Podcast: The Orwell Tapes

Toller, dreiteiliger Podcast der CBC, die offenbar auf einem ganzen Archiv voller Aufzeichnungen und Interviews mit Leuten sitzt, die den Autoren von 1984 und Animal Farm persönlich kannten. Vieles davon hört man in diesen Podcasts zum ersten mal. (via SciFi)

The Orwell Tapes - Part 1 (MP3, Info)

He was a brilliant, eccentric, complicated man; a colonial policeman, a critic and journalist, a dishwasher, a fighter in the Spanish civil war, a teacher and a shopkeeper - and one of the most influential writers of our time. His name was Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell. Who was the man who gave us 'big brother', 'thoughtcrime', 'doublethink', whose name looms so large in this era of mass surveillance? Steve Wadhams delves into recordings he made with the people who knew Orwell from his earliest days to his final moments.

CBC is the only media organization with a comprehensive archive of recordings of people who knew George Orwell from his earliest days to his final moments. There are fifty hours of recordings. Some of this oral history was included in "George Orwell, A Radio Biography" which aired on CBC radio on January 1, 1984 - the first day of Orwell's famous year. But much of it is being aired now for the first time.

The Orwell Tapes - Part 2 (MP3, Info)

"From a very early age, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer. Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four, I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books."

In this episode "To write and to fight", we follow Orwell as he sets out to investigate poverty in the depressed industrial towns of the north of England. He returns to marry the love of his life and then risks it all by going off to fight in the Spanish civil war. Spain gave Orwell a belief in Socialism and a hatred of Communism. What he saw in Spain would inspire him to write his most famous books, Animal Farm and 1984.

The Orwell Tapes - Part 3 (MP3, Info)

Part 3 of The Orwell Tapes begins in 1939 with the outbreak of the World War II. We see Orwell as the "loyal rebel", the "patriotic revolutionary" who dreamed of a Socialist post-war Britain.

Orwell was rejected for military service because of poor health -- but eventually he found war related work as a producer at the BBC – chafing under heavy wartime censorship but learning from it – in fact using it to write his two most famous books; Animal Farm and 1984.

The effort of writing 1984 broke Orwell's fragile health and he died of tuberculosis at the age of 46.