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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Notes From A Small Island

So, what can you say about the English language? It's “the most successful language that hurdled teeth” with “more ways of saying more things than any other language,” a language “as new as the most recent refugee,” a “brilliant, invisible river that flows all round us, full of things that we’ve left unsaid,” something “deeper than you will ever manage to plumb and faster than you will ever patter.”

Ah, but the English people? This “ugly race,” afflicted by an “earthbound pedantic spirituality” and “puce-faced, finger-jabbing, spittle-flecked politics,” a people “impervious to fondness, sympathy or attraction” and susceptible to “a Pooterish yearning for a Fascist order.”

A.A. Gill's new book seems interesting, to say the least. (N.B. He's from Scotland.)


  • Eh? Again. Wasn't this book reviewed in the UK last year? Or at least, a very long time ago?

    Anyway, must get it. Love books about the English language, even text books. Have you read The Adventure of English, by Melvyn Bragg? Don't know who's responsible for it, but it's actually there at Crossword!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:59 AM  

  • I checked, and you're right: it was published earlier in the UK. The review's probably for a new US edition.

    By Blogger PrufrockTwo, at 12:13 PM  

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