Homenaje a Cataluña

272 pages

English language

Published Jan. 1, 1938

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5 stars (1 review)

Homage to Catalonia is George Orwell's personal account of his experiences and observations fighting in the Spanish Civil War for the POUM militia of the Republican army. Published in 1938 (about a year before the war ended) with little commercial success, it gained more attention in the 1950s following the success of Orwell's better-known works Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Covering the period between December 1936 and June 1937, Orwell recounts Catalonia's revolutionary fervor during his training in Barcelona, his boredom on the front lines in Aragon, his involvement in the interfactional May Days conflict back in Barcelona on leave, his getting shot in the throat back on the front lines, and his escape to France after the POUM was declared an illegal organization. The war was one of the defining events of his political outlook and a significant part of what led him to write in 1946, …

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5 stars

stunning writing that gives a feeling of both trench warfare and street conflict

the book captures the joys of liberation - and how easily they can be lost

it's fascinating to see how some of Orwell's experiences and observations here come up again in '1984': a fear of rats, poor-quality tobacco falling out of cigarettes, newspapers rewriting history, worries of being informed on, and the horrors of being confined as a political prisoner

Orwell's personal bravery and dedication to goodness are also evident from this book