- By George Orwell

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

  • Title: Keep the Aspidistra Flying
  • Author: George Orwell
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 207
  • Format: Paperback
  • Keep the Aspidistra Flying London Gordon Comstock has declared war on the money god and Gordon is losing the war Nearly and rather moth eaten already a poet whose one small book of verse has fallen flatter than any pa

    London, 1936 Gordon Comstock has declared war on the money god and Gordon is losing the war Nearly 30 and rather moth eaten already, a poet whose one small book of verse has fallen flatter than any pancake, Gordon has given up a good job and gone to work in a bookshop at half his former salary Always broke, but too proud to accept charity, he rarely sees his fewLondon, 1936 Gordon Comstock has declared war on the money god and Gordon is losing the war Nearly 30 and rather moth eaten already, a poet whose one small book of verse has fallen flatter than any pancake, Gordon has given up a good job and gone to work in a bookshop at half his former salary Always broke, but too proud to accept charity, he rarely sees his few friends and cannot get the virginal Rosemary to bed because or so he believes , If you have no money women won t love you On the windowsill of Gordon s shabby rooming house room is a sickly but unkillable aspidistra a plant he abhors as the banner of the sort of mingy, lower middle class decency he is fleeing in his downward flight.In Keep the Aspidistra Flying, George Orwell has created a darkly compassionate satire to which anyone who has ever been oppressed by the lack of brass, or by the need to make it, will all too easily relate He etches the ugly insanity of what Gordon calls the money world in unflinching detail, but the satire has a second edge, too, and Gordon himself is scarcely heroic In the course of his misadventures, we become grindingly aware that his radical solution to the problem of the money world is no solution at all that in his desperate reaction against a monstrous system, he has become something of a monster himself Orwell keeps both of his edges sharp to the very end a happy ending that poses tough questions about just how happy it really is That the book itself is not sour, but constantly fresh and frequently funny, is the result of Orwell s steady, unsentimental attention to the telling detail his dry, quiet humor his fascination with both the follies and the excellences of his characters and his courageous refusal to embrace the comforts of any easy answer.

    1 thought on “Keep the Aspidistra Flying

    1. Essentially this is every art student's dilemma, or at least it was back in my day, to sell out and deal with the Man or be true to our art and starve in an attic. Whether to find one's place within the system or try to forge a unique life outside of it. One thing we had in common was pot plants. An aspidistra in Orwell's case, another kind of pot plant for me.As the story works itself out Gordon discovers two more things, things we had in common - we were really rather average poets and artists [...]

    2. Dear George Orwell,It's not you, it's me. It had to happen, really, this bit of faultering in the crush I've had on you. Sure, I've known you for years, but as you know, I've been completely smitten with you since last summer when I read your first published novel, Down and Out in Paris and London. I grew more smitten while reading An Age Like This, 1920- 1940, your early correspondance, reviews, and essays, and I remained so while reading your 2nd published novel, Burmese Days. But now the new [...]

    3. Aspidistra - A common houseplant with broad tapering leaves.This is the depressing story of a depressing man. Not unlike other Orwell characters from 1984 or Down and Out in Paris and London. Gordon Comstock wants to be a writer, a poet to be exact. He has written and submitted poetry to magazine after magazine with no real success. So Gordon goes about his day like any other Londoner, trying to get by and eventually he lands stable and 'good' employment.But Gordon hates the slavery to money and [...]

    4. The reader’s response to Gordon Comstock’s behaviour will depend upon whether the reader has ever tried to live a “self-sufficient” life free from bourgeois respectability, or seriously pursued an artistic vocation with stubborn single-mindedness. Orwell’s novel is pretty one-track plot-wise—what happens when a person renounces money and its interminable grip?—but Comstock’s obsessive pursuit is a societal conundrum of universal proportions and makes for a frustrating and bone-de [...]

    5. What is more important in life: to hold on your principles and by this lead a dreadful life, or to leave your principles, and by that get a richer life? Actually this is the basic question in this book. To know what Gordon choses, You should read the book. It's worth it.

    6. Oh, Orwell, thank you.It's no secret that Animal Farm is one of my favourite books. Not only because it is a genius piece of the literary canon, but also because it the book that helped me crash down the wall between seeing classics as enemy and seeing their immense merit. It's been a long while since I read Animal Farm, (it was back in 2011), and while I enjoyed 1984 and some of Orwell's essays, I admit to not knowing if he'd be able to blow me away as strongly as he did with Animal Farm. I sta [...]

