the orwells london

Here are my World Book Day picks in no specific order. Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five should be in here but I think it’s waddled off into the sunset without me:

  • Catherynne M. Valente - The Orphan’s Tales Vol 1: In The Night Garden
  • Robert Heinlein - Stranger In A Strange Land
  • Rainer Maria Rilke - The Sonnets To Orpheus
  • Arundhati Roy - The God of Small Things
  • Karel Čapek - War With the Newts
  • Frank Herbert - Dune
  • George Orwell  - 1984
  • Margaret Atwood - Oryx & Crake
  • Jack London - White Fang
  • Jane Lindskold - Changer

[animated version here]

21 Harsh But Eye-Opening Writing Tips From Great Authors
1. The first draft of everything is shit. -Ernest Hemingway 2. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass. -David Ogilvy 3. If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker 4. Notice how many of the Olympic athletes effusively thanked their mothers for their success? “She drove me to my practice at four in the morning,” etc. Writing is not figure skating or skiing. Your mother will not make you a writer. My advice to any young person who wants to write is: leave home. -Paul Theroux 5. I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee 6. You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ― Jack London 7. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. — George Orwell 8. There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham 9. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King 10. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman 11. Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die. – Anne Enright 12. If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do. – William Zinsser 13. Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college. – Kurt Vonnegut 14. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration. – Ernest Hemingway 15. Write drunk, edit sober. – Ernest Hemingway 16. Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. – Joshua Wolf Shenk 17. Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain 18. Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.― Neil Gaiman 19. Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. – Oscar Wilde 20. You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ― Ray Bradbury 21. Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.– Lev Grossman


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

These are almost all editions in my Orwell collection! I have one more that isn’t included, though, which is Decline of the English Murder in the Penguin Great Ideas series. Since I’m about to write a term paper about this British writer, the picture above is also a sort of currently-reading/to-read pile for me :)

10 Books That have stayed with me… In no particular order.

1. Danny The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl.

2. Suttree by Cormac McCarthy

3. Tales of Ordinary Madness by Charles Bukowski

4. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

5. White Fang by Jack London

6. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

7. The Motel Life by Willy Vlautin

8. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

9. Down and Out in London and Paris by George Orwell

10. If This is a Man by Primo Levi.

[Still I can point to one or two things I have definitely learned by being hard up. I shall never again think that all tramps are drunken scoundrels, nor expect a beggar to be grateful when I give him a penny, nor be surprised if men out of work lack energy, nor subscribe to the Salvation Army, nor pawn my clothes, nor refuse a handbill, nor enjoy a meal at a smart restaurant.] That is a beginning.
—  George Orwell, from Down and Out in Paris and London

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…”

About a month ago, it was my 23rd birthday, and because I am blessed with wonderful friends and a relatively well-defined range of interests (Can I read it? Can I eat it? No? Not interested), I got lucky with my gifts. Yes, this is a book haul post. Deal with it.

So, from left to right:
Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
Faber and Faber Poetry Diary
A comicbook version of Les Mis, which my dear friend Morgan gave to me without realising that it’s in French, at which I am mediocre at best
New Selected Poems, Carol Ann Duffy
Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell
A notebook that my lovely Hollybear brought back from Turkey
The Secret History, Donna Tartt (which had already been devoured by the time this picture was taken)
Mr Norris Changes Trains, Christopher Isherwood
A Letter to a Young Poet (hello, theme), Virginia Woolf
A Single Man, Christopher Isherwood

So that’s all jolly nice and excellent. In three unrelated pieces of news: postgrad applications are ruining me, my mother thinks I own too many pairs of black trousers (they’re practical and flattering, mother), and brushing my hair today took almost forty minutes.


[COS] PSYCHO-PASS サイコパス | 槙島聖護

Cosplay: @xnightrainx 
Photo: @taiki-taiki 
Photoshoot date: Mar 13 2016 
Special thx: bonmonday


This was supposed to be a cosplay for the lol after my submission to the temptation after rewarding myself with Orwell’s 1984: 1st edition. In all honesty, I have nearly zero experience with cosplay and its makeup so there’re so many flaws that needed fixed. Especially the wig. As we had no time and the right tools to fix it, I can only hope these photos wouldn’t look too bad? x///x

I hope I could style it better next time… If there’s ever a next time. *cough*

1984 Trivia: Makishima’s 1984 isn’t the 1st edition, 1st print. When I was searching for the book, I found out that the 1st edition, 1st print has a different writing on the back cover. The one Makishima had is probably the 1st edition, 3rd print (as I couldn’t find the reference for the 2nd print) of which back cover is the same as the very book I have (though mine is a reset reprint of the 3rd print). For this version, the text on the back cover starts with “George Orwell died suddenly in London…” In other words, the 3rd print was published after Orwell had died (Jan 21, 1950). 

ETA: See this link for further explanation regarding the possible impression of Makishima’s 1984.