EVERY NOW AND then a sort of morphic resonance overtakes the world of literature. For reasons that are far from obvious, a number of books about (or around) the same broad subject will suddenly materialise in a way that itself transforms public interest and even shapes public sentiment. In 2023, for example, the name of a certain English radical began to appear in the literary pages – the subject of fresh biographies, critical reappraisals and even fictional reimaginings. Meanwhile, and completely out of the blue, my teenage son set aside the Game of Thrones series and began to read said radical’s greatest novel – a futuristic, dystopian satire on the prospects for English socialism, written in the middle of the twentieth century. Now he’s moving on to the essays. It’s all a bit mysterious. George Orwell is trending. But why? [More here.]