KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING: A Great George Orwell Novel That A Lot of People Don’t Know

Below is an image of one of my favorite George Orwell novels. It’s the story of a poet who struggles with what to do with his life: Should he marry? Should he debase his gift for poetry by writing advertising copy for an ad agency? The story is saturated with large existential choices that the protagonist must struggle with.

And it’s all deeply moving—and thoroughly life affirming. It also conveys what it is like to be an aspiring creative artist—trying to devote oneself to both imaginitive vision and the day-to-day struggles of existence.

The 35 cent pulp fiction mass market edition below has a great cover—and unlike most such covers from that time, actually bears some resemblence to the actual content of the novel. In Orwell’s novel a beautiful young woman does indeed function as one of the “distractions” to the young writer’s “serious” artistic and existential purposes and vexations.




Orwell’s novel can be found at Amazon here.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING: A Great George Orwell Novel That A Lot of People Don’t Know

  1. iheartfilm says:

    I got on a serious Orwell kick when I was younger. One summer I read anything he’d written at least two or three times over. This was the one I enjoyed the most – so delicate, yet so engrossing.


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