Posted on June 13, 2016
By Kelly Torpey
In my school-days, plenty of readings were required, but in all honesty, I didn’t care for most of them. However, George Orwell’s Animal Farm captured my attention. It was unique, I didn’t need a dictionary on stand-by, and I knew it had been banned from some classrooms.
Orwell may be one of the most read, well-known novelists of all time. With books like Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, his work is a constant reminder that we must continually critique the actions of leaders and the acceptance of common thought.
Recently (as in a couple days ago) I discovered details about Orwell’s roots, upbringing, and perspectives in an interview clip from Public Radio International. This clip is available on Literature Resource Center. I quickly learned that I probably wouldn’t have been exposed to these details if a young Ukrainian scholar hadn’t sent a message to George Orwell in 1947. In his note, the scholar asked for permission to translate Animal Farm into Ukrainian. Orwell not only granted permission, but also refused any royalties and penned a detailed preface that we are all incredibly lucky to read. Orwell wrote:
I have been asked to write a preface to the Ukrainian translation of Animal Farm. I am aware that I write for readers about whom I know nothing, but also that they too have probably never had the slightest opportunity to know anything about me.