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Literary Criticism Practical Notes Quotations

Poets’ Politics

George Orwell, “As I Please” Tribune 28 January 1944

Whether a poet, as such, is to be forgiven his political opinions is a different question. Obviously one mustn’t say “X agrees with me: therefore he is a good writer”, and for the last ten years honest literary criticism has largely consisted in combating this outlook. Personally I admire several writers (CÚline, for instance) who have gone over to the Fascists, and many others whose political outlook I strongly object to. But one has the right to expect ordinary decency even of a poet.

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