Homage to Catalonia Author:George Orwell George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, first published in 1952, is an account of the Civil War in Spain. Orwell, who went to Spain in late 1936, was a man who could analyze his feelings when he shot dead for the first time a human being and yet take careful aim, who could calmly examine the risks he was running without pretending not to be afraid,... more » who could set down his exact emotions on receiving what seemed to be a mortal wound. What once occupied our minds and filled musty meeting-halls with the awareness of heroism and destiny has now become chiefly a matter for the historical scholar.
George Orwell's book would make only a limited claim upon our attention if it were nothing more than a record of personal experiences in the Spanish war. But it is much more than this.
Although it is a very modest book, it seems to say the least that can be said on a subject of great magnitude. And in saying the least it says the most. Homage to Catalonia is one of the important documents of our time.
Its manifest subject is a period of the Spanish Civil War, in which, for some months, until he was almost mortally wounded, its author fought as a soldier in the trenches.
The Spanish war was one of the decisive events of our epoch and nowadays, over a decade a half later, our sense of history is being destroyed by the nature of our history -- our memory is short and it grows shorter under the rapidity of the assault of events.
The particular truth of events from our past implies a general truth which will matter for a long time to come. And what matters most of all is our sense of the man who tells that truth.« less