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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Great Wednesday Compare #26- George Orwell VERSUS Leonard Cohen

The winner of last week's Great Wednesday Compare (Leo Tolstoy Vs. George Orwell), with a final score of 8-6, was George Orwell.

Whew, that was a close one. Though I like Tolstoy, Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984 are two of my all-time favourites and I don't think I could have handled an Orwell loss this week. There were some great points made about his relevancy (but, as Athena pointed out, some Tolstoy themes ring just as true today). I'd add to Chris's remark about "Orwellian" having become a common term, that everyone also knows what "big brother" refers to (and it wasn't meant to be cutesy- stupid CBS!) It also saddened me that a couple people mentioned having Orwell ruined in school. Seriously, I think you should sue. My experience was more in line with Raidergirl's. Mr. Butt got us all to appreciate Animal Farm (not to mention Romeo and Juliet and The Pearl).

But this week's another week, and I have a sneaking suspicion I'll take some slack for this pairing (or at the very least, scare off some potential voters). Still, I'm curious as to what will happen.

Remember, vote simply by adding your comment below, base it on whatever merit you choose, voting does not end until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (Dec. 11), and please spread the word!

Who's better?



21 comments:

BookGal said...

OK .... this is an easy one. I didn't even know who Cohen was until I checked out the link so I'm voting for Orwell by default. I'm not big into poetry so that would have done me in as well.

Chris said...

I haven't read any Cohen but his music depresses me.

Orwell.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Cohen, he writes better dirty poetry.

Nan - said...

Off the subject, but I just wanted to let you know that I tagged you for a Christmas meme on my blog:
http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/

Please don't feel obligated. Just do it if you want to.

Nicola said...

My vote is for Orwell.

kookiejar said...

I didn't even know Cohen wrote novels until just now. You just taught me something, John.

I'll stick with Orwell.

GeraniumCat said...

I suspect that technically Orwell is the better writer but I don't like him and I'm voting for Cohen!

People not knowing who Cohen is makes me feel OLD.

Rob Hardy said...

I should probably vote for Orwell for his influence if I can't vote for him because I enjoyed reading him. But Leonard Cohen wrote that song in Shrek. But I don't really like that song. Oh, I abstain again.

Allison said...

I can never vote anymore, as I'm not totally versed in Cohen. I was never a fan of Orwell in high school, but reread Animal Farm and 1984 this summer, so I would vote for him for his influence.

raidergirl3 said...

Mr Butt? oh my, that can't be an easy name as a teacher. Hey, my teacher did Romeo and Juliet with Animal Farm too.

I am going patriotic for this one, and voting for Juno Male Vocal of the Year winner for Closing Time, writer of the amazing Halleluiah(Rob!), Leonard Cohen. I freely admit I haven't read any of his books, and little of his poetry, but his singing, is, unique.

Bybee said...

What an interesting pairing.
I'm going with Orwell -- nothing can interfere with my crush on him.

Melanie said...

Oh, Leonard Cohen! Yum. I vote for him.

John Mutford said...

Nan: I responded to your meme here- where all my meme responses go.

Carrie K said...

Leonard Cohen just for Hallelujah alone and its 90 million versions. There's one in Shrek? Argh. Now I have to watch it.

Dewey said...

I vote for Orwell.

John Mutford said...

Carrie: In the movie, John Cale's version plays yet for some reason on the soundtrack it's Rufus Wainwright. However, you can find John Cale's on "I'm Your Fan." I really enjoy Jeff Buckley's, k.d. lang's live version, and Allison Crowe's. Bono's not so much, but points for creativity.

Ms. Place said...

Orwell. Cohen is definitely a poet for his time and age, but I think Orwell has more staying power.

Dale said...

Put me down for Mr. Cohen please.

Jen said...

In terms of literature, Orwell wins, but if we're talking who's sexier, Cohen wins hands down! :-p

Anonymous said...

Cohen, Without a doubt.
Not many writers come anywhere near Orwell. But you have put him up against someone difficult to compete with.

Noone here or elsewhere (i would imaging) can contest Orwell's masterpiece 'A nice cup of tea' which I will admit, immediately succeded in making me repress my lifelong habits & accept his suggestions.

Orwell was a revolutionary, a leader & a politician. He was in the business of making you think and rethink which he did.

But Cohen is a Priest, a Poet and an artist he is in the business of making you feel. So he isthe greater writer.

Remi said...

While "A Nice Cup of Tea" almost had me, I will still go with Cohen. Why? Because, at his best, he is actually quite funny. Just watch the old NFB doc "Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen" if you don't believe me.