Notes from Homage to Catalonia

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Homage to Catalonia

by George Orwell


Page 24 @ March 22, 2019

In trench warfare five things are important: firewood, food, tobacco, candles, and the enemy. In winter on the Zaragoza front they were important in that order, with the enemy a bad last.


Page 29 @ March 22, 2019

‘Revolutionary’ discipline depends on political consciousness — on an understanding of why orders must be obeyed; it takes time to diffuse this, but it also takes time to drill a man into an automaton on the barrack-square.


Page 37 @ March 23, 2019

Nothing will convince a Spaniard, at least a young Spaniard, that fire-arms are dangerous. Once, rather later than this, I was photographing some machine-gunners with their gun, which was pointed directly towards me. ‘Don't fire,’ I said half-jokingly as I focused the camera. ‘Oh no, we won't fire.’ The next moment there was a frightful roar and a stream of bullets tore past my face so close that my cheek was stung by grains of cordite. It was unintentional, but the machine-gunners considered it a great joke.



Page 42 @ March 23, 2019

As a matter of fact, on this front and at this period of the war the real weapon was not the rifle but the megaphone. Being unable to kill your enemy you shouted at him instead.



Page 66 @ March 23, 2019

One of the dreariest effects of this war has been to teach me that the Left-wing press is every bit as spurious and dishonest as that of the Right (7).


Page 87 @ March 23, 2019

In the daytime the guns thundered fitfully. Torre Fabián, now our cookhouse, was shelled and partially destroyed. It is curious that when you are watching artillery-fire from a safe distance you always want the gunner to hit his mark, even though the mark contains your dinner and some of your comrades.



Page 204 @ March 26, 2019

Bands of armed Assault Guards roamed everywhere in the streets, the Civil Guards were still holding cafés and other buildings in strategic spots, and many of the P.S.U.C. buildings were still sandbagged and barricaded. At v


Page 230 @ March 26, 2019

I record this, trivial though it may sound, because it is somehow typical of Spain — of the flashes of magnanimity that you get from Spaniards in the worst of circumstances. I have the most evil memories of Spain, but I have very few bad memories of Spaniards.