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Mulhern’s position, presumably too familiar and obvious to state in a short book review, was that illusions of linguistic transparency are naive; the more sophisticated writers don’t bother attempting straightforwardness. Of course this was a foundational belief of Althusserians (Mulhern was one), the characteristic jargon of whom was so uniquely obscure, evasive and unpleasant that you suspect Orwell had a point.
Charles Dickens as Social Commentator and Critic
Self finds in the essay, instead, an Orwellian authoritarianism designed to privilege a certain kind of Standard English over different ways of saying things – for example, the more grammatically complex African-American Vernacular English. Even putting aside the weak attempt at a sort of ‘gotcha’ moment by turning Orwell’s anti-fascism back on the author, Self is, of, course talking humbug.
Barthelmess, Klaus and Ingvar Svanberg. 2006. Linnaeus' Whale: A wash drawing of bottlenose whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus , Forster, 1770) at Hammarby, with remarks on other early depictions of the species. Lychnos: An annual for history of ideas and science : 303-317.