Burmese Days

ISBN : 9780198853701

George Orwell; Rosinka Chaudhuri
304 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
Jan 2021
Oxford World's Classics
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  • Introduction argues that Burmese Days is more than just a harsh portrayal of colonial society, making the case that his writing here holds it up, rather, as among the best productions of its time.
  • Looks at how Burmese Days is not so much a novel about Englishmen in British India, or indeed a depiction of colonial Burma, as it is about human character, conflict, and desire as they play out in a landscape irradiated and corrupted with the knowledge of complicity in the perpetration of imperialism.
  • Contains detailed explanatory notes and select bibliography.

'...after all, natives were natives - interesting, no doubt, but finally ... an inferior people'
Based on his experiences as a policeman in Burma, George Orwell's first novel is set during the end days of British colonialism, when Burma is ruled from Delhi as part of British India. In the fictional district of Kyauktada, based on Kathar, U Po Kyin, a corrupt Burmese magistrate, is planning to destroy the reputation of the Indian Dr Veraswami. The doctor's main protection is his friendship with John Flory who, as a European, has higher prestige. Dr Veraswami wants the privilege of becoming a member of the British club because he thinks that if his standing with the Europeans is good, U Po Kyin's intrigues against him will not prevail. U Po Kyin begins a campaign to persuade the Europeans that the doctor holds disloyal, anti-British opinions, and believes anonymous letters with false stories about the doctor 'will work wonders'.


Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
Burmese Days
Explanatory Notes

About the author: 

George Orwell
Edited by Rosinka Chaudhuri, Professor of Cultural Studies and Director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC)
Rosinka Chaudhuri is Professor of Cultural Studies and Director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC). She has also translated and introduced the complete text of the letters Rabindranath Tagore wrote his niece Indira Debi as a young man, calling it Letters from a Young Poet (1887-94) (Penguin Modern Classics, 2014).

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