Talk:Homage to Catalonia

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Editions[edit]

These chapters summaries are really great, thanks for writing them Tzartzam. But (there's always a but) I think we've got a bit of a problem with different editions. I should say, before I start, that my edition is a Penguin paperback in print from at least the 60s to at least the 80s, and is presumably very widely read.

You write in the article:

In his second appendix to the book (formerly "Chapter XI" of the book's first edition, moved at Orwell's request), Orwell discusses the political issues at stake in the May 1937 Barcelona fighting

Now, in the edition I have, this stuff is in chapter eleven and there are no appendices. So I'm wondering when this stuff was moved, and when a first edition with it moved was published (and indeed, I'm wondering what edition you're using, because it appears to be a better one than mine). I suspect the other appendix in your edition is chapter five in mine, which details the political scene ("it looked at first sight as though Spain were suffering from a plague of initials", Orwell writes) - Orwell says something like "you can skip this chapter if you don't want to bother with the politics", so it moving to an appendix would make sense (although it's one of my favourite chapters).

I'm not saying the whole article should be switched around if your edition is more widely read than mine, or closer to what Orwell wanted, or whatever, but I think it's clear that this needs to be briefly addressed in the article to avoid confusion to those people who have an edition that's had a double appendectomy.

I would've fixed it up myself instead of writing all this if I could, but I only know what's in my edition, and the rest is guesswork. Thanks again for the article, it's great. I assume you'll be summarising all his other books and writing brief descriptions of all his essays now ;-) --Camembert

Agreed -- I was planning on sorting this out. I think putting the summaries under chapter headings, with a note to such as "Chapter Six in first edition, chapter five in second edition." Not got the time now, but I'll do it maybe tomorrow :)
As to the others... Well... -- Tzartzam

The chapters in question are noted in his essay Why I Write. There's definately scope for a little discussion of this... -- Sam

Material on the book[edit]

Beyond the chapter summaries there should be seperate sections on influences, effects of the book, context maybe, etc. I've never read the book so I can't add anything, but someone should. Jztinfinity 01:13, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Popular Reception[edit]

Often on wikipedia there is a section on how well received a novel was, in terms of sales and critical reviews. Such a section would be beneficial here. 80.229.169.22 (talk) 22:34, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

In the second to last paragraph of the overview, it gives the books sale count.

Infobox[edit]

I have removed some text from the infobox that was demonstrably incorrect by checking the ref and ISBN number. The infobox appears to have been copied from the article on Nineteen Eighty Four and not updated. This leads me to be rather suspicious of some of the other details also included - can anyone check the page numbers, publisher details etc? I don't have a copy of this book. DWaterson 11:44, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Citations[edit]

Primary Reason for Travelling to Spain[edit]

The article currently says

"In December 1936, Orwell travelled to Spain primarily to fight, not to write..."

which is contrary to what appears in the fifth paragraph of the first chapter of Homage to Catalonia, the book this article is about.

"I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately, because at that time and in that atmosphere it seemed the only conceivable thing to do."

So I think that the claim needs a reliable citation.

Looks like it should be changed. Murderbike (talk) 17:47, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Coming Up For Air?![edit]

Why is there a summary of this novel, what has this got to do with Homage to Catalonia aside from the fact that they were written in the same period?

Summarize[edit]

The basic idea of each chapter and of "Appendix two" can be summed up without such detail and so many quotes. Leave something for the new reader! :)

Much in "Overview" can be removed, moved to Orwell's bio or other Spanish Civil War articles, or footnoted. -- LaNaranja (talk) 23:35, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

I looked online at an article in the 'Carolina Review, Univ. of North Carolina, review of Homage to Catalonia. it began ; " Its a great irony that one of the 20th century's most prominent critics of totalitarianism once fought on the side of stalin"..it finished " as Homage to Catalonia somewhat unintentionally shows us ,a 'true' proletarian revolution does not bring liberty,equality and freedom . instaed it brings chaos, disorganisation and eventually a repressive dictatorship."

It's against that that one is up against and why I think somewhat lengthy quotes from the book are a defnce against flights of fantasy. But if it's too much , cut it back - I do worry i over quote in my edits anyhow , and risk copyright violations... I keep thinking 'oh thats an interesting point..' etc and it builds up. Sayerslle (talk) 21:55, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Lionel Trilling's intro[edit]

Is it wiki worthy to mention how obnoxious it was? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.125.2.168 (talk) 05:50, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Gollancz[edit]

The article says: "Because of the book's criticism of the Communists in Spain, it was rejected by Gollancz, who had previously published all Orwell's books: 'Gollancz is of course part of the Communism-racket', Orwell wrote to Rayner Heppenstall in July 1937. Orwell finally found a sympathetic publisher in Frederic Warburg. Warburg was willing to publish books by the dissident left, that is, by socialists hostile to Stalinism.

