Vol. 16 No. 10 1949 - page 967

The editors and the advisory board of Partisan Rewiew
are pleased to announce their decision on the first annual Partisan
Review Award of one thousand dollars for a significant contribution
to literature. The recipient of this year's award will be George Or–
well, the well-known English writer.
At the moment Mr. Orwell is so much in the public eye for the
success of his last novel,
Nineteen Eighty-Four,
that it may be well
to repeat that, under its original terms, our Award was to be given,
not for a single book, but for a distinguished body of work. The
present acclaim of
Nineteen Eighty-Four
ought not to be allowed
to fade before bringing to general attention Mr. Orwell's whole career
as a writer, which has shown a steadiness of purpose uncommon
time, and it is our hope that the present Award may assist this process
of making known the work of an important writer.
This career coincides with the turbulent and confused years of the
'thirties, and it has only been fairly recently that Mr. Orwell has
emerged as one of the best and most interesting writers that the
English have produced in this period. Only in 1946 did he reach a
wide public in this country with
Animal Farm,
a fiction in the form
of a fable, and a volume of critical essays,
Dickens, Dali and Others;
and yet by that time he had already produced half a dozen books, all
of which bear re-reading and some of which deserve reprinting. His
first work,
Down and Out in Paris and London,
did not attract wide
attention when it appeared in 1933, but its quality of permanence is
attested by a reprint of 1940. From this first book Mr. Orwell's writ–
ing has been marked by a singular directness and honesty, a scrupu–
lous fidelity to his experience that has placed him in that very valu–
able class of the writer who is a witness to his time.
Burmese Days,
perhaps Mr. Orwell's best as a "straight" novel,
and a work that can stand comparison with such first-rate studies of
India as Kipling's and
M. Forster's, appeared in 1934; in 1936
came a second novel,
A Clergyman's Daughter.
Thereafter Mr. Or–
well became engaged in the Spanish Civil War on the Loyalist side,
and two books,
The Road to Wigan Pier
(1937), and
Homage to
(1938), date from this period.
The participation in the Spanish Civil War was an experience
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