying there and listening to peaceful sounds outside. Surely there could never have been a time when that seemed ordinary.50
Eric wistfully composes Nineteen Eighty-Four on Jura, deprived of his intended bride, Sonia. But had they not once lain in London naked together, abed? How flattered might be Sonia, recognizing herself, to have read this recollection of her by her lover-author! Yet grimmer material in Nineteen Eighty-Four relevant to Brownell has been overlooked before today.
B. The Fatal Shove
When Sonia was seventeen years of age, she went canoeing with another girl and a boy of the same age, plus a boy of eighteen. A sudden vicious lakesquall capsized the boat. The good swimmer Sonia—the solitary swimmer among them—swam toward shore to raise help as the other three clung to their canoe. Hearing a shriek for help, she looked back to see her three comrades going under, and so returned. Sonia offered her arm to a thrashing boy, who panicked, to pull her down. Sonia grabbed his hair and pushed his head subsurface for several seconds. He never reemerged. All three of her fellows drowned.51 According to Spurling: "Sonia never forgot the terrible embrace of a convulsive male body stronger than her own, and its even more terrible consequences. Her brother Michael (who grew up to become a distinguished psychiatrist) said it remained the single most traumatic memory of her life."52 Again: "Sonia recovered physically, but emotionally nothing would ever be the same again."53
Finds Shelden: "She felt that one of those deaths was her doing. 'Mother had to go out to get her and bring her back to England,' her older sister, Bay, remembered. 'Sonia was terribly shaken, and I don’t think she ever got over it.' ...She later told the story to her half-brother, Michael, with whom she was close, and she left no doubt in his mind that she considered herself responsible for the one boy’s death. 'I held him under,' she said."54 Supposes Shelden: "Whether Orwell knew of it is not clear, though she may well have told him the more innocent version at some point."55
On his next page, Shelden points out the resemblance between Sonia and Julia.56 He capsulizes this passage from Nineteen Eighty-Four about Winston's unloved wife on an outing with her husband:
She had already turned to go, but she did rather fretfully come back for a moment. She even leaned out over the cliff face to see where he was pointing. He was standing a little behind her, and he put his hand on her waist to steady her. At this moment it suddenly occurred to him how completely alone they were. There was not a human creature anywhere, not a leaf stirring, not even a bird awake. In a place like this the danger that there would be a hidden microphone was very small, and even if there was a microphone it would only pick up sounds. It was the hottest, sleepiest hour of the afternoon. The sun blazed down upon them, the sweat tickled his face. And the thought struck him...
"Why didn't you give her a good shove?" said Julia. "I would have."
"Yes, dear, you would have."57
The guileless Shelden has forgotten, over the space of a single page, that for her own ends Julia (Sonia) actually once did shove another human being underwater, to his death. Truly, Sonia must have confided to Eric the unexpurgated version of her tale—only to see it toyed with, in public.
C. The Fiction Technician
Moreover, Spurling's biography is entitled The Girl From the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Orwell.58 For Winston thinks of Julia, before they have met: "Presumably—since he had sometimes seen her with oily hands and carrying a spanner—she had some mechanical job, on one of the novel-writing machines."59 Learns Winston of Julia:
She enjoyed her work, which consisted chiefly in running and servicing a powerful but tricky electric motor. She was "not clever," but was fond of using her hands and felt at home with machinery. She could describe the whole process of composing a novel, from the general directive issued by the Planning Committee down to the final touching-up by the Rewrite Squad. But she was not interested in the finished product. She "didn't much care for reading," she said. Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.60
The implication is that the Sonia of Horizon is just a kind of literary technician. She cannot run with the real literary intellectuals, males like Blair or Connolly. In Spurling’s account:
Cyril meanwhile devoted inordinate amounts of time to completing Sonia's literary education. Anthony Powell's wife, Violet, once watched them walking down a street together in the early stages of this training. Cyril looking straight ahead with a small smile of satisfaction on his face, Sonia leaping up and gamboling about him 'like a Labrador puppy'. They talked non-stop about books, or rather Cyril talked and Sonia listened, absorbing his pronouncements as articles of faith. The implicit obedience she had learned as a child—and withdrawn at such cost from the Church's teaching—now went into observing Cyril's anathemas and imprimaturs.61
What must Eric have thought to witness such developments? Cyril's didactic performance for Sonia replicated Eric's own performance, with another female, of 1934-1935: "Eric liked the role of a kindly, wiser older brother, a young girl's guide to literature."62
D. Room 101
More grisly is the climax of Nineteen Eighty-Four, transpiring in Room 101. Winston's torturer-brainwasher, O'Brien, lectures on the exploitation of phobia to break resistance:
But for everyone there is something unendurable—something that cannot be contemplated. Courage and cowardice are not involved. If you are falling from a height it is not cowardly to clutch at a rope. If you have come up from deep water it is not cowardly to fill your lungs with air. It is merely an instinct which cannot be disobeyed.63
Winston's phobia is rats. O'Brien threatens Winston with rats (note the Blair plural) imminently devouring him alive. Hysteria debases Winston:
For an instant he was insane, a screaming animal. Yet he came out of the blackness clutching an idea. There was one and only one way to save himself. He must interpose another human being, the body of another human being, between himself and the rats.
But he had suddenly understood that in the whole world there is just one person to whom he could transfer his punishment—one body that he could thrust between himself and the rats. And he was shouting frantically, over and over:
"Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!"64
Each having been crushed psychologically, Winston (broken in Room 101) and Julia are released from incarceration. They reacquaint at the close of Nineteen Eighty-Four:
"Sometimes," she said, "they threaten you with something—something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. And then you say, 'Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.' And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way to saving yourself, and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself."
"All you care about is yourself," he echoed.
"And after that, you don't feel the same toward the other person any longer."
"No," he said, "you don't feel the same."65
To be sure, the gruesome harnessing of rats in the exploitation of prisoners' phobias is a real-life Communist ploy.66
On June 16, 1949, Blair wrote to Julian Symons: "you are of course right abt the vulgarity of the 'Room 101' business. I was aware of this while writing it, but I didn't know another way of getting somewhere near the effect I wanted."67 Eric coolly neglects to concede that he got his effect by exploiting Sonia's apparent confession to him of 1946: Her own drowning had proved something that could not be contemplated. Courage and cowardice had not been entailed. Sonia's had been simply an instinct not to be disobeyed. At seventeen, Sonia had transferred her own threatened drowning onto a boy. At the time it happened, Sonia did mean it. All she had cared about was herself. Emotionally, nothing was ever the same again.
In the relevant portion of his 1943 outline of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Blair wrote only: "The torture & confession."68 What had transpired during the interim? Did Eric hear Julia’s speech whispered verbatim from Sonia's lips atremble? (For how long was Sonia shadowed by the death of that male stronger than she? Gordon Bowker posits over Sonia's unavailing wish to save her moribund husband Eric by taking him to Switzerland: "As the Angel sent to save the dying writer she could perhaps assuage her guilt over the boy she had left to drown in Switzerland."69)
Blair's Nineteen Eighty-Four, in its initial form, was typed during summer 1947.70 Mrs. Miranda Christen (subsequently Mrs. Wood) arrived in the Canonbury Square flat she rented from the absent Blair to spend the summer 1947. She typed the draft Eric posted to her in batches from Jura, returning him typescripts days later. Her final batch froze the story a few hundred words short of the Nineteen Eighty-Four conclusion. She had anticipated Eric's return to London in September, but he failed to appear.71 The deadended novel was completed in October.72
Julia's "sometimes" speech provided hereinabove opens approximately 2,000 words before the end of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Did Eric suffer a mental block in drafting her speech for Mrs. Christen? Did he falter because it bore an emotional wallop for him personally? What would Freud say about Blair's disclaimer to Symons?
E. The Door Into Room 101
i. Blair and Freud
In all events, the psychology of Sonia would, especially, have been salient in Eric’s fertile authorial mind supposing sources additional still for Room 101. Leonard Shengold discusses Room 10173 preparatory74 to assessing Octave Mirbeau's novel, Torture Garden.75 Mirbeau's Torture Garden, published in Paris in 1899,76 opens as a critique of corrupt Western democracy. (The official ideology, Ingsoc, of Winston's Oceania in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a corruption of the English democratic socialism actually advocated by the Francophone Blair.) Scholarship acknowledges the influence of Torture Garden on Franz Kafka's German short story, In the Penal Colony.77 (Eric Blair served between 1922 and 1927 in the Indian Imperial Police, being stationed in British-ruled Burma.)
Torture Garden encompasses a tale-within-the-tale78 of "the torture of [sic: by] the rat."79 (Note the Mirbeau singular.) Therein, a naked man is bound with chains and a big flowerpot containing a large, famished rat is attached by the pot's top to the man's back. A redhot rod slipped into the pot's hole drives the scorching rat to tear into the man.80 The latter sometimes "goes mad."81 (Remember how Winston Smith "was insane.") So the rat penetrates the man, broadening with claws and teeth the opening he excavates as in the earth. Rat and man die.82
Shengold suggests (and José Brunner concurs)83 that the rat torture lies at the root of a story obsessing Sigmund Freud's patient Ernst Lanzer,84 the Rat Man. Freud's casestudy thereof was published in German during 1909. Ernst told Sigmund of a captain during Ernst's army service, who had recounted a torture whereby "rats"85 (note the Freudian plural) in a pot affixed to a man bored into him. Alleged the emphatic Freud: "He proceeded with the greatest difficulty: 'At that moment the idea flashed through my mind that this was happening to a person who was very dear to me.' ...After a little prompting I learnt that the person to whom this 'idea' of his related was the lady whom he admired."86
Ernst obsessionally fears the rat torture, and mentally lunges (as if to save himself) by interposing the woman he admired. Winston fears the rat torture, and psychologically reaches to rescue himself by interposing Julia. But Ernst merely said he had this "idea," whereas Winston is actually aflame: "Do it to Julia!" Does this so distinguish the cases as to tend to exclude Ernst's hellish fantasy of rats in the plural as one source for Eric of Winston's torment by rats in the plural? (Recall the hysterical Winston catches an "idea.") After the italicized passage quoting Ernst hereinabove, Sigmund drops this footnote: "He said 'idea'—the stronger and more significant term 'wish', or rather 'fear', having evidently been censored. Unfortunately, I am not able to reproduce the peculiar indeterminateness of all his remarks."87 Winston’s potent wish to sacrifice Julia for himself was prefigured in Freud by Ernst's censored wish to sacrifice his own admired woman to save himself. (No such interposition is suggested in the Mirbeau original.) Or does this read too much into the Freud-Blair parallel?88
In Freud's paragraph preceding Ernst's confession of this "idea," Sigmund describes Ernst's reluctance to define the rat torture. Compare Winston's post-Room 101 incapacity to name the Rat Torture, wherein he had betrayed Julia: "He had meant it. He had not merely said it, he had wished it. He had wished that she and not he should be delivered over to the ____."89
Dr. Freud asked Herr Lanzer: "Was he perhaps thinking of impalement?”90 No. Meanwhile, in Room 101, O'Brien counsels Winston, immediately introductory to Winston's own rat torture: "'The worst thing in the world,' said O'Brien, 'varies from individual to individual. It may be burial alive, or death by fire, or by drowning, or by impalement, or fifty other deaths.'"91 Impalement. How many impalement works are there? You know two. Drowning. Blair knew Sonia had interposed a teenaged boy to save herself from drowning. Indeed, Shengold approvingly quotes as an instructive text Julia's "Sometimes" speech.92 Eric (via Eric's surrogate O'Brien) married Sigmund ("impalement") to Sonia ("drowning") in Room 101.
Nonetheless, Eric in the surviving handwritten draft of Nineteen Eighty-Four wrote O'Brien's burial alive/fire/drowning/impalement sentence without the drowning.93 Was Eric paralyzed, in ventriloquizing O'Brien, from Eric's identifying drowning as a Room 101 worst thing in the world? Did he freeze because (thanks to Sonia) that example delivered so emotional a resonance for Eric personally? Was Sonia more important to Eric than even the Widow Orwell ever would guess?
In reviewing the Diaries94 of George Orwell during 2010, D.J. Taylor (the 2003 biographer of Eric Blair95) observed:
A good quarter of the 500-plus pages is taken up by the diaries Orwell kept on Jura between 1946 and 1948. Amid the vignettes from his adopted son Richard's early childhood lurks evidence of Orwell's well-attested rat fixation: "Rats, hitherto non-existent here, are bound to come when the corn is put into the byre... Rats in the byre very bad... Caught rat under the house..."; "I hear that 2 children at Ardlussa were bitten by rats (in the face as usual)" runs the entry of June 12, 1947. It can never be proved that the account of Winston Smith's ordeal by rats at the Ministry of Love was written at this time, but in the end the egg collector, the amateur naturalist and the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four seem very much of a piece.96
Taylor presumably wrote while unfamiliar with links between Freud's Ernst and Eric's Winston: Ernst Lanzer's sister was named Julie.97 (Julie + Sonia suggests Julia.) Julie was younger than Ernst.98 (Julia is younger than Winston. The former is 26,99 whereas the latter is 39.100) Katherine was another sister of Ernst.101 (Katherine is the wife of Winston.102) Sister Katherine died.103 (Julia and Winston daydream that "Katherine would die,"104 and Julia argues that Julia would have grabbed Winston's opportunity—"good shove"—to kill Katherine.) The Englishman Blair, like the Viennese Freud, spells Katherine with a K, not a C (as evidenced by his surviving handwritten draft105). And what Etonian intellectual born in 1903, and suffering a "well-attested rat fixation" could forbear scrutinizing a Freudian study of the Rat Man?