The book was finally published in April 1938 but 'made virtually no impact whatsoever and by the outbreak of war with Germany had sold only 900 copies.'"

Could it be − as I read it in an Orwell biography − that the book was simply rejected by Gollancz as he could not see good chances to sell it? ----84.167.167.226 (talk) 12:42, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

i would say - no, it could not be that the book was simply rejected because he dcouldnt see chances to sell it. I don't have a book of Victor Gollancz's complete correspondence,(I'll look on Amazon , is there such a book?), but in vol 11 orwell complete works, 'facing Unpleasant facts' p.37 the note at the top of a 8 july 1937 letter to his agent leonard Moore, (I presume written by editor peter davison) states : Victor Gollancz 5 July 1937 letter Gollancz responded to a report given him by Norman Collins of a conversation with Orwell on saturday, 3 July. Although he could not be sure until he had seen the typescript of what was to be 'homage to catalonia', he thought it probable that he would not wish to publish the book. although not a Communist, he said , he felt he should never publish anything which could harm the fight against fascism.

orwell believed , on the contrary, that the fight against fascism, and the fight against Stalinism, were the same fight ( 1939 pact, katyn, hungary 56 etc would bear this out - my interjection), and that to support the stalinist Communists was to be counter-revolutionary for eg his letter to geoffrey Gorer, 16 august 1937 " You cannot conceive the awfulness of the things that are happening in spain. It is a real reign of terror, fascism being imposed under the pretence of resisting Fascism, people being flung into jail literally by hundreds and kept there for months without trial, newspapers suppressed etc etc .. " and orwell letter to Charles Doran, 2 august 1937 " as soon as Gollancz heard I had been with the POUM he said he was afraid he would not be able to publish my book on spain" maybe you read some crappy CP book, like Conservapedia they lie about orwell. the daily worker was calling Orwell pro-Fascist at this time.Clive james wrote a good essay called 'the all of orwell' in 'even as we speak' - about how orwell kept repeating that the stalinist Soviet regime was a tyranny even when this was very unpopular after 1941.. "This , and the later rejection of Animal farm, led to Orwells break with Gollancz and his publisher became Secker & Warburg'.(orwell in spain p.27) Sayerslle (talk) 00:26, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

But it looks like that Victor Gollancz had changed his mind at least a little bit when he published the article "Thoughts after Munich" in Left News (November 1938). It also seems intelligible that the public interest in Great Britain moved from the civil war in Spain to the growing threat of a confrontation with Germany in 1938. ----84.167.169.64 (talk) 14:05, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Which collection is 'Thoughts afer Munich' in - if it was an Orwell article November 1938 , why isnt it in Collected Works , Facing Unpleasant Facts, 1937-39. or listed on the wp Orwell bibliography page?You sure thats an Orwell article? Sayerslle (talk) 20:48, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
"Thoughts after Munich" was an article referring to the Munich Agreement written by "V.G." and published in Left Book Club's paper Left News. Gollancz admitted that they had produced too much propaganda and that the LBC had published not enough books written by Liberals. ----84.167.187.17 (talk) 13:32, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
In Bowker's biography of Orwell it says, chapter 13 - "To [Orwells] surprise, Gollancz quickly accepted Inside the Whale, saying he thought it first-rate, and that he was completely in sympathy with its general political viewpoint. Obviously the Russo-German Pact had finally shaken his faith in the Communist line and suddenly he had swung over to Orwells point of view." After Inside the Whale - " Gollancz atempted to acquire an option on Orwells next three non-fiction works. - but Orwell was determined not to be pinned down further by the man who had rejected and, as he saw it, sabotage his book about Spain, so refused to agree." Sayerslle (talk) 09:17, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Which explains what is written in the Wikipedia article Coming Up for Air: “The descriptions in the novel of a character who lectures at a meeting of Gollancz's Left Book Club, and of the meeting itself, were such that Gollancz 'could not have helped being offended by them.'” I have to admit that most of my knowledge about “V.G.” comes from his autobiographical books My dear Timothy and More for Timothy. A book written by Jonathan Miles (The Nine Lives of Otto Katz: The Remarkable Story of a Communist Super-Spy) which has been published in 2010 describes the influence of the Comintern on the Left Book Club. As there had been no mention of this in the “historical record” written by John Lewis, I had been prone not do believe it all. Maybe I have to change my mind. ----84.167.161.235 (talk) 10:31, 21 January 2012 (UTC)