down and out in london and paris

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January 21st 1950: George Orwell dies

On this day in 1950, the acclaimed English writer George Orwell died in London aged 46. He was born in 1903 as Eric Arthur Blair in Motihari, India, as his father was a colonial civil servant there, though moved to England while still an infant. The aspiring writer penned his first poem when he was four years old, and had his first poem published in a newspaper at age eleven. Blair studied at the prestigious Eton school, and went on to work for the imperial police in Burma. After he returned to England, he adopted the pseudonym George Orwell and published his first book - Down and Out in Paris and London - in 1933. Even in his early works Orwell demonstrated a keen interest in political issues, and offered a sharp critique of the British class system and colonialism. In 1936 he joined the international brigades fighting in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Republicans, against the fascist Francisco Franco. He was injured in the fighting in Spain, and his health didn’t improve when he returned to England, where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He continued to write, and worked for the BBC for a couple of years as a propagandist during the Second World War, before resigning in 1943. It was after he left the BBC that Orwell wrote his two most famous works - Animal Farm (1945), and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). The former is an allegorical satire of the Soviet Union, as while a socialist himself, Orwell had become disillusioned with Stalin’s betrayal of communist ideals. The latter is a dystopian novel, set only thirty-five years after it was written, that envisioned a world characterised by excessive government control and curtailment of civil liberties. This novel introduced several phrases into the lexicon that are still used today, including ‘Big Brother’, ‘doublethink’, 'Room 101’, and 'thought-police’. Orwell achieved great success with these two works, but sadly lost his ongoing struggle with tuberculosis in 1950.

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”  
- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”  
- George Orwell, Animal Farm

I really like the small details in Assassin’s Creed: Things like the facial expressions characters make when fighting, Ezio’s subtle flick of his cape over his shoulder, the way Haytham and Connor will shield their eyes when they walk through the rain, Arno drinking coffee at the Café Théâtre or leaning over his balcony to look out at Paris down below, the carriage drivers waving to one another as they pass each other by in London… it’s small details like this which didn’t need to be added to the games, but for someone like me who loves these little intricacies it gives the games a wonderful personal touch and ultimately makes them so much better for me because of it.  

“The mistake you make, don’t you see, is in thinking one can live in a corrupt society without being corrupt oneself. After all, what do you achieve by refusing to make money ? You’re trying to behave as though one could stand right outside our economic system. But one can’t. One’s got to change the system, or one changes nothing.”

—from Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell

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June 8th 1949: Nineteen Eighty-Four published

On this day in 1949, the famous novel Nineteen Eight-Four by English writer George Orwell was published. Born Eric Arthur Blair, he penned his first poem when he was four years old, and had his first poem published in a newspaper at age eleven. Blair studied at the prestigious Eton school, and went on to work for the imperial police in Burma. After he returned to England, he adopted the pseudonym George Orwell and published his first book - Down and Out in Paris and London - in 1933. Even in his early works, Orwell demonstrated a keen interest in political issues, and offered a sharp critique of the British class system and colonialism. In 1936 he joined the international brigades fighting in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Republicans, against the fascist Francisco Franco. He was injured in the fighting in Spain, and his health didn’t improve when he returned to England, where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He continued to write, and worked for the BBC as a propagandist during the Second World War, before resigning in 1943. It was after he left the BBC that Orwell wrote his two most famous works - Animal Farm (1945), and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). The latter is a dystopian novel, set only thirty-five years after it was written, that envisioned a world characterised by excessive government control and curtailment of civil liberties. This novel, which followed protagonist Winston Smith, introduced several phrases into the lexicon that are still used today, including ‘Big Brother’, ‘doublethink’, ‘Room 101’, and 'thought-police’. Orwell achieved great success with these two works, but sadly lost his ongoing struggle with tuberculosis in 1950.

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”  

When Icons Collide:

Carol Burnett, Woody Allen, and Julie Andrews take a break during rehearsals for Lyndon B. Johnson’s Inaugural Gala, Washington D.C., 18 January 1965.

In her published diaries, Lady Bird Johnson recalls the Inaugural Gala as a singularly star-studded affair:

Richard Adler, director of the show, had accumulated such a galaxy of stars that it forced two Broadway shows to close down for the night. Carol Channing came down from Hello Dolly! to be one of the emcees, and Barbra Streisand from Funny Girl to sing. Dame Margot Fonteyn from England’s Royal Ballet flew in from London with Rudolf Nureyev, who now looks like one of the Beatles. Alfred Hitchcock turned out to be the lion of the evening. And Woody Allen, that forlorn, undernourished little comedian, stopped shooting a movie in Paris and flew across the Atlantic for about five minutes of jokes….Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett sang a wonderful medley of musical comedy songs ranging from Naughty Marietta to My Fair Lady, and Harry Belafonte won everybody with “Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore’.” (223-24)

Not a bad line-up of party entertainment…and don’t you just love how Julie rocks those 60s knee-high suede boots and knit jumper dress!