Seriously, was the infernal Nineteen Eighty-Four produced with civilized psychoanalysis in mind? A passage in Blair's surviving draft relates of the captured Winston's ordeal in the Ministry of Love (as originally handwritten) that there were men "who laid him out on a kind of settee, told him to shut his eyes and questioning [sic: questioned] him in low voices for hours at a stretch, always drawing him back through his first excursions into thought-crime, through his marriage, through his school days, through his boyhood at the orphanage, back to his memories of the Revolution, his parents, and his infancy."106 Soothing, paternal voice: Lie down on the couch, shut your eyes, and tell me about your infancy.
ii. Blair and Mirbeau
In fact, a Blair with a well-attested rat fixation might have explored behind Freud's Rat Man to assimilate Mirbeau (as Eric went behind Sonia's review, to assimilate Peyrefitte). In Torture Garden: "The rat penetrates the man's body, widening with claws and teeth the opening he madly digs, as in the earth."107 Meanwhile, Nineteen Eighty-Four describes a newsreel of a helicopter bombing a lifeboat carrying a middle-aged woman and a "little boy screaming with fright and hiding his head between her breasts as if he was trying to burrow right into her and the woman putting her arms round him..."108 Yet Eric's surviving typescript read "between her breasts, and ...". Eric later added (in handwriting), after breasts, "as if he was trying to burrow right into her."109 The parallel between Mirbeau's rat burrowing into the man, and Nineteen Eighty-Four's boy digging into the woman is explicable by hypothesizing that Eric absorbed Mirbeau. Perhaps Eric initially halted at inserting the phrase "trying to burrow" into Nineteen Eighty-Four because of its (i.e., rats) emotional ramifications for him personally. Eric gratuitously emphasizes to readers this burrowing: the boy seems attempting to burrow right into the woman.
Torture Garden in English was published by Citadel Press initially in November 1948.110 Blair's lifeboat passage might already have been drafted during 1946.111 During Blair's time in Paris he had acquired a good knowledge of French. Eric could write a fluent and idiomatic French.112 (However, in the 1930s he still chose English to express himself in delicate situations.113) Blair's best subject at Eton had been French.114 (There his French teacher briefly was Aldous Huxley. And Huxley's subsequent dystopian novel, Brave New World, influenced Nineteen Eighty-Four.) Thus Blair could have read Mirbeau's 1899 novel in French.
Again, the Citadel Press November 1948 printing of Torture Garden included this translation, describing the Rat Torture, by Alvah C. Bessie: "The rat penetrates the man's body, widening with claws and teeth the opening he madly digs, as in the earth."115 But had Eric perused the 1928 Parisian edition of Le Jardin des Supplices, he would have read by contrast: "Le rat pénètre, par où vous savez…dans le corps de l'homme... en élargissant de ses pattes et de ses dents... le terrier... Ah!...ah!...ah... le terrier qu'il creuse frénétiquement, comme de la terre..."116 Sure enough, the French verb closing this passage translates as "to burrow through."117 Burrow right into her. Manifold are the tributaries swelling Nineteen Eighty-Four.
V. Who was the Otherwise-nameless B. B.?
A. The Fowler Caper
In 1945, Sonia became Cyril Connolly's editorial assistant at Horizon. She soon entrenched herself as indispensable when Cyril was absent. This increasingly was the case after 1945. Connolly had then been tired of editing. Remarkably efficient, Brownell established a substantive control over both Horizon and Connolly.118 Cyril fell in love with her, but she held him at bay, flattering him but frustrating his romantic initiatives.119
In April 1946, Blair published Politics and the English Language120 in Horizon.121 He had entered the essay in his Payments Book on December 11, 1945.122 That approximates when Blair took up with his lifelong friend Connolly's employee, Sonia. This nonfiction essay’s subject matter ties closely with Nineteen Eighty-Four.123 Indeed, Nineteen Eighty-Four adds an appendix entitled The Principles of Newspeak.124
Politics and the English Language climaxes with these six rules:
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive when you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.125
Blair's Rule ii is found on the first page of Chapter I of H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler's The King's English:126 "Prefer the short word to the long."127 Blair's Rule v is also listed on the first page of the Fowlers' text: "Prefer the Saxon word to the Romance."128 Blair's Rule i is found deeper in the Fowlers' text, in the Fowlers' caution against offensive writing:
We may read a newspaper through without coming upon a single metaphor of this kind that is at all offensive in itself; it is in the aggregate that they offend. 'Cries aloud for', 'drop the curtain on', 'goes hand in hand with', 'a note of warning', 'leaves its impress', 'paves the way for', 'heralds the advent of', 'opens the door to', are not themselves particularly noisy phrases; but writers who indulge in them generally end by being noisy.129
These quotations are from the third edition of the Fowlers' text of 1931. It had been reprinted in 1940. Imaginably, Blair lamented to editorial assistant Brownell that he needed a tip on how to wrap up his ideas for his Horizon article, Politics and the English Language. Obligingly, Sonia handed Eric the Fowlers' text for his plunder. (Who conscientiously would keep such a reference at desktop? An editorial assistant at Horizon.) The editor of Orwell's Complete Works, Peter Davison, supposes a Politics and the English Language completion date of December 11, 1945.130 But neither reference to the Fowler text, nor to Blair's six rules, are found within Blair's notes for Politics and the English Language.131 So where did these rules originate? The note entries include a section on propaganda tricks,132 absent from the April 1946 article. Finds Davison: "This section could not have been written until after February 1946."133
To recapitulate: Blair leaves no evidence of creating his six rules originally. Blair leaves no record that he spontaneously studied the Fowlers' text for Politics and the English Language. Blair leaves proof he still thought about the essay after February 1946. Eric then was squiring Sonia. Were there two co-conspirators in plagiarism thereby putting one over on Connolly: Blair's own editor, and Brownell's lecherous boss? Shared that couple an in-joke when O'Brien tells Winston, of a book: "... I collaborated in writing it. No book is produced individually, as you know."134
B. Never Named, But Referred to as B. B.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston and Julia are co-conspirators in resisting Big Brother. He is the mythical leader of their tyranny. Early in Nineteen Eighty-Four, these two participate in the day's Two Minutes Hate, a pep rally which climaxes:
At this moment the entire group of people broke into a deep, slow, rhythmical chant of "B.B.! . . . B.B.! . . . B.B.! . . ." over and over again, very slowly, with a long pause between the first "B" and the second—a heavy, murmurous sound, somehow curiously savage, in the background or which one seemed to hear the stamp of naked feet and the throbbing of tom-toms. For perhaps as much as thirty seconds they kept it up. It was a refrain that was often heard in moments of overwhelming emotion. Partly it was a sort of hymn to the wisdom and majesty of Big Brother, but still more it was an act of self-hypnosis, a deliberate drowning of consciousness by means of rhythmic noise. Winston's entrails seemed to grow cold. In the Two Minutes Hate he could not help sharing in the general delirium, but this subhuman chanting of "B.B.! . . . B.B.! " always filled him with horror.135
When Orwell cites "the throbbing of tom-toms," recall Sonia's Catholic ritual "atavistic tom-tom calls." How many other British "tom-tom" documents know you?136 In this particular Two Minutes Hate, Julia hysterically picks up and flings "a heavy Newspeak dictionary."137 Perhaps this is Eric's in-joke for Sonia, about how she had tossed him the Fowlers' book.
But what reason is there to speculate that, for the naughty couple Eric and Sonia, the joint evasion by Winston and Julia of the otherwise-appellationless B. B. is an inside joke, at the expense of Cyril Connolly? Cyril had been more important to the boy Eric Blair than Cyril had grasped. Blair had but one other close friend during childhood, Jacintha Buddicombe.138 Young Jacintha was struck by Eric's isolation.139 She remembered that friends never called upon Eric during school holidays.140 But he sometimes appreciatively referred to a chum whom he never denominated but called "C.C."141 And Roland Penrose likewise denominated his friend (from the late 1930s) Cyril Connelly as "C.C."142
C. Why Might Peyrefitte Make Blair Mindful of C. C.?
i. Romance and Roger Peyrefitte
Had Blair read Special Friendships, he would have learned of Peyrefitte's hero George's unconsummated infatuation with his schoolfellow Alexander. George and Alexander simulate intercourse with the blood-brother ceremony:
"I, too, have been thinking of something," Alexander said, "something it was high time we were doing: to exchange a few drops of our blood, you and I. Then we'll be united for always."
He took a knife from his pocket, drew back one of his sleeves, and made a slight incision in his arm. Several drops appeared. He brought his arm up to George's mouth for him to drink them. Then he tendered the other the knife, and it was his turn to taste blood. Side by side they sat in silence until the cuts stopped bleeding.143 (1950)
- Moi aussi, j’ai pensé a quelque chose, dit l’enfant, quelque chose que nous avions à accomplair: échanger un peu de notre sang, toi et moi. Anisi nous serons unis pour toujours.
Il tira un canif de sa poche, retroussa une de ses manches, et se fit au bras une légère incision : quelques gouttes apparurent. Il s’approcha de Georges, afin de les lui faire boire. Puis il lui tendit le canif, et ce fut son tour de goûter au sang. Côte à côte, ils restèrent un moment silencieux, pendant que se cicatrisait la coupure.144 (1945)
A mixture of blood at their school had been done by other boys, whereby "both are united through life and death."145 ("Après ça, on est uni, à la vie et à la mort."146)
Lascivious is the description of Alexander:
The boy in question was an extraordinarily beautiful youngster of about thirteen. His blond hair crowned his regular features with a fantasy of curls. A miraculously dazzling smile played over his face. Like the mystic lamb of the engraving in Father Lauzon's quarters, he seemed to offer himself up for adoration. His bare legs could be seen beneath the short red robe.147 (1950)
C'était un enfant d'une extraordinaire beauté, âgé de quelque treize ans. Ses cheveux blonds couronnaient ses traits réguliers de la fantaisie de leurs boucles. Un sourire errait sur son visage, d'un éclat miraculeux. Comme l'agneau mystique de la gravure qui était chez le père Lauzon, il semblait s'offrir lui-même à l'adoration. La courte robe rouge laissait paraître ses jambs nues.148 (1945)
Roger Peyrefitte, dubbed "Pope of the Homosexuals," delighted in extolling man-boy love. But George and Alexander are kept physically divided in school, as respectively elder and younger boys.
149 They are in different forms.150
Where might Eric already have learned of such a tale?
ii. Romance and Cyril Connolly
For years, the object of Cyril's romantic adoration at St. Cyprians was a boy named Terry Wilson.151 Terry appeared as "Terry Watson" in Connolly's 1938 152 novel, Enemies of Promise.153 Blair had criticized it in print by 1940.154 Terry was in a lower form.155 The draft of Enemies of Promise has a blood-brotherhood scene. (Only once did Terry try to kiss Cyril, who rebuffed him.156) Connolly felt that Wilson "was more faun-like than anyone else I have ever seen."157 Wilson, Connolly recalled, was "small," and Cyril used to coach Terry.158 Sort of like a big brother. Yet Terry and Cyril drifted apart after Cyril left St. Cyprian's for Eton.159 By then, as Connolly wrote in a draft of Enemies of Promise: "I was brotherless again."160
Seriously, was Nineteen Eighty-Four written with a Watson in mind? The surviving draft of Nineteen Eighty-Four (as originally handwritten) recounts of Winston's first Ministry of Love encounter with O'Brien that O'Brien tells Winston: "My name is Watson. Nosy Watson is the nickname under which you have been [sic] known me, I believe."161
But how does Peyrefitte's novel prefigure Nineteen Eighty-Four?
VI. The Odd Configuration of the Habitation
A. Blair’s Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston's household architecture affords him an unusual modicum of privacy:
For some reason the telescreen in the living room was in an unusual position. Instead of being placed, as was normal, in the end wall, where it could command the whole room, it was in the longer wall, opposite the window. To one side of it there was a shallow alcove in which Winston was now sitting, and which, when the flats were built, had probably been intended to hold bookshelves. By sitting in the alcove, and keeping well back, Winston was able to remain outside the range of the telescreen, so far as sight went. He could be heard, of course, but so long as he stayed in his present position he could not be seen.162
Winston contrives to minimize surveillance.
B. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, George and his classmates correspondingly are under residential surveillance. And well might such be the case for those institutionalized under Roman Catholic auspices. The Practical Rules for the Use of the Religious of the Good Shepherd for the Direction of the Classes were prepared by the Good Shepherd order's modern Foundress for the Good Shepherd Magdalene Asylums (for women, and also some girls, in Ireland).163 Those asylums were run by nuns popularly known as the Good Shepherds.164 And the Rules were explicit:
Without showing they suspected evil, Mistresses were charged to be aware of all that took place. Even where Sisters rose and attended chapel earlier than the penitents, the Dormitory Mistress was required to make meditation in her cell, rather than leave the inmates without surveillance. This cell (into which the Sister locked herself each night) was carefully situated and fitted with a slide opening or grille, so that the whole of the dormitory could be observed at once. Penitents with a tendency to "seek out each other's company" were to be separated, but discreetly, "to avoid exciting suspicions or murmurs". This preventive measure was not always successful, and occasionally throughout the period, women were dismissed for "particular friendships"—a possible reference to suspected lesbianism.165
No woman, then, was to have a moment's privacy or relaxation. For every minute of every day—perhaps for the rest of her life—her conduct was regulated and her every movement watched. It is, of course, impossible to know how closely the instructions of the Foundress were followed; but in a highly authoritarian structure like the Good Shepherd, it is unlikely that individual Convents were allowed to relax the Rules. Evidence from the Annals, together with the chilling testimonies of women detained in this Order's Magdalen Asylums and Industrial Schools during the 1940s, 50s and 60s suggests that the contrary was the case, and that if anything, the Irish Sisters grew harsher in their treatment of the inmates, than even the Institute required.166
Particular friendships indeed.
