I recently revisited some of the fiction, I really loved as a teenager, with mixed results.
George Orwell, who I found inspirational as a youth, strikes me now as pessimistic to the point of debility. Yes, of course, he makes some killing observations about the system being too powerful and too grim for any of us to resist. I come away with a feeling best described as “don’t hate the player, hate the game”. So overall,my response is now mixed.
I also revisited Graham green’s Our Man in Havana. My younger self found this a harmless, whimsical jaunt, which was particularly nice because Greene’s other books – typically the ones you had to read for school – were a bit heavy.
Happily, my grown up self loves Our Man in Havana even more than before. It was an absolute joy, with all the jaunty tumble into inevitable disaster so beloved of the best sit-coms. The writing also reminds me of the ironic style that became popular among the alternative comedians in the 1980s.
“Shut in his car, Wormold felt guilt nibbling around him like a mouse in a prison cell. Perhaps soon the two of them would become accustomed to each other and guilt would come to eat out of his hand.”