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Flogging from the past

The old story about teaching actually having a few lessons for the teacher is true. Recently I've been teaching web writing and the students regularly raise things that I've been taking for granted or never would have stumbled on.

On Monday, a student suggested this blog by George Orwell. Despite being dead for more than 50 years, Eric Arthur Blair has had his diaries serialised using the blog format. The posts correspond to 1938 entries which begin with the writer in a sanatorium in Kent before making for Morocco.

Sounds like gripping boys own stuff right?

Except so far it's been a little drab. Orwell has heard about a snake being killed and had a a few problems with his snuffbox. One reader went off on a symbolic tangent, theorising that his mention of blackberries ripening was a reference to a communist uprising. Nope, it's just an interest in berries.

Readers seem divided. Some condemn the blog as fairly dreary reflections in a blogosphere already crowded with blogs about blackberries. Others are enjoying the slow pace, the daily musings and anticipating his thoughts on the coming war. I'm hoping that the editors are establishing his character by selecting an early portion, but that they have enough editorial nous to lead us into a deeper narrative and a more interesting era.

Otherwise, I'll be reading the Curly Situation, a fictional blog that follows a sometime Aussie cricketer into a mystery. Who says the truth is stranger than fiction?