But George's classmate Marc Blajean delineates the dormitory geography, which provides for them a privileged bit of privacy:
What excellent places George and his immediate neighbors had, delightfully removed, as they were, from enemy ears! Marc pointed out a further advantage: the Surveillant could no more surprise them than hear them, for they could see him coming. His door, though invisible to practically everyone else, marked the other end of a diagonal which ran up to their beds. Blajan traced the geometric pattern of the dormitory in the air.167 (1950)
Quelles bonnes places étaient celles de Georges et de ses voisins, éloignées à souhait des oreilles ennemies! Marc lui en fit constater un avantage supplémentaire: le surveillant ne pouvait pas plus les surprendre que les entendre, car eux pouvaient le voir arriver — sa porte, invisible pour presque tout le monde, était à l'extrémité d'une diagonale qui allait jusqu'à leurs lits. Blajan traça, dans l'air, la figure géométrique du dortoir.168 (1945)
Absent from Blair's 1943 outline of Nineteen Eighty-Four is the convenient layout of a room.
VII. The Climate of Surveillance
A. Blair's Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, after all, the supposed rebel Emmanuel Goldstein's text within the novel explains:
A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone he can never be sure that he is alone. Wherever he may be, asleep or awake, working or resting, in his bath or in bed, he can be inspected without warning and without knowing that he is being inspected. Nothing that he does is indifferent. His friendships, his relaxations, his behavior toward his wife and children, the expression of his face when he is alone, the words he mutters in sleep, even the characteristic movements of his body, are all jealously scrutinized.169
Already had Winston reflected:
The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guess work. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.170
B. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, correspondingly, George comprehends early in regard to his academy: "George knew that everywhere he would have the same neighbors, in accordance with a custom apparently intended to make surveillance easier."171 ("Georges savait qu'il conservait partout les mêmes voisins, suivant un usage destiné, paraît-il, à faciliter la surveillance."172) And Rector Lauzon demands to examine George's wallet with: "My duty is to prove to you that a boy of your age should have no secrets."173 ("Mon devoir est de vous prover qu'un garcon de vôtre âge ne doit pas avoir de secrets."174)
As Surveillant de Trennes later declares to George and George's schoolmate Lucien Rouvère, of Father de Trennes' continuing oversight of his dormitory-charges even after that priest had retired to his own room, presumably to fall asleep:
With an ear glued to the window curtain, he listened. He knows that surveillance of a certain duration does discourage those who have nothing but vain tittle-tattle in their heads, but on the other hand he is aware that others bide their time patiently because they have more serious reason to. Now, everything that is serious is of interest to the Surveillant; that is what moves him, too, to bide his time.175 (1950)
Il écoutait, l'oreille collée derrière le rideau de sa fenêtre. Il sait qu'une surveillance d'une certaine durée finit par décourager ceux qui ne pensent qu'à de vains bavardages, mais il sait également que d'autres attendent patiemment pour des raisons plus sérieuses. Or, tout ce qui est sérieux l'intéresse : c'est ce qui l'incite à attendre aussi de son côté.176 (1945)
So Winston and Julia, like George and Lucien, are not seized by the Thought Police immediately upon their resistance to entrenched totalitarian authority. For authority (viz., Peyrefitte's priesthood) bides its time.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, O'Brien informs Winston concerning the Party ostensibly steered by Big Brother: "We are the priests of power."177 The 1949 omniscient narrator records of Big Brother's ostensible acolyte O'Brien: "He had the air of a doctor, a teacher, even a priest, anxious to explain and persuade rather than to punish."178 The Peyrefitte boarding school's Father de Trennes, a priest, literally is a Surveillant of his charges. Who better to feed into the character of Big Brother? John J. Miller during 2006 opined: "The most memorable phrase in '1984' is probably 'Big Brother is watching you.'"179
But the skeptic objects to the assimilation of a Surveillant priest with the repressive totalitarianism of Nineteen Eighty-Four. For is surveillance not a merely neutral, technical term? Ever since Michel Foucault yoked the verbs surveiller and punir, critical orthodoxy has been that surveillance and punishment count as joint tools whereby state power importantly imposes, sustains, and celebrates itself.180 As Foucault’s translator (Alan Sheridan) explained of the title of Foucault's Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison:
Any closer translation of the French title of this book, Surveiller et punir, has proved unsatisfactory on various counts. To begin with, Foucault uses the infinitive, which, as here, may have the effect of an 'impersonal imperative'. Such a nuance is denied us in English. More seriously the verb 'surveiller' has no adequate English equivalent. Our noun 'surveillance' has an altogether too restricted and technical use. Jeremy Bentham used the term 'inspect'—which Foucault translates as 'surveiller'—but the range of connotations does not correspond. 'Supervise' is perhaps closest of all, but again the word has different associations. 'Observe' is rather too neutral, though Foucault is aware of the aggression involved in any one-sided observation. In the end Foucault himself suggested Discipline and Punish, which relates closely to the book's structure.181
Oppressive is as oppressive does.
VIII. The Random Discovery of Evidence
A. Blair's Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston during 1973 had found fortuitously a dated photograph in a half-page torn from a newspaper. The photopage had been slipped in among other papers. Winston grasps that the photograph concretely evidences the Party's frameup-judicial murder of prominent so-called opponents, and the Party's ongoing perfidy in manipulating the history thereof.182 Winston wishes to ensure that his discovery goes unnoticed.183 By 1984, Winston (more boldly) would have retained the photograph.184 But in 1973, Winston surreptitiously discarded the photograph into the memory hole, to crumble into ashes.185
B. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, George correspondingly stumbles upon a signed poem "Between two pages"186 ("Entre deux pages."187) of a classmate's notebook. George discreetly folds the sheet and slips it into his pocket.188 George wishes to confirm that his larceny is unnoticed.189 George realizes that this love poem would trigger the expulsion of the author who had signed it.190 Surreptitiously bearing off the poem, George prepares to discard or shred it.191
Or are these discoveries serendipitous? It has been speculated that Winston's newspaper photograph had been planted, for his discovery, by the sinister Thought Police. Opines Daphne Patai: "Even the clipping that Winston had accidentally received eleven years earlier, which provided him with the first concrete proof that the Party was falsifying history, may well have been planted by the Party."192 Accordingly, in George's case: "The poem was certainly one of those Lucien was intending to show him; perhaps he had even deliberately planted it here for George's benefit."193 ("Cette poésie était certainement une de celles que Lucien comptait lui faire lire. Peut-être même celui-ci l'avait-il placée là tout exprès, à son intention."194)
IX. A Spider-Villain Hosts Heroes in his Parlor
A. The Pair of Visitors
i. Blair's Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston and Julia are entertained by O'Brien at O'Brien's address.195 The block of flats "smells of good food and good tobacco."196 O'Brien conspicuously bears an Irish (i.e., Roman Catholic) name.197 O'Brien pretends to be in league with The Brotherhood (a bogus underground resistance movement allied with the heretical Leon Trotsky - i.e., Lev Bronstein - figure, the aforementioned Goldstein) against the ruling Party.198 O'Brien treats his two would-be conspirator-guests to wine199 and "very good cigarettes."200 O'Brien displays an urbane manner, and a prizefighter's physique,201 with his "powerful shoulders and his blunt-featured face, so ugly and yet so civilized."202
ii. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, correspondingly, George and his dormitory-mate Lucien are entertained in the room of their dormitory Surveillant, Father de Trennes.203 They are treated during their initial visit with the sharing of de Trennes' bottle of liqueur.204 George is indulged during this next visit with cigarettes.205 De Trennes thereafter gifts George with Egyptian cigarettes, "better than the ones we had last time"206 ("meilleures que celles de l'autre fois"207). Father de Trennes bears a "great height, ascetic face, military haircut, and piercing look"208 ("haute stature, son visage macéré, ses cheveux en brosse, et ses regards insistants"209). Too,
His air of distinction was perfect, his manner of dressing faultless. No one could remember ever having seen at Saint Claude cassocks of such fine cloth, manners at once so noble and suave, cheeks so closely shaven—and which were always lightly talced. All this modified one's initial impression of severity.210 (1950)
Sa distinction était parfaite, sa tenue très soignée. On ne se souvenait pas d’avoir vu à Saint-Claude des soutanes d'une étoffe si fine, des manières à la fois si nobles et ai onctueuses, des joues si bien rasées et que voilait toujours un peu de poudre. Cela atténuait la sévérité du premier aspect.211 (1945)
B. The Host's Initiative
i. Blair's Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston meets O'Brien while walking down a corridor at work:
At last they were face to face, and it seemed that his only impulse was to run away. His heart pounded violently. He would have been incapable of speaking. O'Brien, however, had continued forward in the same movement, laying a friendly hand for a moment on Winston's arm, so that the two of them were walking side by side.212
After their exchange, Winston comprehends its import:
There was only one meaning that the episode could possibly have. It had been contrived as a way of letting Winston know O'Brien's address. This was necessary, because by direct inquiry it was never possible to discover where anyone lived. There were no directories of any kind. "If you ever want to see me, this is where I can be found," was what O'Brien had been saying to him.213
O'Brien speaks first, to an intimidated Winston. O'Brien touches Winston, not vice-versa. Discerns Patai: "We expect a contest to be provoked by the person who anticipates winning, and indeed it is O'Brien who first makes overtures to Winston by finding a pretext for having Winston come to his house."214
ii. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, George and Lucien correspondingly go for the first time to the room of Father de Trennes:
He had asked the two boys to come and have a chat in his quarter—it would be much more comfortable. They had scarcely found it possible to refuse. He had cautioned them not to make any noise, to rearrange their beds so that no one could notice their absence.215
Il avait prié les deux garcons d'aller bavarder chez lui, ce serait plus commode : leur était-il possible de refuser? Il leur avait recommandé de ne pas faire de bruit, d’arranger leurs lits de sorte qu'on ne pût s'apercevoir de leur absence.216 (1945)
In Blair's 1943 outline, Blair presumed: "The writer's [Winton's] approaches to X [O'Brien] and Y [Julia]";217 and the writer's "successful approach to X and Y."218 In the original vision, the doomed hero approaches the spider-like villain. But in Nineteen Eighty-Four the villain, O'Brien, woos Winston, even as Father de Trennes correspondingly bids to seduce George. What had intervened during the interval between Blair's 1943 outline and the 1946 beginning of Nineteen Eighty-Four? Answer: Sonia's exposure to Peyrefitte.
X. The Erasure of Memory
A. Blair's Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the history-perverting, tyrannical status quo is described by the aforementioned text supposedly by Emmanuel Goldstein:
Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records, and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.219
And O'Brien, the brainwasher-inquisitor figure (Winston's father-confessor), coauthored the subversive book allegedly by Goldstein.220 O'Brien challenges the captured Winston: "We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?"219
B. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, George is caught by his school Rector-priest-inquisitor, Father Lauzon. Father Lauzon is, literally, George's father-confessor. Accordingly, Father Lauzon exhorts George to betray the confidence of George's younger partner in George's constancy in their "passionate and platonic"222 ("passionné et platonique"223) devotion.224 George's betrayal is to be by surrendering to Lauzon all of George's correspondence from this partner (so as to crush the second youth). The priest adds:
This sacrifice, to which a lost soul will, without a doubt, own its salvation, will also complete the purification of yours. Recall Saint Jerome who had carried the works of his beloved Cicero off to desert with him and the voice which said to him in his sleep: 'Thou are not a Christian, thou art a Ciceronian.' He then destroyed these last vestiges of a bygone passion. Similarly, at a later period, Saint Philip of Neri destroyed the secular poems he had written in his youth. Let these examples be your inspiration.225 (1950)
Ce sacrifice, auquel une âme devra sans doute son salut, achièvera d'ailleurs de purifier la vôtre. Rappelez-vous saint Jérôme qui avait emporté au désert les oeuvres de son cher Cicéron, et une voix lui disait pendant son sommeil : «Tu n'es pas chrétien, tu es cicéronien». Il détruisit ces vestiges de passions révolues. Ainsi plus tard saint Philippe de Néri détruisit-il les vers profanes qu'il avait composés dans sa jeunesse. Inspirez-vous des mêmes exemples.226 (1945)
The Party controls the records. The Party destroys inconvenient historical records, even as Saints Jerome and Philip of Neri correspondingly destroyed secular distractions from their Christianity. Father Lauzon accordingly will control the suspect correspondence.
Consequently, George well understands the plight of the two hapless lovers in Rector Lauzon's hands: "They were prisoners of the established order. It was proposed to root up even their memories of each other, and George was being called upon to sacrifice his first."227 ("Ils étaient prisonniers de l'ordre établi. On voulait leur arracher jusqu'à leurs souvenirs. Georges le premier sacrifierait-il les siens?"228) The Party controls memory. Father Lauzon correspondingly will control memory.
Is it any wonder that "George's grievance against the Rector was that the latter represented an absurd system of rules, a blind power"?229 ("En tout cas, Georges était content d'avoir trompé le supérieur une fois de plus, de s'être vengé de celui qui était l'exécuteur de ses vengeances. Il lui en voulait de représenter des règles absurdes, un pouvoir aveugle."230) Is this psychology familiar to the reader of Nineteen Eighty-Four?
