There’s Too Much Virtue in Politics

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George Orwell wrote a letter in 1938 to the poet Stephen Spender, in which he in effect registered his regret at having finally met Spender. The reasons for this might amuse. Before their encounter, Orwell reports, he had disdained Spender as a “parlour Bolshie because a. your verse, what I had read of it, did not mean very much to me, b. I looked upon you as a sort of fashionable successful person, also a Communist or Communist sympathiser, & I have been very hostile to the C.P. since about 1935, & c. because not having met you I could regard you as a type & also an abstraction.”

Orwell…



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