Communists and near-Communists had a disproportionately large influence in the literary reviews. It was a time of labels, slogans, and evasions. At the worst moments you were expected to lock yourself up in a constipating little cage of lies; at the best a sort of voluntary censorship (‘Ought I to say this? Is it pro-Fascist?’) was at work in nearly everyone’s mind. It is almost inconceivable that good novels should be written in such an atmosphere. ‘Good novels are not written by by orthodoxy-sniffers, nor by people who are conscienee-stricken about their own unorthodoxy. Good novels are written by people who are NOT FRIGHTENED.
I wonder whether Orwell would think that there was a similar climate of stultifying ‘orthodoxy-sniffing’/political correctness within our arts community today?