9.3.39

Quite hot, but today cloudy. Most of our nasturtiums in flower & everything else growing rapidly.
Mosquitoes rather bad.
M. Simont uses blood, in considerable quantities (which he can get as he is a butcher) for manuring the orange trees.

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15 Responses to 9.3.39

  1. Stephen says:

    I have heard of ‘blood oranges’ but I never thought of this as an explanation.

  2. The Ridger says:

    Blood oranges? Almost as bizarre as giving it a tag.

  3. Gilles M says:

    It is an old tradition for gardeners to use as inputs organic fertilizers rich in nitrogen : Horn crushed, dried blood often with manure of equine.

    I like so much the very stolid way with which a circumspect city dweller like Georges Orwell, watches the use which seems strange and barbaric of spreading blood around the trees as in a pagan ritual.

    But again, he gives us a great lesson :
    As an observer, the ability to see without judging or being invaded by his own emotions.

    Strangeness is never for him an emotional trap which would divert his gaze or would alter its lucidity

    Reported today, imagine the power of such testimony which does’nt give to us blood and guts in order to present reality as a gothic novel or an exotic and savage alterity.

    What a great correspondent he was ! Never he was using an artificial effect of “litterature”

  4. Holden Caulfeild says:

    When the (brilliant physicist R Feynman wrote of his wifes death he made the observation (even in his grief) that she smelled “different” ,moments after death…
    Maybe that’s partly psychopathy (mild) but whatever it is George has it in spades…Again I am reminded of Albert Camus in “The Outsider”…
    Again I wonder why he let his writing get side tracked into political stuff…(like people who write letters to the editor in their local paper about city taxes….)
    He would have made a great naturalist…but a lousy humanist (???)

  5. That summer it was decided that he needed to go abroad, ‘somewhere south’ to convalesce for the coming winter. He asked Yvonne Davet, a French woman who was translating Homage to Catalonia, to help find him a place beside the Mediterranean, and suggested to Common that he might like to have the Wallington cottage rent-free in return for looking after the animals – thirty chickens and two goats – and George’s lovingly tended garden.

    George Bowling:

    …The world we’re going down into, the kind of hate-world, slogan-world. The coloured shirts, the barbed wire, the rubber truncheons. The secret cells where the electric light burns night and day, and the detectives watching you while you sleep. And the processions and the posters with enormous faces, and the crowds of a million people all cheering for the Leader till they deafen themselves into thinking that they really worship him, and all the time, underneath, they hate him so that they want to puke. It’s all going to happen. Or isn’t it? Some days I know it’s impossible, other days I know it’s inevitable…

  6. They say at night, they could hear a strange voice coming from the orange trees, singing “feed me, Simont.. feed me all night long..”

  7. Ed Webb says:

    The heat brings forth growth
    and demands for blood, from trees
    and from mosquitos

  8. It may be that I discovered E. A. Poe before my brain cell was fully formed but I am envisioning a deliciously macabre scene [in grainy B&W] which includes (but is not limited to) Igor and Renfield wearing hip-boots and sloshing around an orchard in search of a ripe lime for their Evil Master—ankle-deep in the bloods of various livestock—thunder booming, lightning cracking incessantly—while, astride a rearing black stallion, a black-robed/hooded Vincent Price laughs maniacally—barely visible in the background, dozens of grimy tankers pump a dark-red, viscous fluid onto the ground.

    Of course (it goes without saying), the lightning flashes are synchronized with the soundtrack, an endless loop of Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky.

  9. The orange blood manure treatment will be a novelty to George more used to coal miners’ orangey leek manure methods.

  10. Those rather naughty mosquitoes are strictly diversionary, of course.

    Unmentioned in Orwell’s previous blog posts, regarding those fresh donkey corpses littering the landscape, is this scintillating bit of information which the authorities had hitherto kept close to their vests: They were exsanguinated–the manure harvested from their veins.

    Simont’s butcher shop had a sign in the window:
    SEAUX de SANG
    ESCOMPTES EN BLOC
    !

  11. George, they say (could be a bit of palaver put about by local market traders with striped cloth for sale) that Gelsen won’t bite you if you look like a zebra.

  12. Ah, I see George already knows. See pic top right. He has covered his vital parts with zebra effect material.

  13. George~~

    My extensive, intensive and, yes, pensive hemoglobin research impels me to inquire whether the experimental transfusion techniques you routinely employ are efficacious? If so, in what way(s)? And, is there any correlation with the eclectic collection of mustaches you’ve acquired, such as this one (which is especially becoming on you)?

  14. Jake says:

    “I have heard of ‘blood oranges’ but I never thought of this as an explanation.”
    For Stephen:
    The best Blood Oranges come from Sicily but they are also grown in other Medirterranean countries, Texas, Florida, and, of course, Califonrnia. They are called Blood Oranges because of the color of the flesh, not because of any sanguine fertilizer. They may or may not be related to pink grapefruit, whose flesh is also red or reddish. In short, there probably is not enough blood in all of Tunisia to make a single Blood Orange, or a Pink Grapefruit, for that matter.

  15. Pingback: Stilgherrian · 1939: So, is it war, then, George?

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