No British writer has had a greater impact on the Anglo-American generation which came of age in the decade following World War II than George Orwell. His influence has been, and continues to be, deeply felt by intellectuals of all political stripes, including the Marxist Left (Raymond Williams, E. P. Thompson), the anarchist Left (George Woodcock, Nicolas Walter), the American liberal-Left (Irving Howe), American neoconservatives (Norman Podhoretz), and the Anglo-American Catholic Right (Christopher Hollis, Russell Kirk).
Perhaps Orwell's broadest imprint, however, was stamped upon the only literary group which has ever regarded him as a model: the Movement writers of the 1950s. Unlike the above-mentioned groups, which have consisted almost entirely of political intellectuals rather than writers—and whose members have responded to him as a political critic first and a writer second—some of the Movement writers saw Orwell not just as a political intellectual but also as the man of letters and/or literary stylist whom they aspired to be.
The Movement writers were primarily an alliance of poet-critics. The “official” members numbered nine poets and novelists; a few other writers and critics loomed on the periphery. Their acknowledged genius, if not leading publicist, was Philip Larkin, who later became Britain's poet laureate. Orwell's plain voice influenced the tone and attitude of Larkin's poetry and that of several other Movement poets, especially Robert Conquest and D. J. Enright. But Orwell shone as an even brighter presence among the poet-novelists, particularly John Wain and Kingsley Amis, whose early fictional anti-heroes were direct descendants of Gordon Comstock in Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936) and George Bowling in Coming Up for Air (1939).