Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bohemian Like George

So the big story on the ironic-confluence-of-literature-and-history beat is the fact that MI5 spied on George Orwell due to his "advanced communist views." The story itself is not as shocking as it could be; the agency determined that Orwell posed no threat and allowed him to work as a journalist on a military base, certainly a far cry from being sent to Room 101.

The highlight of the story is the report that Orwell "dresse[d] in a bohemian fashion both at his office and in his leisure hours." It's hard to imagine it now, but it seems that there was a time that going into work looking like a slob was cause for suspicion.

Any by the way, kudos to the BBC's editors for their enticingly pulpy headers: "'Bohemian dress' . . . 'Bit of an anarchist' . . . Toilet spy . . . Naked women." If that were a movie, I'd sure watch it.

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