March 29, 2009

TOM HAS HIM THERE:

TS Eliot rejected George Orwell's Animal Farm because of its 'Trotskyite' politics (Stephen Adams, 29 Mar 2009, Daily Telegraph)

Animal Farm concerns a group of talking pigs who take over a farm, purportedly for the benefit of all its inhabitants, but end up running it for their own selfish ends.

Its plot sees the pig Napoleon, based on Stalin, forcing out his rival Snowball, who genuinely works for the good of the farm. Many commentators have concluded that Snowball was based on Stalin's rival Leon Trotsky, who was expelled from the Communist Party in 1927.

In his dismissive letter, Eliot wrote that Orwell's view "which I take to be generally Trotsykite, is not convincing".

He argued: "We have no conviction that this is the right point of view from which to criticise the political situation at the current time."

He went on: "After all, your pigs are far more intelligent than the other animals, and therefore are the best qualified to run the farm – in fact there couldn't have been an Animal Farm without them: so that what was needed (someone might argue) was not more communism but more public-spirited pigs."


Utopias don't fail because they are implemented imperfectly.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 29, 2009 8:32 PM
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