Books: Honest Witness

SUCH, SUCH WERE THE JOYS (230 pp.) — George Orwell—Harcourt, Brace ($3.50).

The passage of time dulls most literary reputations, but George Orwell's keeps getting brighter. His publishers, in the three years since his death, have been reduced to pasting together scraps of his journalism, yet each collection seems almost as timely as if written yesterday.

Such, Such Were the Joys is a miscellany of pieces written mostly during the 1940s; political essays, autobiography, literary criticism. The title piece, a long memoir of Orwell's early school days, is a masterpiece of narrative. No one has evoked more memorably the brutality young boys can...

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