And what should they know of England who only England know?
Rudyard Kipling, The English Flag
This is a book about the exploits of a Greek student in Britain. It explores notions of Britishness and Englishness in a fun and intuitive way and it has plenty of funny quotes too! Take a Greek with a wicked sense of humour and plant him in the UK. Let him live and study English Literature in one of its universities; let him mingle with British students and become fully immersed in British culture. The result: you get this totally and utterly irreverent satire about sex, drugs, (no rock’n'roll but booze galore), food, education and all the other cultural appurtenances that give a people their identity. It will take you by the hand (oh horror of horrors!) and guide you in such fundamental notions as the taboo on the public display of affection, the obsession with one-night-stands and, should you feel like an intellectual (hey, I know, if you are British this is most likely NOT your cup of tea), give you plentiful allusions to and parodies of such literary masters as Nietzsche, Dante, Beckett, Swift and T.S. Eliot.
Highly not recommended for UK nationals. This book poses a major threat to your Britishness and your proud sense of national identity. It could seriously piss you off, mate.
You have been warned!
I remember the very day, sometime during the first two weeks of my five-year amorous sojourn in Brutland, when I was made privy to one of the most arcane of their utterings. The time was ripe for that major epiphany, my initiation into the sacred knowledge—or should I say gnosis?—of that all-important, quintessentially Brutish slang term, the word that endless hours of scholastic education by renowned mentors, plus years of scrupulous scrutiny into scrofulous texts, had disappointingly failed to impart to me, leaving me with that deep sense of emptiness begotten by hemimathy; the time was finally ripe for me to be transported by the velvety feel of the unvoiced palato-alveolar fricative, the élan of the unpronounceable and masochistically hedonistic front open-rounded vowel, and, last but not least, the (admittedly short) ejaculatory quality of the voiced velar stop: all three of them combined together to form that miraculous lexical item, the word shag.
—From the book
— Which readers are most likely to enjoy and relate to this book?
Foreign students who have studied or plan to study in the United Kingdom; foreigners who live in the United Kingdom; British citizens with a sense of humour and an open mind who are interested in the notions of Englishness and Britishness and want to know how others see them. The book also contains a plethora of selected quotations about the British, many of them being the result of original research and not published elsewhere.