XI. The Omnipotence of Inescapable Authority
A. Blair's Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston and Julia had believed they had deluded the Party with their fraudulent loyalty. But, once they are exposed, the jailed Winston despairs in the face of his jailor O'Brien:
What most oppressed him was the consciousness of his own intellectual inferiority. He watched the heavy yet graceful form strolling to and fro, in and out of the range of his vision. O'Brien was being in all ways larger than himself. There was no idea that he had ever had, or could have, that O'Brien had not long ago known, examined, and rejected. His mind contained Winston's mind.231
B. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, George and his lover had deluded their school authorities with their pretended orthodoxy. But, once they are exposed, the outdone George correspondingly reflects upon Father Lauzon, his nemesis:
Another thing that now appeared vain to him was his scheme for flight. The inflexible self-assurance of the priest had revealed to George how shaky his position was. The man whom they had eluded for so long knew everything and would therefore foresee everything. Further struggle was useless. The two boys were irrevocably defeated.232 (1950)
Une autre chose à présent lui paraissait dérisoire: c'était son projet de fuite. L'assurance inflexible du pére lui révélait combien sa propre position était fragile. L'homme qu'on avait si longtemps abusé, savait tout et par conséquent prévoierait tout. Il ne servait plus à rien de lutter. Les enfants étaient irrévocablement vaincus.233 (1945)
O'Brien's mind encompasses Winston's mind. Accordingly, Father Lauzon knows and foresees everything.
XII. The Restoration of the Prodigal Son
A. Blair's Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, O'Brien explains to Winston that the Party will purify Winston of his flaws:
We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul.234
B. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, the Surveillant, Father de Trennes, reassures George that his religion enables the recapture of lost virtue despite one's sins:
To be sure, glory to him who has always been able to win out over the Evil One! But let it also be remembered that the road to repentance remains open if one has succumbed. The virginity of the heart may be retrieved, and that is the important thing. In a great soul, the violence of vice foreshadows the power of grace, which will come and purify it. Do not despair: in the depths of your misery, I shall enable you to find God again.235 (1950)
Or, as Sonia—the scarred victim of the Convent of the Sacred Heart—might have read this passage to Eric:
Certes, gloire à celui qui a toujours su dompter le Malin! Mais il faut se rappeler que la voie du repentir reste ouverte, si l'on a failli. La virginité du coeur peut se refaire, et c'est celle qui importe. Dans une grande âme, la fureur des vices annonce la force de la grâce qui viendra les purifier. Ne désespérez pas: au fond de vos misères, je vous ferai retrouver Dieu.236 (1945)
The Party brings the rectified dissenter onto its side. Correspondingly, Father de Trennes enables the contrite sinner to reach God anew. Recall how Rector Lauzon would promise George that George's lost soul could be purified.
XIII. Recurrent Jingles Weave the Scenes
A. Blair's Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, a connective detail running through the text is several casual rhymes. For example, Winston hears a song from a public telescreen:
Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me:
Here lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.237
The first two lines will recur.238 Piecemeal, Winston learns a jingle:
Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's,
You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St. Martin's,
When will you pay me? Say the bells of Old Bailey,
When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch.
Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head!239
Had Peyrefitte put Eric in mind of Eric's own childhood? Jacintha Buddicom would recall "a children's game, like Oranges and Lemons."240
B. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, a recurring silly refrain correspondingly runs:
Two kids we'll always be,
Ever together in fidelitie...241
But the pair of youths engaged in the forbidden homosexual association will not be always together in fidelity. There will be the capitulation of one ("I sold you") marking the beleaguered isolation of his old counterpart. And lying is endemic in the Roman Catholic boarding school ("Here lie they, and here lie we").
In Special Friendships, a snatch of another silly song "The Wedding of the Daughter of President Fallières",242 goes:
Uncle Cestinus…. 243
But there can be no family relationship (Grandpa, Cousin, Uncle) to emerge from the homosexual fealties of George and his partner. So similarly can there be no wedding bells in church (St. Clement's, St Martin's) for the starcrossed lovers Winston and Julia of Nineteen Eighty-Four.
XIV. Chocolate Unites the Episodes
A. Blair's Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the luxury of chocolate is a minor subtheme:
As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a "categorical pledge" were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grams to twenty at the end of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April.244
Fortunate is Winston in an assignation with the generous Julia:
Then, as though touching her waist had reminded her of something, she felt in the pocket of her overalls and produced a small slab of chocolate. She broke it in half and gave one of the pieces to Winston. Even before he had taken it he knew by the smell that it was very unusual chocolate. It was dark and shiny, and was wrapped in silver paper. Chocolate normally was dull-brown crumbly stuff that tasted, as nearly as one could describe it, like the smoke of a rubbish fire. But at some time or another he had tasted chocolate like the piece she had given him. The first whiff of its scent had stirred up some memory which he could not pin down, but which was powerful and troubling.245
The haunting recollection here of an irrevocable deed is only natural. The boy Winston had stolen a ration of chocolate from his mother and sister on the last day he saw either of them.246
B. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, George correspondingly is given chocolate squares by Lucien.247 George writes his mother for a supply of chocolate.248 (So Winston had been provided the chocolate from "a chocolate ration"249 by his mother). George saves a little box of chocolate for his lover.250 A note poetically referring to boys' homosexual kisses251 becomes a joke about chocolate kisses.252 ("—Des baisers vraiment ? Pourquoi pas des croquettes au chocolat ?"253)
XV. A Snowdrift of Detail-Parallels Accumulates
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the ubiquitous pictures of Big Brother have eyes that seem to follow their viewer.254 In Special Friendships, George is watched by "the eyes of the alumni, whose pictures lined the walls255 ("les anciens élèves, dont les images tapissaient le couloir, les regardaient passer"256). In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston repairs plumbing, "and disgustedly removed the clot of human hair that had blocked the pipe."257 In Special Friendships, George is likewise repulsed in the wake of lending his handkerchief to a schoolmate (Andre Ferron):
As they walked back to the school, George, his hand in his pocket, felt the crumbled handkerchief Ferron had given back to him. He lightly rested his fingertip on the blood clot. Loathing welled up in him. The next day he would change handkerchiefs.258 (1950)
Or, as Eric would have read:
Pendant qu'on revenait vers le collège, Georges touchait dans sa poche le mouchoir froissé que Ferron lui avait rendu. Il posait le bout du doigt sur le caillot de sang que l'écorchure avait fait. Il détestait ce sang-là. Demain, il changerait de mouchoir.259 (1945)
How many novels associate heroes with handling a repulsive clot? You know two.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the incarcerated Winston encounters "a surly barber."260 In Special Friendships, the institutionalized George meets a "sullen"261 ("maussade"262) barber. The barber is "mute, as prison barbers had been formerly"263 ("muet, comme jadis les barbiers des prisons"264). Winston (as observed hereinabove) is 39 years of age.265 In Special Friendships, George is fourteen years of age.266 Every 39 year-old Englishman patronizes a barber. So does every 14 year-old French boy. Nevertheless, how many novels about them mention the barber? You know two.267
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the imprisoned Winston is forced to "pour forth a confession of real and imaginary crimes"268 to his jailers. In Special Friendships, George correspondingly makes a sacramental "Confession to Father Lauzon,"269 ("il faisait au père Lauzon la confession"270) his father-figure, of George's accordingly "imaginary sins"271 ("péchés imaginaires"272).
XVI. Those Meaningful Red Accessories
A. Blair's Orwell
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, a connecting item running through the novel is Julia's "narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League."273 What is Winston’s feeling? "He hated her because she was young and pretty and sexless, because he wanted to go to bed with her and would never do so, because round her secret supple waist, which seemed to ask you to encircle it with your arm, there was only the odious scarlet sash, aggressive symbol of chastity."274 Happily for Winston, Julia demonstratively repudiates chastity during a tryst: "'It's this bloody thing that does it,' she said, ripping off the scarlet sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League and flinging it on a bough."275
B. Brownell's Peyrefitte
In Special Friendships, George's lover buys a red necktie276 to have a cravat matching George's own.277 Of George's lover one learns: "The child smiled from time to time, probably because of the handsome surprise he had reserved for George. Through the slit of his robe shows his red tie, as though it were a rallying call."278 ("Parfois, l'enfant souriait, probablement de la bonne surprise qu'il faisait à Georges. Dans l'échancrure de la robe, brillait la cravate rouge, comme leur signe de ralliement."279) (Sonia Brownell had reminded her Horizon readership: "The most singular difference between Catholic and other education is one of colour; . . . "280)
XVII. The Protagonist Indulges in Philosophical Pornography
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston procures a copy of Goldstein's taboo book. In Special Friendships George has dreams of becoming a writer and of membership in the French Academy. George accordingly has read "all the works of Anatole France on the sly. Well, he hadn't read quite all, but at least half of them"282 ("Avaient-ils, comme lui, lu en cachette tout Anatole France? Tout? A vrai dire, seulement la moitié."283) But why should George have read these clandestinely? Rector Lauzon warns George against Anatole France284: "You are not unaware that the works of this author are on the [Roman Catholic Church's] Index [of Forbidden Books]"285 ("Vous n'ignorez pas que les ouvrages de cet auteur sont à l'Index, dit le supérieur en rendant le portefeuille."286)
XVIII. Roger Peyrefitte: A Source of a Source
D.J. Taylor addresses the question of when Such, Such Were the Joys was written:
The woman who acted as Orwell's secretary in the mid-1940s remembered making a fair copy from a bleary and apparently much-travelled typescript. This was submitted to Seeker & Warburg in 1947. But who typed the original, and when? A possible completion date is 1939-40 (Orwell announced his intention of writing a book about St. Cyprian's back in 1938). Or it could have been written and typed—or rewritten and re-typed [sic: retyped]—in 1945-6 when Orwell engaged an additional typist to do work for him. At any rate is it highly probable that a considerable part of the work on 'Such, Such Were the Joys' was done when Orwell was incubating, or indeed writing, what became Nineteen Eighty-Four.287
And 1945-1946 marks the interval when Sonia would have read the 1945 Peyrefitte novel for her July 1946 review. It was this span when she and Eric became familiar.
In Special Friendships, the younger of the two boys implicated in a homosexual affair is twelve.288 In Such, Such Were the Joys, Blair recalls a homosexual row at Saint Cyprians which seemed to drag on for days.289 The adult Blair supposed it revolved around group masturbation. Curiously, Eric himself was then about twelve.290
In Special Friendships, Peyrefitte depicts his protagonist, George, in a study hall during the storm over a homosexual incident:
After a moment's struggle, George succeeded in focusing his attention on what was being said. The Dominican undoubtedly had been notified of the incident, for he dealt with a subject more appropriate to the present circumstances than the martyrdom of Saint Tarsicius. The Eucharist figured in his remarks only as an ordeal and a chastisement. He spoke of Hosts taking fire or becoming bloody on sacrilegious lips. He enumerated cases of sudden death after a bad Communion. There were phrases concerning the sin that reduces us to the level of beasts, unclean spirits sneering in Cimmerian gloom, and Guardian Angels weeping as they winged their way back up to Heaven. The pleasant anecdotes, the stories of radiantly beautiful children, were not for this day. The hero of this day's list of examples was the man from Balmes who had whirled without pause for twenty-four years, after having danced during the Terror with a statue representing the Crucifixion. He had been nourished throughout his demoniacal chorea by scraps of food hurled at his mouth. When he asked for the last Sacraments, the priest who had come to shrive him was forced to spin in time with him.
The orator ended on a consoling note, an appeal to repentance: "Were your sins as red as scarlet, yet shall they be whitened like snow."291 (1950)
Au bout d'un moment, il parvint à écouter. Le dominicain avait dû être averti de l'incident, car il traitait un sujet plus approprié aux circonstances que le martyre de saint Tarsicius. L'eucharistie n'y figurait qu'à titre d'épreuve et de châtiment. Il était question d'hosties prenant feu ou devenant sanglantes sur des lèvres sacrileges. On rapportait des cas de mort subite après une mauvaise communion. Il y avait des phrases concernnant le péché qui ravale au rang des bêtes, les esprits immondes qui ricanent dans les ténébres; les anges gardiens qui remontent pleurer dans le ciel. Les anecdotes aimables, les enfants d'une radieuse beauté n'étaient pas pour aujourd'hui. Le héros de ce nouveau repertoire fut l'homme des Balmes, qui avait tourné sans arrêt pendant vingt-quatre ans, après avoir dansé, sous la Terreur, avec la statue d'un calvaire. On le nourrissait au milieu de cette chorée démoniaque, en lui jetant les aliments dans la bouche. Quand il sollicita les derniers sadrements, le prêtre qui vint l'absoudre et le communir, dut tournoyer avec lui.
L'orateur termina par une citation consolante, appel au repentir : "Vos péchés fussent-ils rouges comme le cramoisi, ils seront blanchis comme la neige."292 (1945)
How clearly does Peyrefitte in 1945 anticipate the Such, Such Were the Joys of 1947? Memoirist Blair recounts how their Headmaster's wife (Flip) instilled a free-floating sense of sexual disgrace relative to boys named Ronalds, and Heath:
We were all bowed down with shame. It was our fault. Somehow or other we had led poor Ronalds astray: we were responsible for his agony and his ruin. Then Flip turned upon another boy named Heath. It is thirty years ago, and I cannot remember for certain whether she merely quoted a verse from the Bible, or whether she actually brought out a Bible and made Heath read it; but at any rate the text indicated was: "Whoso shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
That, too, was terrible. Ronalds was one of these little ones; we had offended him; it were better that a millstone were hanged about our necks and that we were drowned in the depth of the sea.293
The Such, Such Were the Joys reference to the boys, from the Headmaster's wife, is to Jesus's words in Mark: "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."294 But the Dominican's preachment in Peyrefitte instead quotes Isaiah: "... though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."295 Does this divergence suggest that Blair's supposed recollection is independent, and not borrowed from Peyrefitte? In Peyrefitte, accordingly, is also the line from Mark.296 Curious coincidence.
