To the Editors:

I trust that I am mistaken in finding something willfully and sometimes almost maliciously "off" about Anthony Daniels's essay ["Orwell's 'Catalonia' Revisited"] in your edition of February 2007.

I began to feel this way when I read of Mr. Daniels's encounters with some unspecified Romanian readers of clandestine copies of Nineteen Eighty-four in the waning days of the Ceausescu despotism. According to him, "several Romanians told me that they found it astonishing how an Englishman, who had never so much as set foot in a communist country, seemed to understand their own experience from the inside, as it were, and sometimes better than they understood it themselves. . . . Orwell's book reassured the Romanians to whom I spoke that, the Iron Curtain notwithstanding, they were not alone."

It is nice to think that clandestine editions of Czeslaw Milosz's Captive...

 

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