A little-known essay on the Spanish Revolution by Cyril Connolly following his visit to Barcelona in November 1936 when he attended the funeral of Buenaventura Durruti and interviewed the latter’s former comrade-in-arms, Juan Garcia Oliver, who, disgracefully and despite the rhetoric, had just accepted the role of Minister of Justice in the government of Largo Caballero:


Cyril Connolly (1903-74) was a prominent British writer and editor, well known in particular for his book reviews. A biographer described him as “Precociously brilliant in his youth, haunted for the rest of his life by a sense of failure and a romantic yearning to recover a lost Eden.” He was a schoolmate and friend, from their earliest days, of George Orwell, of whom he remarked:  “He reduced everything to politics; he was also unalterably of the Left. His line may have been unpopular or unfashionable, but he followed it unhesitatingly; in fact it was an obsession. He could not blow his nose without moralising on conditions in the handkerchief industry.” Connolly himself is famous for his dictum addressed to would-be literary types: “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” And reviewing for Harold Evans’s Sunday Times Miguel Garcia’s book Franco’s Prisoner (1972), his comradely words for the veterans, alive and fallen, of  thirty-six years of anarchist resistance to fascism in Spain far surpassed in strength  and commitment any of the liberalistic phrase-mongering appearing in what liked to pose as the mainstream anarchist press in Britain.