A. Sonia Brownell
The preceding discussion has noted Sonia Brownell's relationship with Eric Blair, and with the London literary journal Horizon. In Horizon, Brownell reviewed Roger Peyrefitte's French novel Les Amitiés Particuliéres. Upon exactly the point in time when Eric started writing his famous dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Sonia therein delineated a scenario to become a focal element of his own plot. Les Amitiés Particuliéres depicts a repressive elementary-level boarding school. Brownell, Blair, and Cyril Connolly each had been incensed by experiences in precisely such schools. Connolly was Eric's childhood schoolmate at their own boarding school, and remained his friend until Eric's death in 1950. Connolly headed Horizon. Hence, Connolly hired and supervised Sonia.
The Peyrefitte novel was published in English during 1950 as Special Friendships.297 Its seeming impress upon Nineteen Eighty-Four, as proximate source, has been documented. The tight association of Sonia with Nineteen Eighty-Four already is broadly-accepted. Sonia, supposedly, provided the model for Eric's heroine, Julia. Parallels between Sonia's personal life, and events in Nineteen Eighty-Four relating to Julia, have been too scantily investigated to date. Moreover, many incidents of, or details within, Special Friendships, reemerge within Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Peter Davison opined concerning the facsimile of the extant Nineteen Eighty-Four manuscript:
Despite all the rewriting revealed by this facsimile, it is remarkable how closely what has survived adheres to the main sweep of the narrative of Nineteen Eighty-Four. All the principal features, except the Appendix on Newspeak, are present, suggesting that the story had been pretty fully formed in Orwell's mind by the time he sat down to write it out.298
Davison would expand:
The first striking characteristic is the consistency of Orwell's conception of his work. There was wholesale rewriting, and from time to time short sections were dropped, such as the material to be found in the facsimile between sections vii and viii of Part II of the finalized novel (ff. 166-7) and at the end of section viii (f. 178) of that same Part, but all the changes were directed towards the refining of an original conception as revealed in the earliest stages of the composition of the novel, and even in that 1943-4 outline.299
Davison presumably wrote while unfamiliar with Special Friendships. But readers with Special Friendships at hand will little marvel that Blair's yarn had been pretty fully formed in his mind by the time he sat to write it out. Is the consistency of Eric's concept of his task really striking? All changes refined an original conception revealed in the earlier stages of his novel's composition. Had Eric himself then kept Special Friendships close at hand?
Gregory Woods, in his A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition,300 apprehended:
Although Nineteen Eighty-Four has always been most famous for its discussions about the politics of language and the language of politics, its emotional nexus is located where, for the contemporary  homosexual reader, the book must have been at its least convincing—that is, in its account of the forbidden love between Winston and Julia. What read as a futuristic nightmare to the heterosexual reader must have seemed to the homosexual reader somewhat paranoid and ignorant, because so close to the reality of homosexual life in England at the time—but showing no sign that Orwell was aware of this fact.301
Woods presumably wrote while unfamiliar with Brownell's review of Les Amitiés Particulières (which French fiction Woods discussed in the same text.302). But had Blair written Nineteen Eighty-Four with Les Amitiés Particulières at hand, Blair could have felt well aware of the fact that his futuristic romance cut close to the reality of contemporary homosexual life in 1948 and 1949.
Woods adds: "Whenever I read Nineteen Eighty-Four I cannot help imagining, between its lines, the spectral presence of another novel, a gay novel called Nineteen Forty-Eight, in which two young Londoners called Winston and Julian fall in love with each other and struggle to sustain their relationship under the continuous threat of blackmail, exposure and arrest."303 Sure enough, the ghost stalking the lines of Nineteen Eighty-Four is another novel: a gay novelist's gay novel called Special Friendships.
The influence of Special Friendships upon Nineteen Eighty-Four signifies, in reality, the stamp of the Francophone304 Sonia Brownell. It is imaginable that the function of Special Friendships as proximate source for Nineteen Eighty-Four has been disregarded due to Sonia's sex. This discounting has occurred notwithstanding the widespread availability of Brownell's July 1946 review thereof, in a periodical manifestly connected to Francophone305 Eric (through his own publications therein, and via Cyril Connolly). The tributaries of Nineteen Eighty-Four ran through Blair's entire life.306 Deeper investigation of the influences of Special Friendships, and of Sonia Brownell, upon the product of Eric’s final years is incumbent.
B. Eric Blair
Alternatively, Eric already had read the Peyrefitte novel in 1945. On February 24, 1945, Eric wrote of revisiting little bookstalls in Paris.307 Well might Eric have sought out Les Amitiés particulières, because it had netted Peyrefitte the coveted French literary award, the Prix Théophraste-Renaudot, or Prix Renaudot, in 1944.308 And well might the quintessentially-English Eric have proved receptive to feeding a novelistic French-language source into his nightmarish English novel set in London. Around February 1944 he had read (the Russian) Evgenii I. Zamyatin's dystopian novel We, well-known as a source of Ninenteen Eighty-Four, in French.309
Upon his reacquaintance with Sonia in December 1945, Blair pressed the book upon Brownell. Eric's enthusiasm, one hypothesizes, generally was triggered by his longtime aversion to St. Cyprians. Eric was still more apt to share Peyrefitte's novel with Sonia because it proved reminiscent of the grammar-level boarding school which he had shared with her employer, Cyril. In 1946, Sonia discovered that the novel defined a common ground which she shared with Eric (given her history at the Convent of the Sacred Heart). In this reconstruction of events, Brownell fails to inspire Nineteen Eighty-Four via Peyrefitte. Instead, it is Blair who elicits Brownell's July 1946 review. In either interpretation, however, Les Amitiés Particulières affords the proximate source of Nineteen Eighty-Four.
This year marks the sixty-first since the death of Eric Blair. Because he died at the age of only forty-six, he left behind contemporary and successor-generation acquaintances who long survived him.310 Sonia Brownell Orwell died destitute in 1980.311 Further investigation of the sources of Nineteen Eighty-Four is urgent if the role of Sonia Brownell is the more readily to be fully recovered for posterity.312 Soon following 2011, Eric Blair, the gripping fictionalist of Nineteen Eighty-Four, must slip from living memory. He fades into that greater fiction, called history.
C. The First Mrs. Eric Blair
No, it need not be too late! James Joyce, too, continues to fascinate. He died in 1941. But fresh Joyce materials keep popping up.313
In 2005, D. J. Taylor announced the unearthing of a theretofore-unknown cache of letters by Eileen O'Shaughnessy. From 1936 until her death in 1945, Eileen had been the first Mrs. Eric Arthur Blair.314 These letters were published in The Lost Orwell,315 edited by Peter Davison.316 He also is the editor of The Complete Works of George Orwell.317 And in 2006, fresh light was cast upon young Eric's relations with Jacintha Buddicom.318
Now, on toward the resurrection of Sonia!
NONPROXIMATE SOURCES OF Nineteen Eighty-Four
A. Adolf Hitler
i. The Dystopia
Immanuel Goldstein's ostensibly suppressed exposé explains the durability of the Party's tyranny as depicted in Nineteen Eighty-Four:
The Party is not a class in the old sense of the word. It does not aim at transmitting power to its children, as such; and if there were no other way of keeping the ablest people at the top, it would be perfectly prepared to recruit an entire new generation from the ranks of the proletariat. In the crucial years, the fact that the Party was not a hereditary body did a great deal to neutralize opposition. The older kind of Socialist, who had been trained to fight against something called "class privilege," assumed that what is not hereditary cannot be permanent. He did not see that the continuity of an oligarchy need not be physical, nor did he pause to reflect that hereditary aristocracies have always been short-lived, whereas adoptive organizations such as the Catholic Church have sometimes lasted for hundreds or thousands of years. The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life, imposed by the dead upon the living. A ruling group is a ruling group as long as it can nominate its successors. The Party is not concerned with perpetuating its blood but with perpetuating itself. Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same.319
What was Blair's model example for the Party's self-perpetuation?
ii. The Nonproximate Source
In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler emphasized:
In this the Catholic Church can be regarded as a model example. The celibacy of its priests is a force compelling it to draw the future generation again and again from the masses of the broad people instead of from their own ranks. But it is this very significance of celibacy that is not at all recognized by most people. It is the cause of the incredibly vigorous strength which resides in this age-old institution. For through the fact that this gigantic army of spiritual dignitaries is continuously complemented from the lowest strata of the nations, the Church not only obtains its instinctive bond with the emotional world of the people, but also assures itself a sum of energy and active force which in such a form will forever exist only in the broad masses of the people. From this arises the amazing youthfulness of this gigantic organism, it spiritual suppleness and iron will-power.
It will be the task of a folkish state to make certain through its educational system that a continuous renewal of the existing intellectual classes through an influx of fresh blood from below takes place. The state has the obligation to exercise extreme care and precision in picking from the total number of national comrades the human material visibly most gifted by Nature and to use it in the service of the community. For the state and statesmen do not exist in order to provide individual classes with a living but to fulfill the tasks allotted to them.320
Hitler, of course, had never married. He had weighed ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood.321 Why suppose that Eric ("adoptive organizations such as the Catholic Church") ever read this passage? On March 21, 1940, he had published a review of the unabridged Mein Kampf.322
B. Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles
i. The Dystopia
Early in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith discovers a paperweight, in a frowsy shop:
It was a heavy lump of glass, curved on one side, flat on the other, making almost a hemisphere. There was a peculiar softness, as of rainwater, in both the color and the texture of the glass. At the heart of it, magnified by the curved surface, there was a strange, pink, convoluted object that recalled a rose or a sea anemone.
"What is it?" said Winston, fascinated.
"That's coral, that is," said the old man. "It must have come from the Indian Ocean. They used to kind of embed it in the glass. That wasn't made less than a hundred years ago. More, by the look of it."
"It's a beautiful thing," said Winston.
"It is a beautiful thing," said the other appreciatively. "But there's not many that'd say so nowadays." He coughed. "Now, if it so happened that you wanted to buy it, that'd cost you four dollars. I can remember when a thing like that would have fetched eight pounds, and eight pounds was—well, I can't work it out, but it was a lot of money. But who cares about genuine antiques nowadays—even the few that's left?"
Winston immediately paid over the four dollars and slid the coveted thing into his pocket. What appealed to him about it was not so much its beauty as the air it seemed to possess of belonging to an age quite different from the present one.323
Winston has a reverie about his paperweight "that in fact he was inside it, along with the mahogany bed and the gateleg table and the clock and the steel engraving and the paperweight itself. The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral was Julia’s life and his own, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal."324
Horrendous is the arrest of Winston and Julia in their hideaway-lovenest above the shop:
There was another crash. Someone had picked up the glass paperweight from the table and smashed it to pieces on the hearthstone.
The fragment of coral, a tiny crinkle of pink like a sugar rosebud from a cake, rolled across the mat. How small, thought Winston, how small it always was! There was a gasp and a thump behind him, and he received a violent kick on the ankle which nearly flung him off his balance. One of the men had smashed his fist into Julia's solar plexus, doubling her up like a pocket ruler.325
ii. The Nonproximate Source
The 1941 cinema film Citizen Kane supposedly was coauthored by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles. Therein, protagonist Charles Foster Kane (Welles) is a character based upon the American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. As he lies dying, Kane clasps a snowglobe. The snowglobe contains a small boy. Kane's cryptic dying word will trigger a biographical investigation giving the screenplay its impetus. That word is whispered. The expiring Kane drops his snowglobe, which shatters. At film's close, the audience learns Kane's dying word to be the brandname of a sled the boy Kane himself had played with, in the snow—if the audience can read what the brandname stamped on the sled says. It is as if the moribund Kane sees himself inside the snowglobe, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal.
Winston reaches toward a vanished past, as it is preserved in his paperweight. Blair’s handwritten original has Winston tell Julia that his paperweight "can tell you something abt the nineteenth century, if you can read what is says."326 Kane's lost, nineteenth century past is symbolized by the boy in his snowglobe. The smashing of Winston's paperweight accompanies the smashup of Winston's and Julia's surreptitious affair. The irretrievable loss of Kane's snowglobe accompanies the irretrievable loss of Kane's life.
Well might political novelist Blair have enjoyed Citizen Kane. It is a political film. Kane marries the niece of the President of the United States. Kane runs for Governor of New York (as Hearst ran for Mayor of New York City). Kane incites the Spanish-American War (as had Hearst). Kane publishes downscale newspapers. Blair studied workingclass publications. Well might Eric have identified with Kane and Kane's snowglobe. Novelist J.M. Coetzee, in a fictionalized autobiography, has a supposed ex-lover reminisce of Coetzee as not being "constructed to fit into or be fitted into. Like a sphere. Like a glass ball. There was no way to connect with him."327 Kane lives and dies an emotional isolate. Eric lived notoriously nongregariously, and was particularly maladroit with women.
Within Winston's paperweight shelters a coral fragment "like a sugar rosebud." Kane's final word—the brandname of his boyhood sled—is "Rosebud." How many famed rosebud/but not really a rosebud in the glass-stories are there? You know two.328 Novelist John Updike had a male protagonist reflect upon his bedfellow's assets: "sly cunt, coral the petals, more purple within,"329 "Oh and lovely also her coral cunt, coral into burgundy."330. Widely-rumored is the supposition that rosebud was Hearst's moniker for the nethermost concavity of his mistress, Marion Davies.331 Coral and rosebud intersect, in a lovenest, in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Winston's paperweight reverie passage in the surviving draft closes (as originally handwritten): "And the fancy occurred to him that the glass was the room he was in, an unbreakable bubble of nineteenth century air & the coral was Julia's life and his own, a forbidden flower blooming at the heart of the crystal."332 Sex, like Julia herself, is a forbidden flower in Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Winston identifies a forbidden flower with a coral fragment "like a sugar rosebud." How did Eric think of his sweetie Sonia's corner pocket?