Source:

Johnson, Lady Bird. A White House Diary. Austin : University of Texas Press, 2007.

The second time I saw Tom Hiddleston without really expecting it -ESTA

I had met him a year before this event, in Paris at a cafe and he got me a cup of tea and got me to sit down because I was freaking out so much and we talked for around a good ten minutes and he was the kindest person ever, not to mention that it took me a good three minutes to stop shaking and calm down. Then around a year later me and a couple of friends are heading to the Premiere of The Hobbit, a guy comes to us and tells us that James McAvoy is going to be at the Evening Standard Theater Awards tonight, so we head there and wait and talk with fans,and I meet awesome people, next thing we know dozens of actors are heading down the red carpet, not only James but Sir Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Billie Piper, Andy Serkis and even David Beckham ((Up until this day I have no idea what he was doing there) anyways, turns out Tom Hiddleston gets out of his car, I was so overwhelmed and specially not expecting to see him at all cause everyone told me that he was in the states shooting a movie, he got out of his car ( a beautiful black jaguar by the way) and he starts signing autographs, Luke guides him around, everyone keeps yelling and tears started falling from eyes (weirdest feeling ever) of course my friends are nudging and teasing me then he comes in front of me I look up and manage to babble “thank you for being such a versatile actor” convinced that he doesn’t remember me at all, I mean the man has so many fans I’m pretty sure he likes them but doesn’t really remembers and  then he looks up at me and goes “hey, you’re the girl from Paris ? Puja right ?” and I just stood there completly shocked that he even remembered my name after so long, I nodded and then he said he smiled “thank you so much darling, I’m afraid I have to get going” and then he moved on, signed around 4-5 more autographs then got dragged inside by Luke


All this to say, that this man does care about his fan, and even if remembering a name means nothing, that day, trust me when I say it meant the world to me.

“There are books that one reads over and over again, books that become part of the furniture of one’s mind and alter one’s whole attitude to life, books that one dips into but never reads through, books that one reads at a single sitting and forgets a week later.”

—from Essays by George Orwell

Down and Out in Paris and London. George Orwell. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1933. First US edition. Original dust jacket.

“All the houses were hotels and packed to the tiles with lodgers, mostly Poles, Arabs and Italians. At the foot of the hotels were tiny bistros, where you could be drunk for the equivalent of a shilling. On Saturday nights about a third of the male population of the quarter was drunk. There was fighting over women, and the Arab navvies who lived in the cheapest hotels used to conduct mysterious feuds…”

Down and Out in London and Paris by George Orwell

Another good one.  You really get into the underbelly of London and Paris.  I like to feel characters struggles and seem them break, or bend.  This was cohesive enough to keep everything flowing, but it’s two fairly distinct parts.  I like that.  And that one part doesn’t completely depend on the other.   Who the fuck am I, to try to review any books.  I like good stories.  I enjoy them and relate to aspects.  That’s all.

“But the trouble is that intelligent, cultivated people, the very people who might be expected to have liberal opinions, never do mix with the poor. For what do the majority of educated people know about poverty ?”

—from Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

I was in London with a bunch of French friends on the day they announced which city got to host the 2012 Olympics. It was down to Paris and London and around noon, they flew a bunch of military planes over London, letting out blue red and white smoke trails… We got super excited and started singing La Marseillaise really loud until a cop stopped us and asked “this is cute and everything but do you know the colour of the Union Jack ?” - it took a second but a collective “Et putain” just rose from the small crowd of French teens.

new. | @thexunpleasantsurprise

LIVING out of hotels had never been ideal, but it was a long shot better than where she should be. For a woman who was technically dead, it was the life of luxury. But since her ‘death’ in Venice, Vesper had crawled her way through Europe - Vienna, Berlin, Paris and then, finally, onto her beloved home of London. The process was slow, but on that particular morning she hoped to see progress. An early meeting prompted her down to reception, her mind distracted from her nerves. The city still felt uneasy to her — too much familiarity, and too many chances to be recognised. She flitted around with her coat, tying its waist without noticing the man oncoming to her ( until it was too late. ) She clattered his shoulder, speaking before looking at him. 

“ I’m sorry, very s- ” but the sentence stopped, a nausea filling the pit of her stomach as she stumbled back from him. James.              “ …. ”