Orwell and the Suspiciously Pompous Truth Quote
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.