He knew his way around being sick--disease was his lifelong companion.
Cyril Connolly, a friend from childhood, recalled Orwell being a "chesty" and "bronchial" kid, which Orwell attributed to "defective bronchial tubes and a lesion in one lung." Orwell encouraged advanced respiratory breakdown via his lifelong tobacco habit, acquired in his teens. Taylor wrote that Orwell had "four bouts of pneumonia" by the time he turned thirty-four, a life-endangering malady back in the days before antibiotics.
So the possibility that Diaries may reveal a new and improved Orwell--or a new and diminished one--can be easily dismissed.
That's the case whether you aligned yourself with Orwell's celebrator and intellectual inheritor, Christopher Hitchens, who wrote the introduction for this edition, or that other recently departed leftist public intellectual, Alexander Cockburn, who likened Orwell to a "snitch" for informing on Communists (which he did).
At the start it is impossible to get anything on to paper at all. And even when you begin to re-acquire the habit of writing, you seem to be incapable of preserving continuity.
Your mind turns away to any conceivable subject rather than the one you are trying to deal with, & even the physical act of writing is unbearably irksome. This self-diagnosis says more about the craft of writing than any dozen manuals on the subject for sale at bookshops.He was a literary fat-rendering plant when it came to reducing the raw material of his notes and diaries into something more distilled, as well-known works such as Down and Out in Paris and London, The Road to Wigan Pier, and Homage to Catalonia all attest.Had Orwell turned himself inside out and hauled himself up a flagpole we couldn't have gotten a better look at him.Your thoughts are just as active as ever, you are interested in the same things, you seem to be able to talk normally, & you can read anything that you would read at any other time.It is only when you attempt to write, even to write the simplest & stupidest newspaper article, that you realise what a deterioration has happened inside your skull. You have also no command of language, or rather you can think of nothing except flat, obvious expressions: a good, lively phrase never occurs to you.You can find that diary entry in The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell (1968) and The Complete Works of George Orwell (1998)."Our broadcasts are utterly useless because nobody listens to them," he states on October 5, 1942, about his work for the BBC in India.Every time I underscored a memorable sentence in this American edition and plugged it into Google Books, I found it in an existing Orwell title.For example: "I cannot get them to treat me precisely as an equal, however," Orwell complains of the proletarians while collecting material in 1936 for what will become The Road to Wigan Pier.Fantasize all you want about Orwell's lost volumes, but you're probably wasting your time.Orwell produced six novels, most of them loosely autobiographical; three nonfiction books; and hundreds of reviews, editorials, and essays, as well as pamphlets, poems, radio broadcasts, and war dispatches.