UTOPIA, DYSTOPIA AND THE “HERETIC STREAK”: THE ORWELLIAN AESTHETIC IN RAY DAVIES’ SONG WRITING AND OTHER CREATIVE PROJECTS
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The article explores the influence of Orwell’s fiction on the creative output of Ray Davies, one of Britain’s finest songwriters and the erstwhile frontman of The Kinks, a ‘British Invasion’ group. The Davies oeuvre can be placed alongside Orwell’s work due to its entertainment value, sharpness of ob- servation and complex, conflicted socio-political sympathies. By balancing utopian visions with dystopian premonitions and by offering regular critiques of the culture they hold dear, Orwell and Davies represent the same tradition of cautious patriotism. They also share a similar aesthetic, communicating their insights through humour, self-mockery and acerbic wit.
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