    7. I buddy read this book with my bestie, Ariel Bissett. We spent more time on Voxer than actually reading this novel most nights but in our defense we spent most of that time gushing about Orwell.I think this is my favorite Orwell. I knew that from the very first chapter and oh what a chapter that is. I think it may be one of the best opening chapters to a novel that I've ever read, in fact, it's one of the best chapters that I've ever read. This novel tells us the story of Gordon Comstock, a man [...]

    8. "The mistake you make, don't you see, is in thinking one can live in a corrupt society without being corrupt oneself. After all, what do you achieve by refusing to make money? You're trying to behave as though one could stand right outside our economic system. But one can't. One's got to change the system, or one changes nothing."I thoroughly enjoyed this little book. If you like Orwell you will love Keep the Aspidistra Flying.

    9. If you have seen the updates you may already realize that I was not overly-keen on Gordon Comstock. Nevertheless the liking or disliking of the hero or heroine of a novel evidently does not in itself negate the quality of the writing and it is certainly true that this novel is a really powerful description of the blanching effect of poverty on the colour of life, of the crippling struggle that the poor underwent between the wars and the pitiful descriptions of scrimping and saving and the sinkin [...]

    10. Girl problems, money problems, houseplant problems. Things are not going Gordon’s way. Money has become Gordon Comstock’s all-consuming idée fixe (followed closely by aspidistras). Gordon, who comes from “one of those depressing families, so common among the middle-middle classes, in which nothing ever happens,” refuses to be a slave to the “money-god.” He gives up a relatively well paying but soulless job at an advertising agency, a job that furthers the evils of the capitalism tha [...]

    11. Wow, what a tiresome book! The reason I even gave it three stars is because it's an Orwell book and, as such, he doesn't disappoint us with his wit, satire and irony. However, the story itself was lacking.Orwell must have been in a very misanthropic mood when he wrote this. The main character, Gordon, is so depressing and unlikeable; he ties everything to money (for example, it took him an hour to shave one morning because he didn't have enough money). I just got so sick and tired of hearing abo [...]

    12. Slowly but surely working my way to Orwell's work and I'm have a mighty splendid time doing so. This book had me LOL several times. I can't wait to continue my author exploration of this genius works.

    13. Our civilization is founded on greed and fear, but in the lives of common men the greed and fear are mysteriously transmuted into something nobler.This is the story of a thirty-year-old man with issues. That's as simple a description as it gets. Simple is no good in this case though. Indeed, Orwell delivers a complex novel not so much in a literary sense, as in a psychological one. Gordon is an anti-hero whose issues revolve around money. Money is the key word here. If I had to describe him with [...]

    14. According to Gordon Bowker, this is one of the novels Orwell wanted his literary executor to suppress after his death. That’s a clear indication of how Orwell felt about the novel and it’s fair to say that it’s not his strongest work. However, it still has a lot going for it, in particular black humour, sharp satire and a window into Orwell’s own life. Having recently read Bowker’s biography of Orwell, I particularly appreciated the autobiographical elements of the novel, which otherwi [...]

    15. کتاب درخت زندگی به پستی و بلندی های زندگی انسان می پردازد. جرج اورول از نویسندگان مشهور انگلیسی است و این کتاب از جمله چندین کتاب وی است که در سال های 1948 برای اولین بار به چاپ رسید.

    16. Well first of all, Orwell is a fantastic prose writer. He can really make your feet feel tired by his descriptions of walking long distance in London, and the way he describes food, drinking, and the loose change in your pocket is right on the mark. What made me tired is the main character's total obsession about money. Not having money, the making of money, etc. I hated that and that is one of the main themes of this book. But then again I wanted to shoot the main character in the head and get [...]

    17. I have not sympathized with a protagonist quite so much in a good while.Gordon Comstock is turning thirty, has no money, works in a bookshop, is a failing poet, and refuses to take a "good" job because of his socialist ideals and his war against the money-god, and it's chief symbol: the aspidistra that sits in the window of every British middle-class home. Kind of like a less talk-the-talk Frank Wheeler. The hideous grimness of Gordon's soul-destroying poverty, the way he sinks into inevitable d [...]

    18. Finishing the book within a day, I have a feeling that I just experienced something profoundly beautiful. Keep the Aspidistra Flying is the story of a very likable anti-hero and a very outstanding heroine. That story between the two characters is almost too sacred to give out in a book review. You have to read it yourself.Yet there is still something to talk about: the author's message. You can't read and put down Orwell's novels without rearranging a few of your beliefs.Only Orwell can speechif [...]

