I think he lost his point there, in all those impressive words, and perhaps what he meant to say is that we set the stage for today's idiocy (or at least the idiocy of a subculture, and that's still what they are).
I don't necessarily agree with that either, but it's closer to the mark. Which he missed with just about every shot.
He is a wordy bugger isn't he:), not for nothing is he called Will (up him) Self.
I'd say he was a slightly strange, wanting to be subversive fogey. Never had him pegged as an ex hipster! but he can take responsibility for them if he likes. He's not pinning it on me; I was too busy with my own Joy Division v Banarama dramas as a teenager to be cool enough to have had any kind of hand in it.
I don't think the article is accurate, but I enjoyed the rant. I think he has enough self-awareness to bypass the fact he can sound pompous and self-indulged.
A lot journalism sounds like it's been written by the same person, so I enjoy characters like Will. The same as Brian Sewell; he's a pompous prick of an art critic, but at least he makes it interesting.
I like him too, for the same reason.It surprises me that he regarded himself as a hipster, he's not tribal enough for that. Unless there was a - strangely weird loner tribe - that I missed.
I didn't like his recent attack on George Orwell; claiming he was a simpleton, because he was an advocate of plain language, recognising it was used a weapon to exclude people. Which I could argue Self does (but only half heartedly because, he is a skilled writer).
I know Orwell wasn't a sophisticated cynic like Huxley and Greene, whose views on society are probably more accurate - in the long run. But he also wasn't a naive idiot either, he didn't miss the mark in getting the message across about totalitarinism, but I suppose that all seems like old hat, to the hipsters:wb:. I've wandered off topic - sorry.
I don't know Brian Sewell (or any other art critics) aren't they all pompous pricks, just by default?:)
Would like to check this book out, but why does one of them have to be wrong? On a commission for using the word fear, possibly.
(My computer is about to explode with pop ups and stuff- it's a nightmare!)
[... Orwell feared those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information.Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us.Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.
Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumble puppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short,Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us...]
I can't believe the Hipster thing has gone on as long as it has to be honest. I thought Charlie Brooker / Chris Morris' Nathan Barley had them absolutely nailed and that was nearly ten years ago. And even then they were a soft target (not that that makes them any of them any less of a twat, you understand).
It's disappointing to realize that Will Self's comments on Orwell were not, in fact, taken out of context. He appears to be genuinely arguing that Orwell was a 'supreme mediocrity.' Really, Orwell's writing needs no defense. Anyone who wants an answer to Self's criticism should read the opening passage of Homage to Catalonia. That one section demonstrates beyond a doubt that Orwell had achieved an excellence of technique.
What's really funny is that Self criticizes Orwell's clarity of language as if it were something easy. It's the same juvenile opinion of anyone who sees an artist do something great and says, "I could do that." And clarity of writing occurs on two levels; the word and the idea. Finding le mot juste is hard enough. Getting a reader to understand what it all means is even harder.
Self also confuses himself by referring to both written and spoken language as if they were one and the same. They aren't.
I consider it possible, if not probable, that Self is simply trolling the literary community. In that case, 10/10.
I agree, but it's become a bit trendy to cast Orwell as the village idiot in some places.
Like Self, Orwell was a journalist and author from a privileged background.
There the similarity ends.
One an ex heroin addicted enfant terrible.
Orwell, despite the image, was a man of the world, saw corruption, evil and the abuse of power, both in India during British rule and of course in the Spanish civil war.
He knew the power of language and if he wanted to, he could have out big worded Will Self. He campaigned to simplify language to be inclusive, but not dumbed down.