D J Taylor

Take Note

Viewed sub specie aeternitatis, the freelance literary life can sometimes look simply like a succession of odd jobs. And so, without wanting any sympathy for the torments wreaked upon my sensitive soul, I should straightaway confess that I have in my time scripted in-flight videos for Cathay Pacific Airways, written reports and accounts brochures for defence manufacturers, and interviewed Damon Albarn for the Mail on Sunday. Earlier this year, on the other hand, there arrived what in the context of book reviews, op-ed columns and demands for 800 words on ‘an incident you’ll never forget’ was a relatively unusual commission: an invite from messrs Penguin to compile an ‘annotated’ edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four for the student market.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,
    • 'We read from left to right and from start to finish. Or do we?' Stuart Hannabus considers the merits of reading i… ,
    • Domestic scandal, sexual abuse and serial killers are on the menu in April's crime round-up. revie… ,