Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The winter of his discontent …

… Martin Amis: ‘I miss the English’ | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

If America is, for Amis, an easier place in which to grow old – fewer critics, for a start – he retains an expectation that he and his wife will move home one day. “I miss the English,” he says. “I miss Londoners. I miss the wit. Americans, they’re very, well, de Tocqueville saw this coming in about 1850 – he said, it’s a marvellous thing, American democracy, but don’t they know how it’s going to end up? It’s going to be so mushy that no one will dare say anything for fear of offending someone else. That’s why Americans aren’t as witty as Brits, because humour is about giving a little bit of offence. It’s an assertion of intellectual superiority. Americans are just as friendly and tolerant as Londoners, but they flinch from mocking someone’s background or education.”
There is much in what he says.

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