When Winston purchased his paperweight: "Winston immediately paid over the four dollars and slid the coveted thing into his pocket."333 The pocket detail is superfluous to the storyline. In Citizen Kane, after the aged Kane's second wife (Susan Alexander Kane) deserts him, Kane mutters "Rosebud" while inserting his snowglobe into his suitpocket. Enraged by her desertion, Kane has smashed-up her bedroom. Comparably, upon the arrest of Winston and Julia in their bedroom-hideaway: "Something crashed on to the bed behind Winston's back. The head of a ladder had been thrust through the window and had burst in the frames."334 The bedroom-window crash detail is superfluous to the storyline.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Part II opens with the conspicuously elder, married Winston encountering his younger (age 26) future mistress (Julia) in a long corridor.335 The female slips the male a lovenote.336 In Citizen Kane, the conspicuously elder, married Kane first meets his younger (age 21) future mistress (Susan Alexander) on a sidewalk. The female invites the male to her home. Winston and his mistress, denied privacy in their homes to appease the totalitarian system, must hunt seclusion for sex. Winston will discover a lovenest to share. But there will they be entrapped as love rebels in their horrendous arrest. Kane and his future mistress lack privacy in her home, her door being kept open (during calls from gentlemen) to appease her landlady. But Kane's affair will be exposed by Kane's political opposition. Newspapers proclaim: "Candidate Kane caught in love nest with 'singer'/Entrapped by Wife As Love Pirate, Kane Refuses to Quit Race/Susan Alexander Revealed as Woman Nesting With Publisher While He Was Prating About Morality."337
As observed in the text, at the close of Nineteen Eighty-Four the reader meets anew the subdued Julia. Winston and Julia, sit on two chairs to review their disillusioning mutual betrayal.338 Comparably, in Citizen Kane, Susan Alexander Kane (who has lost all of her money) reviews disillusionedly her marriage to Charles, while seated at a table with a male reporter researching Kane's biography.
iii. The Dystopia, Again
Additional Nineteen Eighty-Four-Citizen Kane links less clearcut than a rosebud might obtain. Some of Citizen Kane could have influenced Blair subconsciously. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, as already observed, Winston discards into a memory hole evidence of a Party frameup of so-called Party opponents: "Then, without uncovering it again, he dropped the photograph into the memory hole, along with some other waste papers. Within another minute, perhaps, it would have crumbled into ashes."339 A memory hole paper "…would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building."340 Yes, paperwork could be dropped "into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames."341 For: "There were vast repositories where the corrected documents were stored, and the hidden furnaces where the original copies were destroyed."342 Thereby: "All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place."343
Winston's newspaper photograph included the framed-up Rutherford: "Rutherford had once been a famous caricaturist, whose brutal cartoons had helped inflame popular opinion before and during the Revolution."344 His were "protuberant lips."345 Winston's photograph had displayed Rutherford when Rutherford had been in New York.346
iv. The Nonproximate Source, Again
What happens to Kane's Rosebud sled, the name of which impels the movie's biographical investigation? That historical investigation gutters out for want of identifying Kane's clueword. Kane's sled is flung unappreciated into a fiery furnace, to turn into smoke. The screen audience witnesses its painted name burn off ("palimpsest, scraped clean"). The biography of Kane, like that of Rutherford, goes that much unevidenced.
Curiously, Kane is a New York newspaper publisher. And political cartoons? A political foe remonstrates over Kane's brutal depiction of him as a convict in stripes, when his family might see his picture in Kane's inflammatory newspaper. But what of Rutherford's protuberant lips? One biographer describes Welles: "That mouth was so daringly frilled and extended it might have come from Firbank or Beardsley."347 Welles's were "wide lips."348 Orson's daughter recorded the first time she saw Citizen Kane: "The black-and-white images were so compelling—the gigantic close-up of Kane's lips as he lies on his deathbed murmuring 'Rosebud,'…."349
v. Nineteen Eighty-Four and 1946
Seriously, might Eric have been reminded of the 1941 Citizen Kane—or even first informed of it—between beginning Nineteen Eighty-Four around August 1946 and having it typed in its initial form during summer 1947? In June 1946 Citizen Kane was first being shown in Paris. Simone de Beauvoir, publicly linked, firmly, to Jean-Paul Sartre and to existentialism, was impressed350: "Citizen Kane was finally shown in Paris: yes, Orson Welles had revolutionized the cinema."351 ("On projecta enfin à Paris Citizen Kane: oui, Orson Welles avait bouleversé le cinema."352)
Might Left Bank existentialist buzz reach Blair? In summer 1946, Cyril Connelly vacationed on the continent, beginning in France.353 In Paris, Connelly reported that the Left Bank was back to its prewar self.354 Chronicles Spurling: "In the summer of 1946, Sonia was in Paris, turning heads among the existentialists of the Left Bank."355 Eric was back in London in autumn 1946,356 spending his next seven months at Canonbury Square.357 Meanwhile, Sonia was in London.358 Cyril would depart for America, but not until November 19.359
Or is Simone setting up the reader ("Orson Welles") for a satirical passage? Two paragraphs thereafter, she purportedly remembers:
On July 2nd, the Americans exploded a new bomb on Bikini. Personally, I was not—and have never been—much affected by the dangers of the atomic bomb; but many people were very alarmed. When Jean Nocher announced during a radio program that a chain reaction had accidently been started, that matter was beginning to disintegrate, and that within a few hours we should all be dead, people believed him. "I was with my father," Mouloudji told me. "We went out for a walk, and we thought, It's the end of the world; we were very, very sad."360
Le 2 juillet, l’Amérique fit exploser a Bikini une nouvelle bombe. Personnellement je n'étais pas—je n'ai jamais été—sensible au danger atomique; mais il effrayait beaucoup de gens. Quand, dans une émission radiophonique, Jean Nocher annonça que par suite d'un accident la matière avait commencé de se désagréger en chaîne, que d'ici quelques heures nous allions tous mourir, on le crut. «J'étais avec mon père, me raconta Mouloudji, nous sommes descendus nous promener, nous pensions: c'est la fin du monde; et nous étions bien tristes.»361
Is Simone testing how many readers could catch her Wellesian, 1938 "radio program" War of the Worlds-panic suggestion?
C. Alexis de Tocqueville
i. The Dystopia
Early in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston reads the three slogans of the Party:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH 362
ii. The Nonproximate Source
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) had written in Notes on the French Revolution and Napoleon363:
Above all since the study of Roman law has spread, the example of all the nations of Europe has proved that there is no tyranny which lacks for lawyers any more than it lacks for executioners. These two races abound under the hand of a despot, and there is no usurper so mediocre that he does not find a jurist to prove that violence is right, tyranny order, and servitude progress.364
Depuis surtout que l'étude du Droit romain s'est répandue, exemple de toutes les nations de l’Europe a prouvé qu'il n'y a pas de tyrannie qui ait manqué de légistes plus que de bourreaux.
Ces deux races foisonnent sous la main d'un despote, et il n'y a pas de si médiocre usurpateur qui n’ait rencontré un jurisconsulte pour prouver que la violence était le droit, la tyrannie l’ordre, et la servitude le progrès...365
Why suppose that Eric ever read this passage ("violence is right, tyranny order, and servitude progress")?
Eric's solitary reference to Tocqueville immediately preceded Eric's beginning to write Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is in Eric's March 29, 1946, review366 of David Mathew's Acton: The Formative Years.367 Mathew's work encompassed an entire chapter entitled "Tocqueville."368 So Eric in 1946 definitely was mindful of Tocqueville. When might Eric have read Notes on the French Revolution and Napoleon? Eric lived in Paris from 1928369 until December 1929.370 Indeed: "In the autumn of 1928 his first article as a professional writer appeared in print. It was a piece called 'La Censure en Angleterre' and was published in Henri Barbusse's paper, Monde, on October 6 ."371
1 See, e.g., William Steinhoff, George Orwell and the Origins of »1984« (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1975).
2 Clive Fisher, Cyril Connolly: A Nostalgic Life (London: MacMillan, 1995), 284.
3 Jeremy Lewis, Connolly: A Life (London: Pimlico, 1998), 342.
4 Ibid., 422.
5 Ibid., 11; Fisher, Cyril Connolly, 23.
6 Hilary Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Brownell (New York: Counterpoint, 2003), 65.
8 D. J. Taylor, Orwell: The Life (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2003), 364.
9 Michael Shelden, Orwell: The Authorized Biography (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), 409.
11 Taylor, Orwell: The Life, 372.
12 Shelden, The Authorized Biography, 402.
13 Ibid., 409.
14 Politics and the English Language, in The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, eds. Sonia Brownell and Ian Angus (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968), 4.127.
15 See the inclusion thereof in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, ed. Irving Howe (2nd ed., New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1963), 248.
16 Ibid., 198.
Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood imaginatively posits:
In fact, Orwell is much more optimistic than people give him credit for... He has a text at the end of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Most people think the book ends when Winston Smith comes to love Big Brother. But it doesn’t. It ends with a note on Newspeak, which is written in the past tense, in standard English—which means that, at the time of writing the note, Newspeak is a thing of the past.
Geoff Hancock, "Tightrope-Walking Over Niagara Falls," in Waltzing Again: New and Selected Conversations with Margaret Atwood, ed. Earl G. Ingersoll (Princeton, NJ: Ontario Review Press, 2006), 90, 116. But the Winston Smith story concludes with "THE END." Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 197. The Appendix, written in 1949's standard English, instead concludes with "1949." Ibid., 205. So the Appendix explicitly emerges from not a post-Newspeak future (optimistically signifying that Smith's Oceania had been transcended), but from a 1949 omniscient narrator explaining how Newspeak actually might develop (pessimistically ringing an alarm). The past tense-using narrator, being omniscient, shares a Godlike insight into every time.
17 Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department, 93.
18 Taylor, Orwell: The Life, 375.
19 Such, Such Were the Joys, in The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, 4.330.
20 Shelden, The Authorized Biography, 431.
22 Sonia Brownell, "Les Amitiés Particulières," Horizon 64 (No. 79, July 1946), 14.
23 Roger Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières (Paris: Jean Vigneau, 1945). "Hilary Spurling recently suggested that Orwell found a model for the Winston-Julia affair in a review of Roger Peyrefitte's novel Les Amitiés Particulières, published by Sonia Brownell in the July 1946 issue of Horizon." Jonathan Rose, "Abolishing the Orgasm: Orwell and the Politics of Sexual Persecution," in George Orwell: Into the Twenty-First Century, eds. Thomas Cushman and John Rodden (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2004), 23, 23-24.
24 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières (Marseille: Jean Vigneau, 1943) (Toulouse: Impr. régionale).
25 Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department, 67-68.
26 Ibid., 68.
27 Ibid., 100.
28 Ibid., 150.
29 Ibid., 149.
30 Ibid., 150.
31 Ibid., 100.
32 Ibid., 175.
34 Ibid., 151.
36 Ibid., 152.
37 Ibid., 176.
38 Ibid., 101.
39 Ibid., 101-02.
40 Brownell, "Les Amitiés Particulières," 64-65.
41 Ibid., 65.
42 Ibid., 66-67.
43 Ibid., 67.
44 Ibid., 68. Brownell's revelation that "the double vision" made possible the Catholic Church's temporal power in society where divorce was impossible but every spouse took a lover, recalls the Orwellian dystopia ruled by a Party with the ideology called Ingsoc. Therein:
Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt. Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality: by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge, and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth. Ultimately it is by means of doublethink that the Party has been able - and may, for all we know, continue to be able for thousands of years - to arrest the course of history.
Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 142-43.
45 Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department, 14.
46 Ibid., 10. Authoritarian education "leads to the feeling that the only possible relation between two human beings who cooperate is that in which one issues orders and the other obeys them." Bertrand Russell, Power: A New Social Analysis (New York: Routledge, 1996), 13.
47 Shelden, The Authorized Biography, 406:
There is a technical difference between a "nun" and a "sister." A nun refers to a woman religious who is cloistered, who stays out of the public world and commits herself to a life of prayer. A sister is a woman religious who, while taking vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience also is committed to acting out her religious convictions in the world. Sisters work as teachers, missionaries, and medical workers and perform other duties useful in public life. It is unclear in Lilies of the Field if these are nuns or sisters, and so I have used the terms interchangeably—as they often are used in popular parlance.
Jeffrey Marlett, "Life on the Frontier: Lilies of the Field," (1963), in Catholics in the Movies, ed. Colleen McDonnell (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 149, 173 n. 1 (Marlett's emphases).
48 Gordon Bowker, Inside George Orwell: A Biography (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003), 21. "If young Eric was first taught by Catholic nuns as a lone boy in a school of girls, it would explain two important and enduring aspects of his complex personality - his unremitting hostility towards Roman Catholicism and an acute sense of guilt." Ibid., 21-22. According to Jacintha Buddicom, Blair had attended the baby class run by nuns at the Anglican Convent School, in Henley. Jacintha Buddicom, Eric and Us: A Remembrance of George Orwell (Chichester: Finlay Publisher, 2006), 21. "As Henley was mainly Protestant, non-Catholics were probably admitted and simply told others that the convent was Anglican." Bowker, Inside George Orwell, 21.
49 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 134. Eric's first wife, Eileen O'Shaughnessy Blair, during the winter of 1944-1945 had sat up in bed at night to read Eric's daily production of Animal Farm. Shelden, The Authorized Biography, 372.
