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The clean smell of Orwell

Nicolas Walter heaps praise on the definitive complete works. It adds little to our knowledge of Orwell, but at least reminds us of his consistent integrity

By Nicolas Walter   October 1998

The best reviewer of the latest-and surely last-collected edition of George Orwell would be Orwell himself. Only he could say how far it is complete; whether it contains enough or-more likely-too much material; what is good and bad about it; why it is remarkable and why it is questionable. Similarly, only the editor could tell-and has indeed told, several times-the story of his adventures in producing one of the most impressive editorial achievements of our time. An outside reviewer can only give the reaction of an ordinary reader to this exceptional monument to a writer.

First reviews were irresponsibly written…

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