Self hits out at Or­well’s ‘rules’

Pro­fes­sor takes swipe over lan­guage

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alan Hayes alan.hayes@trin­i­tymir­

IN WHAT could be de­scribed as ‘a lit­tle lo­cal dif­fi­culty’, au­thor Will Self has taken a swipe at George Or­well.

Mr Self, pro­fes­sor of con­tem­po­rary thought at Brunel Univer­sity, in Uxbridge, is quoted in Mon­day’s In­de­pen­dent news­pa­per, in a re­port of an in­ter­view he gave to BBC Ra­dio 4, as say­ing Or­well’s rules for writ­ten English were ‘plain wrong’.

More con­tro­ver­sially he de­scribed the gi­ant of English lit­er­a­ture as a ‘tal­ented medi­ocrity’.

“The trou­ble for the George Or­wells of this world is that they don’t like the ways in which our tongue is be­ing shaped. In this re­spect they’re in­deed ‘small c’ con­ser­va­tives, who would rather peer at mean­ing by the gut­ter­ing can­dle­light of a stan­dard English frozen in time, than have it brightly il­lu­mi­nated by the high­wattage of the liv­ing, chang­ing lan­guage,” he re­port­edly told the ra­dio pro­gramme.

Or­well taught in Uxbridge and Hayes in the early 1930s, at The Hawthorns School, in Church Road, Hayes, and then at what was Fray’s Col­lege, in Hare­field Road, but which has now been de­mol­ished.

George Or­well (left) has been

n ‘TAL­ENTED MEDI­OCRITY’: crit­i­cised by Will Self (right)

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