Animal Farm, The Hour and Oscar Wilde…

I read Animal Farm by George Orwell the other day, and it gave me a shiver.  It’s very similar to 1984, but this is an allegory of Stalin’s Russia, and it is very very good.  I have an interesting fact about it too!  Orwell suggested the French translation of the novella should be called Union des Républiques Socialistes Animales, which was an alternative to the French name for the Soviet Union: this abbreviates to URSA, which is Latin for ‘bear’, symbolic of Russia. Fascinado! I found this painting by Frank Kelly Freas.


I think The Hour looks good, on BBC2 on Tuesday. Romola Garai is lovely! I rather liked her in Emma in 2009: I thought she was corking.  She’s pretty multi-cultural, as I think she was born in Hong Kong, and grew up in Singapore before moving to England.

Anywho, The Hour looks excellent: it’s set in a TV news room in London, 1956, and stars Ben Whishaw (lovely boy), Romola Garai and Dominic West.  I suggest everyone watches it.

I heard something funny on Radio 4 this morning, on Fry’s English Delights: it was all about brevity, and the impact of using as few words as possible.  Stephen Fry said that a jolly good example of this was when Oscar Wilde sent a telegram to his publisher to enquire about the sales of his latest novel:

Wilde wrote:    ?
Publisher replied:    !


One thought on “Animal Farm, The Hour and Oscar Wilde…

  1. Just finished watching QI ,I must listen to Fry’s English Delights ,the Oscar Wilde telegram is a cracker. Strange coincidence , I spent several hours reading ‘1984’ on our recent camping trip, I had forgotten how bleak it was !

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