50 Ibid., 95-96. Eric and Eileen O'Shaughnessy Blair had conversed at night in bed about the follies and foibles of animals on an imaginary farm. Peter Stansky and William Abrams, Orwell: The Transformation (New York: Knopf, 1980), 172.
51 Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department, 18-19; Shelden, The Authorized Biography, 408.
52 Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department, 19-20.
53 Ibid., 20.
54 Shelden, The Authorized Biography, 409.
56 Ibid., 410.
57 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 90.
58 Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department.
59 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 8.
60 Ibid., 86-87. According to Jonathan Rose's review of Christopher Hilliard, To Exercise Our Talents: The Democratization of Writing in Britain (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006):
To meet the insatiable demand for formula fiction, plot construction became an important outsourcing industry. Freelancers could resort to Mack's Plot Service, which in the 1930s advertised "Ordinary Plots – 2s. 6d. each; Extra Strong Plots – 5s each", and, for an investment of thirty shillings, Mack’s Plot Formula ("Will construct a saleable plot in fifteen minutes"). Martin Walter, "Controller of the British Institute of Fiction Writing Science," claimed to have deconstructed more than 5,000 stories and distilled them all down to what Hilliard calls "a universal grammar of plot," a concise outline printed on a handy card which could be consulted whenever the owner stumbled across a promising story idea. It was George Orwell who asked the obvious question: "If these people really know how to make money out of writing, why aren't they just doing it instead of peddling their secret at 5/- a time?". Walter cried foul, but his system would be damningly immortalized in the novel-writing machines of Nineteen Eighty-four.
Jonathan Rose, "Book Review," TLS, Oct. 20, 2006, 25.
61 Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department, 61. How reliable was Connolly's literary acumen? "Cyril Connolly thought that scanning the first page of a novel was enough to decide whether or not it was going to be any good." Thomas Jones, "Short Cuts," London Review of Books, July 20, 2006, 20.
62 Bernard Crick, George Orwell: A Life (London: Secker and Warburg, 1980), 168.
63 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 189.
64 Ibid., 190 (Orwell’s emphases).
65 Ibid., 194 (Orwell's emphasis). In her review of Doina Cornea, Puterea Fragilitatii, ed. Gabriel Liceanu (Bucharest: Humanitas, 2006), Roxana Pascariu recalled: "But the Communist social system in Romania was not only immoral but also amoral, persistently working to destroy basic human relations. Its ultimate goal was the destruction of the individual's inner self, for total mass manipulation." Roxana Pascariu, "Book Review", TLS, Oct. 13, 2006, 29.
66 Armando Valladares, "Castro's Gulag," Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2007, A16.
67 Letter to Julian Symons, in The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, 4.502-03.
68 Crick, George Orwell: A Life, 409.
69 Bowker, Inside George Orwell, 405.
70 Peter Davison, "Introduction," in George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Facsimile of the Extant Manuscript, ed. Peter Davison (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984), ix, xii.
71 Ibid., xi.
72 Ibid., xii.
73 Leonard Shengold, Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation (New York: Ballantine Books, 1989), 84-85.
74 Ibid., 86.
75 Octave Mirbeau, Torture Garden, trans. Alvah C. Bessie (New York: Citadel Press, 1953).
76 Shengold, Soul Murder, 87.
77 Christina Gerhardt, "Book Review: Kafka's Travels: Exoticism, Colonialism, and the Traffic of Writing by John Kilcosky," Transit 2:2 (2006), 1, 2.
78 Mirbeau, Torture Garden, 190-94.
79 Ibid., 190.
80 Ibid., 192-93.
81 Ibid., 193.
82 Ibid., 194.
83 José Brunner, "Worldly Powers: A Political Reading of the Rat Man," American Imago 2:2 (2001). muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_imago/v058/58.2brunner.html.
84 Shengold, Soul Murder, 87.
85 Sigmund Freud, "Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis" (1909), in The Standard Edition of Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud: Two Case Histories trans. James Strachey (London: The Hogarth Press, 1955), 151, 166 (Freud's emphasis).
86 Ibid., 167 (Freud's emphasis).
87 Ibid., 167 n. 1.
88 Beware overuse of an explanatory tool:
Shame, which is considered to be a feminine characteristic par excellence but is far more a matter of convention than might be supposed, has as its purpose, we believe, concealment of genital deficiency. We are not forgetting that at a later time shame takes on other functions. It seems that women have made few contributions to the discoveries and inventions in the history of civilization; there is, however, one technique which they may have invented—that of plaiting and weaving. If that is so, we should be tempted to guess the unconscious motive for the achievement. Nature herself would seem to have given the model which this achievement imitates by causing the growth at maturity of the pubic hair that conceals the genitals. The step that remained to be taken lay in making the threads adhere to one another, while on the body they stick into the skin and are only matted together. If you reject this idea as fantastic and regard my belief in the influence of lack of a penis on the configuration of femininity as an idée fixe, I am of course defenceless.
Sigmund Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, ed. and trans. James Strachey (New York: Penguin Books, 1981), 166-67.
89 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 194.
90 Freud, "Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis", 166.
91 Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 188. Presumably, Blair drew directly upon Freud, the man of impalement and (the emphasized) "Rats." Blair, like Freud, uses the plural, ibid., although Mirbeau's rat is solitary.
92 Leonard Shengold, Soul Murder Revisited: Thoughts About Therapy, Hate, Love, and Memory (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 276. "It may be instructive to document a failure of healing, here from literature rather than from clinical practice." Ibid.
93 Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Facsimile of the Extant Manuscript, 375.
94 George Orwell, Diaries, ed. Peter Davison (London: Harvill Secker, 2009).
95 Taylor, Orwell: The Life.
96 D.J. Taylor, "Rats Very Bad," TLS, Jan. 15, 2010, 23.
97 Freud, "Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis," 278.
99 Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 86.
100 Ibid., 80. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner notes: "Julia is 26 years old, which means that 13 years separate her from Winston—another sinister touch." Richard A. Posner, Law and Literature (3rd ed., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 407 n. 35. Of course, Julia's age is twice thirteen, and Winston's age is thrice thirteen.
101 Freud, "Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis," 279.
102 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 44.
103 Freud, "Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis," 279.
104 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 101. Katherine separates from Winston before the novel opens. Ibid., 45.
105 Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Facsimile of the Extant Manuscript, 95. Well might Eric heed psychoanalysis in writing Nineteen Eighty-Four. For Blair's friend Arthur Koestler, Anne Applebaum, "Yesterday's Man?," New York Review of Books, Feb. 11, 2010, 10, had referred in Darkness At Noon to Freud, Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon, trans. Daphne Hardy (New York: MacMillan, 1941), 255-56 ("greatest and soberest of modern psychologists") and to Freud's discussion, Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, trans. James Strachey (New York: Norton, 2005), 35-37, of the "oceanic sense." And Darkness at Noon is well-known to be an inspiration of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Ibid., 253.
106 Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Facsimile of the Extant Manuscript, 253.
107 Mirbeau, Torture Garden, 194.
108 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 8.
109 Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Facsimile of the Extant Manuscript, 29.
110 Mirbeau, Torture Garden, vi.
111 Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Facsimile of the Extant Manuscript, xiv.
112 Adrian Tahourdin, "Book Review," TLS, Oct. 13, 2006, 34.
113 "I am writing in English this time because I am not certain of expressing myself adequately in French. I just want to tell you how terribly sorry I was to hear the sad news about the death of your daughter." "To R. N. Reinhault," in The Lost Orwell: Being a Supplement to The Complete Works of George Orwell, compiled and annotated by Peter Davison (London: Timewell Press, 2006), 60.
114 Crick, George Orwell: A Life, 63.
115 Mirbeau, Torture Garden, 194.
116 Octave Mirbeau, Le Jardin des Supplices, ed. Eugène Fasquelle (Paris: 1928), 186.
117 creuser, in Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary, eds. Marie-Helene Correard, Valerie Grundy, Jena-Beloit Ormal-Grenon and Nicholas Rollin (4th ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 211 (def. 1).
118 Shelden, Orwell: The Authorized Biography, 405.
119 Ibid., 406.
120 Politics and the English Language, 127.
121 "2958. Politics and the English Language," Horizon, April 1946, in The Complete Works of George Orwell: Smothered Under Journalism, ed. Peter Davison (London: Secker and Warburg, 2001), 18.220.
122 Ibid. Even today, the date of authorship of one element of this essay conceivably might be ascertained to a precision of several days. Eric quotes a long sentence, relative to which he has told his reader: "By this morning's post I have received a pamphlet dealing with conditions in Germany." Politics and the English Language, 137. Did Eric write before, or simultaneously with, pursuing Sonia? What pamphlets about the Allies' occupation of Germany were mailed between November 1945 and March 1946? What date was the one including Eric's quotation dispatched?
123 See, e.g., Orwell, Politics and the English Language, in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 248.
124 Orwell, Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 198.
125 Orwell, Politics and the English Language, in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Source Criticism, 258.
126 H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler, The King's English (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1947) (3rd ed., 1931).
127 Ibid., 11, 16.
129 Ibid., 212.
Randolph Quirk, "1984 and '1984'," London Review of Books, Feb. 16-29, 1984, 10-11, makes a serious critique of Orwell's ideas of language. Quirk not only describes the "intellectual framework displayed in the principles of Newspeak" as "very weak and damagingly inconsistent," but also notes Orwell’s unacknowledged debts to the Fowler brothers' 1906 work The King's English, whose first page sets out the five maxims that Orwell simply expanded in his "Politics and the English Language."
Daphne Patai, The Orwell Mystique: A Study in Male Ideology (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1984), 317 n. 2.
130 "2816. Notes for Politics and the English Language," in The Complete Works of George Orwell: I Belong to the Left, ed. Peter Davison (London: Secker and Warburg, 2001), 17.432.
131 Ibid., 433-38.
132 Ibid., 437-38.
133 Ibid., 132.
134 Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 174. Blair seemingly drew upon the film Citizen Kane while writing Nineteen Eighty-Four. See Appendix B, infra. When O'Brien discounts individual authorship, was Eric aware of the authorship controversy over the script (www.imsdb.com/scripts/Citizen-Kane.html) of Citizen Kane? (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_Kane).
135 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 13.
136 But the conspicuously non-British, Michael Scammell, Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic (New York: Random House, 2009), Arthur Koestler authored a novel with tom-toms. Koestler, Darkness at Noon, 141.
137 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 11.
138 Fisher, Connolly: A Nostalgic Life, 24.
139 Ibid. "We did not know Eric at the age of seven, but by the time he was eleven, when we did, there was no sign of association with anyone else at all." Buddicom, Eric and Us, 16.
Our background and his were so closely interwoven that to understand what sort of boy the young Eric was at home, one must also know what kind of children the young Buddicoms were. Why did he choose us so steadfastly to be his closest — almost his only — friends? The answer is his own secret.
140 Buddicom, Eric and Us, 17.
But having found and, apparently, been well pleased with us, I do not think he needed any other friends beyond the schoolfriend he occasionally and appreciatively referred to as 'CC': presumably Cyril Connolly but the full name was never mentioned and I never met him. Eric was a naturally reserved and rather self-contained boy: and we three Buddicoms, in our different ways, between us shared his interests and gave him all the companionship he wished for outside his family.
142 Elizabeth Cowling, Visiting Picasso: The Notebooks and Letters of Roland Penrose (London: Thames and Hudson, 2006), 302, 387 n. 92.
143 Roger Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, trans. Felix Giovanelli (New York: Vanguard Press, 1950), 184.
144 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés Particulières, 207.
145 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 30.
146 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés Particulières, 36.
147 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 76.
148 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés Particulières, 87-88.
149 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 97.
150 Ibid., 92.
151 Lewis, Connolly: A Life, 41.
152 Ibid., 304.
153 Ibid., 41; Cyril Connally, Enemies of Promise (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).
154 Inside the Whale, in The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, eds. Sonia Brownell and Ian Angus (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968), 1.493, 1.517.
155 Lewis, Connolly: A Life, 41.
156 Ibid., 42.
157 Ibid., 43.
158 Ibid., 42.
159 Ibid., 41.
160 Ibid., 42.
161 Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Facsimile of the Extant Manuscript, 241. Concededly, by July 1945 Blair had found a nurse-housekeeper for himself and his infant son: Susan Watson. Sheldon, The Authorized Biography, 386. Her boyfriend David Holbrook, visited her and Eric on Jura. Taylor, Orwell: The Life, 378. Holbrook and Watson sneaked upstairs for surreptitious glances at the Nineteen Eighty-Four manuscript. Ibid. In an autobiographical novel with a section set on Jura, ibid., Holbrook has his David and Susan characters similarly snoop on his Blair character's writings. Ibid., 379 ("Nosy").
162 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 6.
163 Frances Finnegan, Do Pennance or Perish: Magdalen Asylums in Ireland (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 21-22.
164 Ibid., 21.
165 Ibid., 29.
166 Ibid., 232.
167 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 14.
168 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés Particulières, 17-18.
169 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 140.
170 Ibid., 4.
171 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 13.
172 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés Particulières, 16.
173 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 154.
174 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés Particulières, 174.
175 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 187.
176 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés Particulières, 21.
177 Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 175.
178 Ibid., 163.
179 John J. Miller, "Book Review," Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2006, D11.
180 Lena Cowen Orlin, Locating Privacy in Tudor London (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 215-16.
181 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, "Translator's Note," trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978).
182 Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 53.
183 Ibid., 53-54.
184 Ibid., 54, 103.
185 Ibid., 54.
186 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 41.
187 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 48.
188 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 41.
