Between the publication of Coming Up For Air in June 1939 and the commencement of Animal Farm in November 1943 a gap of four years intervened: years of intense creative activity for Orwell but also of considerable frustration. Rejected by the armed forces on the grounds of his health, he sought to serve his country by joining the Home Guard, where he was soon promoted to the rank of sergeant. From August 1941 to November 1943 he was on the staff of the British Broadcasting Corporation as a Talks Assistant (later a Talks Producer) in the Indian section of its Eastern Service. There are several reasons why Orwell felt unable or unwilling to attempt another novel during this period. One was that, with his growing ill-health and tendency towards overwork, he felt the need for a complete rest from novel writing. He confided to his friend Geoffrey Gorer: ‘I want to lay off writing for a bit, I feel I have written myself out & ought to lie fallow’.70 He had published eight books in eight years and not unnaturally wanted a break from what he regarded as the ‘horrible, exhausting struggle’71 of writing another one. A further reason was that the unsettled, frenzied atmosphere of the early war years was not conducive to the writing of novels. He had for some time been contemplating a long family saga in several volumes but found it impossible to settle down to the writing of this whilst war was raging in the background (he remained living in London throughout the blitz).
KeywordsSugar Mane Lost Prose
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