Keep the Aspidistra Flying

ISBN : 9780198858317

George Orwell; Benjamin Kohlmann
272 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
Jan 2021
Oxford World's Classics
Send mail
  • First critical edition of Keep the Aspidistra Flying, complete with explanatory notes and an introduction
  • Features all-new introduction which situates the novel in its literary, historical, and biographical contexts
  • One of Orwell's most accessible realist novels, which speaks directly to our current moment (anti-capitalism; experiences of precarity; socialism)

"Money is what God used to be. Good and evil have no meaning any longer except failure and success."
Disgusted by society's materialism, Gordon Comstock leaves his job in advertising to pursue an ill-fated career as a poet. In his race to the bottom, only Rosemary, his long-suffering girlfriend, challenges Gordon's self-destructive course. The novel contains the most sustained reflections on the role of the author and the artistic imagination anywhere in Orwell's fiction, as the book's protagonist struggles (and ultimately fails) to reconcile his romantic-aestheticist sensibilities with the pressures of the literary marketplace and with social expectations. Completed while Orwell travelled north to work on The Road to Wigan Pier, this novel is a key transitional text in his career. Offering a powerful portrayal of the emotional toll of precarity and the desire to break with capitalism, Keep the Aspidistra Flying is a significant work of mid-century British fiction but it also speaks to our own time.


Notes on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of George Orwell
Keep the Aspidistra Flying
Explanatory Notes

About the author: 

George Orwell
Edited by Benjamin Kohlmann, University of Regensburg
Benjamin Kohlmann teaches English literature at the University of Regensburg, Germany. He is the author of Committed Styles: Modernism, Politics, and Left-Wing Literature in the 1930s (2014) and Speculative States: Literature and Reform in Britain, 1870-1920 (forthcoming). His articles have been published in PMLA, ELH, Novel, and other journals. He has co-edited several essay collections, including A History of 1930s British Literature (2019), with Matthew Taunton.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.