    19. I haven't yet read Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, a supposedly excellent autobiographical account of a middle-class man's descent into abject poverty, but I would imagine that some of the experiences Orwell describes in that book must have served him equally well in writing Keep the Aspidistra Flying, which must rank among the bleakest novels about self-induced poverty ever written in the English language. Keep the Aspidistra Flying centres on Gordon Comstock, a talented twenty-nine- [...]

    20. Questo romanzo di Orwell è non dico meno conosciuto, ma forse meno letto e apprezzato rispetto agli altri suoi più acclamati. E’ anche, probabilmente, un po’ più “grezzo” e meno rifinito, essendo tra i primi che scritto. Anzi, se non mi sbaglio, è proprio il primo. Però, fondamentalmente, racconta, come gli altri, una sconfitta, un progressivo cedere, un graduale abbandonare e abbandonarsi che disgrega il sé e porta a confondersi con l’omologato, con il comune sentire e, a un cer [...]

    21. Objectively speaking, I am not sure that this is really a five-star book. But it certainly has affected me like one, hence my 'grade'. I have read it compulsively because despite being for many aspects so far away in time and setting (the book solidly mirrors and describes the social context of the Thirties in England), to me it felt so 'true', that it was almost too real.The thing is that the book deals with things that have started to trouble me personally now that I am settling in, that I hav [...]

    22. This is why I would dig Orwell up and have him at a dinner party if I could. The man just knows how to write and not just write randomness for the sake of writing or selling a book. He just gets right down to the fundamentals of human existence (mainly suffering). This is one of his few books that actually ends on a high note.if conforming the the norm of society is a high note.I have to admit that by the middle of the book, I did want to punch Gordon in his testicles for being a douche to every [...]

    23. Gordon Comstock is a truly insufferable bore to spend time with and this book whilst not a chore to read was pretty tame and predictable in nature. Comstock's arc from anti-capitalist to middle class conformist is essentially the same argument some douchey dudebro might make about lesbians - all they need is some good dick (see Chasing Amy for a popular example of said attitude explored by somebody half sensitive to the idea that it is the moron character who spouts it) and in this examle yes, O [...]

    24. Faith, hope and criticism.My favourite novel of all time chronicles Gordon Comstock’s war against money and British society. That Gordon chose to live outside the system and stay true to his art tempers the optimism of most follow your dreams type aspirational story with Gordon sinking further and further into poverty much to the shame of his family. It was always my intention to buy an aspidistra and display it in the bay window on getting married in homage to this book. As it happened my wif [...]

    25. Okuduğum diğer George Orwell romanlarıyla karşılaştıracak olursam sanırım en az bu romanından zevk aldım. Kitabın ilk yarısı fazla durağandı bana göre. Bunun dışında asıl olarak kitabın ana kahramanı Gordon'ı sevemedim. Parayı sevmiyor, paradan nefret ediyor ya da bence ettiğini zannediyor. Eğer çok parası olsa paraya karşı tutumu aynı mı olurdu diye sorgulayıp durdum kitap boyunca. Eline bir miktar para geçince kınadığı, kızdığı davranışların, aktiv [...]

    26. I really loved this book.You know how when the writer decides to put you through a fairly unsympathetic character and you find that he shares some of your own traits and suchy to be kind of depressed and oddly fascinated by the experience?This is one of the unknown Orwell books, and for that reason it should be read by everyone who's gotten into the bigger hits and really gotten into them.The whole point is that it's not being 'artistic' to decide to mope around and hate everything. It's difficu [...]

    27. Oh, what an ode to the money-Gods and aspidistras. An amazing, emotional journey of one man's fight against aspidistras and the inevitable pull of the money-Gods. This is a novel that is warm, hard, depressing, funny, absurd and at the end virtuous and redeeming. He simultaneously threads the needles of commerce, class, art and protest and weaves his story with satire and pathos, but doesn't make caricatures of ANY of his characters.

    28. A novel of London life and the search for integrity in the 1930s. Features the shabbier side of life to the extent that the one brief excursion that the hero and his girlfriend make out of London feels like the explosive escape from a crushing environment.

    29. Aspidistras – they seem to be mentioned in all of George Orwell’s novels – as far as I have read them anyway.Gordon is a poet – although, most of his works have not been published and the ones that have seen the light of day simply fell flat. The book opens with a gloomy atmosphere and a rather unlikeable description of our main character. We then follow our unlikeable main character through his routine at work and his evening at home where he complains about money, customers, authors, p [...]

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