“Do you have a favorite writer?”

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I’ve read pretty much every word George Orwell ever put in print, much of it over and over, and there is no writer I would rather have known. There’s a stereotype that conservatives are realistic pessimists while left-wingers are idealistic optimists. Orwell was an idealistic pessimist — with the deepest, darkest sense of humor, and the most acutely tuned BS-detector, you will ever encounter.

He’s also perhaps the greatest writer of first lines, ever. You can find some examples at my Favorite quotes page.