‘The whole experience of being hit by a bullet is very interesting,” wrote George Orwell—a line that bursts with dry humor, written by a man who could be witty but rarely was comic. Yet there was nothing funny about what happened to Orwell at dawn on May 20, 1937, as he fought in the Spanish Civil War. With the rising sun at his back and probably outlining his head, he was struck in the throat by a sniper’s bullet. It passed through his neck and blood gushed from his mouth. He couldn’t feel his right arm. “I took it for …
This article appears as “The Unclassifiable Orwell” in the March 23, 2020, print edition of National Review.
Something to Consider
If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.