189 Ibid., 42.
190 Ibid., 41-42.
191 Ibid., 46.
192 Daphne Patai, The Orwell Mystique, 226.
193 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 42.
194 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 49.
195 Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 106, 111.
196 Ibid., 112.
197 Offered Patrick Reilly of Winston's "Irish-named opponent," O'Brien: "The Catholic name too sits well with the devout exponent of the new religion." Patrick Reilly, Nineteen Eighty-Four: Past, Present, and Future (Boston: Twayne, 1989), 65. Posner opines that O'Brien's "Irish name reinforces the link that the novel forges between Catholicism and totalitarianism." Posner, Law and Literature, 406.
198 Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 114.
199 Ibid., 113-14.
200 Ibid., 115.
201 Ibid., 9.
202 Ibid., 116.
203 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 200.
204 Ibid., 200-01.
205 Ibid., 204.
206 Ibid., 217.
207 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 245.
208 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 183.
209 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 206.
210 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 185.
211 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 209.
212 Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 104.
213 Ibid., 106.
214 Daphne Patai, The Orwell Mystique, 230.
215 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 200.
216 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 226
217 Crick, George Orwell: A Life, 408.
218 Ibid., 409.
219 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 142.
220 Ibid., 174.
221 Ibid., 165. Theorists of Presentism (in vogue in 2011, whether or not in Nineteen Eighty-Four) posit that only what is present is real. Robin Le Poidevin, The Images of Time: An Essay on Temporal Representation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 63. So there we can obtain no events to be past. Ibid., 63-64. For presentists, an event like awakening an hour ago is external to any reality that could render true a memory-belief thereof. Ibid., 71.
222 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 143, 77.
223 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 89.
224 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 325.
226 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 369.
227 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 327.
228 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 372.
229 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 245.
230 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 278-79.
231 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 170 (Orwell's emphasis).
232 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 327.
233 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 371.
234 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 169.
235 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 202.
236 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 228.
237 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 52.
238 Ibid., 195.
239 Ibid., 66-68, 97, 119, 148.
240 Buddicom, Eric and Us, 72.
241 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 304, 390.
242 Ibid., 98.
243 Ibid., 99, 214.
244 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 28.
245 Ibid., 81.
246 Ibid., 108-09.
247 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 28-29.
248 Ibid., 56.
249 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 108.
250 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 145.
251 Ibid., 148.
252 Ibid., 159.
253 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 180.
254 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 187.
255 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 114.
256 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 128.
257 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 17.
258 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 24.
259 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 29.
260 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 160.
261 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 253.
262 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 288.
263 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 253.
264 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 288.
265 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 3, 80.
266 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 233, 392.
267 A political prison-barber, with whom it is forbidden to chat, is found in Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon, 124-25.
268 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 160.
269 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 292.
270 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 333.
271 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 292.
272 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 333.
273 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 8.
274 Ibid., 12.
275 Ibid., 81.
276 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 126.
277 Ibid., 143.
278 Ibid., 182.
279 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 205.
280 Brownell, "Les Amitiés particulières," 65.
281 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 119.
282 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 6.
283 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 9.
284 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 155.
285 Ibid., 156.
286 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 176.
287 Taylor, Orwell: The Life, 35.
288 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 141.
289 Such, Such Were the Joys, 353.
290 Ibid., 351.
291 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 51-52.
292 Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 60-61.
293 Such, Such Were the Joys, 353-54 (Orwell's emphases).
294 Mark 9:42 (King James).
295 Isaiah 1:18 (King James).
296 Peyrefitte, Special Friendships, 243; Peyrefitte, Les Amitiés particulières, 277 ("Songez à la parole divine: «Malheur à l'homme qui scandalise un enfant!»"). Of course, Blair (but not Peyrefitte's priests) read the King James Version of the Bible.
297 The Cory Book Service, established in 1952, Martin B. Duberman, Left Out: The Politics of Exclusion: Essays 1964-2002 (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2002), 72, selected gay-themed titles monthly, usually of high quality, including Special Friendships. Ibid., 73.
298 Davison, "Introduction" in George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, ix.
299 Ibid., xvi.
300 Gregory Woods, A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition (Hong Kong: World Print, 1999).
301 Ibid., 264.
302 Ibid., 323, 334-35.
303 Ibid., 266.
304 Recalls Hilary Spurling of Brownell in 1935:
There could be no question of university, but her mother did the next best thing by packing her off for a year to French-speaking Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The plan was for her to board with a sister of the Protestant pastor, whose daughter Madeleine was the same age as she was, and take courses at the local commercial college in French literature and language. The nine months spent in Neuchâtel stamped her permanently for good and ill.
French became from now on for Sonia the joyful, liberating language of freedom, opportunity and pleasure.
Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department, 18.
305 See, e.g., George Orwell, Correspondence avec son Traducteur René-Noël Raimbault: Correspondance inédite 1934-1935 (Paris: Editions Jean-Michel Place, 2006).
306 Crick, 412. "Scholars have not found it easy to date when Orwell began sustained work on what became Nineteen Eighty-Four nor, perhaps, unearthed all the influences that inspired this novel." The Lost Orwell: Being a Supplement to »The Complete Works of George Orwell«, 128.
307 "Paris Puts a Gay Face on Her Miseries," in The Lost Orwell: Being a Supplement to The Complete Works of George Orwell, 134, 135. "Les bouquins, the book-filled barrows on the Banks of the Seine, are familiar to all visitors to Paris." J.C., "NB: Refusal Rules," TLS, Dec. 5, 2008, at 32.
As explained in the text, the odd configurations of their habitations allow both Winston and George to minimze surveillance. This convenient layout of Winston's hoursehold architecture is revealed in the first pages of Blair's dystopian novel. Prof. Daniel J. Leab reports that Blair had written his initial dozen pages by June 25, 1945. George Orwell: An Exhibition from the Collection of Daniel J. Leab (Brown University, Fall 1997), at 31 (Selection 29a).
(www.brown.edu/Facilities/University_Library/libs/hay/collections/orwell/leab.html. This follows by over four months Blair's visiting Paris bookstalls, and precedes by over a year Sonia's review of Peyrefitte.
308 Le Site officiel du Prix Théophraste Renaudot, RENAUDOT/Palmarès, 2 (prixrenaudot.free.fr/palmares.htm). Too, well might the politically-alert Blair have found Peyrefitte in the Parisian air, because Peyrefitte in February 1945 was dismissed from employment by the French provisional government on suspicion of collaboration.
309 Gillian Fenwick, George Orwell: A Bibliography (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1998), 126, 160 n. 2.
So rhymes and runes are cast once more:
Reflecting through the written page
We trace beyond death’s distant door
The dream days of our golden age.
Some foreprint of a master-plan
With children other children –
The child is father to the man –
George Orwell once was Eric Blair.
Buddicom, Eric and Us, 164.
311 Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department, 175.
312 Sigmund Freud, Octave Mirbeau, Ernst Lanzer, Leonard Shengold, Roger Peyrefitte and Hilary Spurling are absent from the Index of Ian Slater, Orwell: The Road to Airstrip One (2nd ed., Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003).
313 Brenda Maddox, "Roots of Bloom: James Joyce in 'Judapest'," TLS, June 30, 2006, 14.
314 D. J. Taylor, "Another Piece of the Puzzle," The Guardian, Dec. 10, 2005; http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1662798,00.html (last visited July 21, 2006).
315 The Lost Orwell: Being a Supplement to »The Complete Works of George Orwell«, 62-82.
316 J. C., NB, TLS, June 9, 2006, 18.
This was another subject under discussion that September evening, and I think – though it might have been another time, it was always a popular subject with us – it was then that we decided on the format for his Collected Works. It was to be a Uniform Edition, and we argued at length on the respective merits of rather small books bound in red leather with gold lettering like my family’s Kiplings, or somewhat larger in a chase dark blue with silver, to which Eric was finally more inclined.
Buddicom, Eric and Us, 78.
318 Gordon Bowker, "Blair Pounces," TLS, Feb. 23, 2007, 15.; Dione Venables, Postscript to Eric & Us, in Buddicom, Eric and Us, 169-89. Jacintha's cousin Dione Venables submits that the intellectual Eric remained dedicated to Jacintha through 27 years of separation, including years Eric had spent toiling as a young man abroad. Ibid., 169, 185, 187 and 189. But does this seem incredible? Where will one find such a man?
Where indeed. For such dedication has been proved. In the Soviet Union's Kengir penal site, the sexes were segregated. Therein,
...Lithuanian women were married across the wall to Lithuanian men who they had never seen or met; and the Lithuanian Roman Catholic priest (also, of course, a prisoner in the standard pea jacket) would provide written documentation that so-and-so and so-and-so had been joined for eternity in holy matrimony in the eyes of God. In this marriage with an unknown prisoner on the other side of a wall—and for Roman Catholic women such a marriage was irreversible and sacred—I hear a choir of angels. It is like the unselfish, pure contemplation of the heavenly bodies.
Alexander I. Solzhentsyn, The Gulag Archipelag 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), 249 (Part III—Solzhenitsyn's emphasis).
319 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Source Criticism, 139-40 (Orwell's emphasis).
320 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. Ralph Manheim (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1943), 432-33 (Hitler's emphasis).
321 Hitler told Helene Hanfstaegl that as a tiny lad it had been his most ardent wish to enter the priesthood. Often Adi had draped around his shoulders the large apron of the maid, to deliver fervent, protracted sermons from atop a kitchen chair. John Toland, Adolf Hitler (Garden City: Doubleday, 1976), 12 (citing Interview with Helene Hanfstaegl, 1971). In Lambach, Adolf would matriculate at the school attached to the great Benedictine monastery founded during the eleventh century. Intoxicated by solemnly splendid Catholic ritual, he contemplated becoming a monk, to rise to an abbotcy. Robert Payne, The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1975), 20; Hitler, Mein Kampf, 4.
322 "Review," in Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, Vol. 2: The Collected Essays, eds. Sonia Brownell and Ian Angus (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968), 12.
323 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 64.
324 Ibid., 98.
325 Ibid., 148-49.
326 George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, 83.
327 J.M. Coetzee, Summertime: Scenes from Provincial Life (London: Harvill Secker, 2009), 81.
328 But since the audience witnesses Kane's solitary death, thereby knowing Kane's last syllables fade unheard, the filmlong detectivework-excavation of that noun's import is absurd. Charlton Heston, In the Arena: An Autobiography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995), 176-77; Pauline Kael, The Citizen Kane Book: Raising Kane (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1971), 54.
329 John Updike, Couples (New York: Ballentine Books, 1996), 346.
330 Ibid., 435.
331 Frank Brady, Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson Welles (New York: Scribner's, 1989), 287.
332 Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, 85.
333 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 64. The pocket is repeatedly emphasized: "It was very heavy in his pocket." Ibid., 65. "The lump of glass in his pocket banged against his thigh at each step," ibid., 68.
334 Ibid., 148.
335 Ibid., 70.
336 Ibid., 71-72.
337 Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles, "The Shooting Script: Dated July 16, 1940," in The Citizen Kane Book, 87, 118.
338 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 193.
339 Ibid., 54.
340 Ibid., 27.
341 Ibid., 28.
342 Ibid., 30.
343 Ibid., 28.
344 Ibid., 52.
345 Ibid. But a British edition gives Rutherford "thick negroid lips." George Orwell, Animal Farm/Burmese Days/A Clergyman's Daughter/Coming Up for Air/Keep the Aspidistra Flying/Nineteen Eighty-Four, 741, 787-88 (London: Martin, Secker & Warburg, 1976). Politicized rewriting: How Orwellian. For this phrase, not even capitalizing Negroid, grated the less-acceptably on delicate American racial sensibilities.
346 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 53.
347 David Thomson, Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles (New York: Vintage Books, 1997), 17.
348 Simon Callow, Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu (New York: Penguin Group USA, 1997), 13.
349 Chris Welles Feder, In My Father's Shadow: A Daughter Remembers Orson Welles (Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2009), 180.
350 Toril Moi, "The Adulteress Wife," London Review of Books, Feb. 11, 2010, 3.
351 Simone de Beauvoir, Force of Circumstance, trans. Richard Howard (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1965), 94.
352 Simone de Beauvoir, La Force des Choses (Paris: Gallimard, 1963), 108.
353 Fisher, Cyril Connolly, 266.
354 Lewis, Connolly, 410.
355 Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department, 73.
356 Taylor, Orwell: The Life, 381; Sheldon, Orwell, 415.
357 Sheldon, Orwell, 415.
358 Spurling, The Girl from the Fiction Department, 78.
359 Fisher, Cyril Connolly, 267.
360 de Beauvoir, Force of Circumstance, 95.
361 de Beauvoir, La Force des Choses, 109.
362 Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text Sources Criticism, 5.
363 Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the Revolution, Vol. 2: Notes on the French Revolution and Napoleon, eds. François Furet and Françoise Mélonio, trans. Alan S. Kahane (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001). The Napoleonic tyranny betrayed or reversed the Revolution. The Party tyranny in Nineteen Eighty-Four betrays or reverses the English socialism Blair favored.
364 Ibid., 247-48.
365 Alexis de Tocqueville, Mélanges: Fragments historiques et notes sur l'ancien régime, la révolution et empire; voyages; pensées; entièrement inedits, Oeuvres complètes d'Alexis de Tocqueville, Vol. 8 (1865) 205-06.
366 "2952. Review of Acton: The Formative Years by David Mathew" (1946), in Smothered Under Journalism, The Complete Works of George Orwell, 18.177.
367 David Mathew, Acton: The Formative Years (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1946).
368 Ibid., 86-98.
369 Sheldon, Orwell, 122-23.
370 Ibid., 133.
371 Ibid., 127.