Home > Uncategorized > Orwell and the Suspiciously Pompous Truth Quote

Orwell and the Suspiciously Pompous Truth Quote

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

A couple of times in a couple of places, I have noticed this quote attributed to George Orwell:

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

If you search for this online, it is everywhere.  Strangely, people love the idea that Orwell may have said such a portentous thing.  Not me, though.  It sounded most unlike Orwell to say such something so puffed-up and self-aggrandizing.  I also couldn’t place the quote, at least not in his essays which I know quite well.

I spent a good part of the afternoon trying to source the quote, and the best I can find is that it was first attributed to Orwell in a book called My Few Words of Wisdom, published in 2000 by Charles Walker.  From what I can see, Walker is a complete non-entity and the volume itself is as obscure as possible for a book that was published only ten years ago.  But the title gives us a clue: the sort of person who would call a book “My Few Words of Wisdom” is likely to be the kind of person who would manufacture and mis-attribute such a quote.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 8, 2010 at 05:00

    I believe they call this intellectual dishonesty. Considering the misattribution of this quote, one can only wonder how wise the rest of Walker’s words of wisdom are.

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