Collected Essays, by George Orwell (part48)

Orwell on Tolstoy’s hostility to Shakespeare:

“[As a puritan, Tolstoy] could have no patience with a chaotic, detailed, discursive writer like Shakespeare. His reaction is that of an irritable old man who is being pestered by a noisy child. “Why do you keep jumping up and down like that? Why can’t you sit still like I do?” In a way the old man is in the right, but the trouble is that the child, has a feeling in its limbs which the old man has lost. And if the old man knows of the existence of this feeling, the effect is merely to increase his irritation: he would make children senile, if he could.”


“One docs not necessarily get rid of [a violent] temperament by undergoing religious conversion, and indeed it is obvious that the illusion of having been reborn may allow one’s native vices to flourish more freely than ever, though perhaps in subtler forms.”