By David Lebedoff
One climbed to the very best of the social ladder, the opposite selected to dwell between tramps. One was once a star at twenty-three, the opposite almost unknown until eventually his loss of life days. One was once right-wing and non secular, the opposite a socialist and an atheist. but, as this creative and significant new booklet unearths, on the middle in their lives and writing, Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell have been basically an identical guy.
Orwell is healthier recognized for Animal Farm and 1984, Waugh for Brideshead Revisited and comedian novels like Scoop and Vile Bodies. even if diversified they might appear, those towering figures of twentieth-century literature are associated for the 1st time during this enticing and unconventional biography, which works past the tale in their impressive lives to arrive the center in their beliefs–a shared imaginative and prescient that used to be startlingly prescient approximately our personal times.
Both Waugh and Orwell have been born in 1903, into an identical cozy stratum of England’s class-obsessed society. yet initially look they appear to have lived contrary lives. Waugh married into the excessive aristocracy, writing hilarious novels that captured the amoral time among the wars. He switched over to Catholicism after his wife’s infidelity and their divorce. Orwell married a moneyless pupil of Tolkien’s who him to Barcelona, the place he fought within the Spanish Civil battle. She stored his existence there–twice–but her personal destiny was once tragic.
Waugh and Orwell might meet just once, because the latter lay demise of tuberculosis, but as The similar Man brilliantly exhibits, of their lifestyles and paintings either writers rebelled opposed to a latest global run through a privileged, occasionally brutal, few. Orwell and Waugh have been virtually on my own between their friends in seeing what the future–our time–would convey, and so they committed their lives to caution us opposed to what was once coming: a global of fabric wealth yet few values, an lifestyles with no culture or group or universal function, the place lives are measured in funds, now not experience. They defined why, regardless of prosperity, such a lot of humans believe that our society is headed within the improper path. David Lebedoff believes that we want either Orwell and Waugh now greater than ever.
Unique in its insights and packed with vibrant scenes of those attention-grabbing males and their tumultuous occasions, The comparable Man is an awesome tale and an unique paintings of literary biography.
From the Hardcover edition.