Paris Review Daily: Animal Farm Timeline

Nikolai Kostomarov, Stamp of Ukraine, 1992.

So this is a timeline I put together about Orwell's Animal Farm.  

I wrote it in the context of Snowball's Chance, which is my parody of Animal Farm that was recently rereleased (tenth anniversary) by Melville House.  

Here's the first entry:


Nikolai Kostomarov (1817–1885) pens his story Animal Riot, a farmyard allegory that takes as its analog a hypothetical Russian revolution. A century later, in 1988, the English-language Economist will compare Kostomarov’s 8,500-word story to George Orwell’s 20,000-word Russian Revolution allegory, Animal Farm (which, unlike Animal Riot, ends badly), finding numerous points of comparison. For example, a bull in Animal Riot:

“Brother bulls, sisters and cow-wives. Esteemed beasts worthy of a better destiny than the one which inexplicably befell you and made you a slave of tyrant Man! … The hour has come to cast off vile slavery and take revenge for all our ancestors tormented by work, starved and fed repulsive feed, who collapsed dead under whips and heavy carts, who were killed at slaughterhouses and torn to pieces by our tormentors. Rally with hooves and horns.”

Old Major in Animal Farm:

“Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let’s face it: our lives are miserable, laborious and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength … Why do we then continue in this miserable condition? Because nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen from us by human beings. There, comrades, is the answer to all our prob-lems. It is summed up in a single word—Man.”

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