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Somewhere or other, someone remarks

October 16, 2020

Philip Hensher begins a review (of Rupert Everett’s To the End of the World) in this week’s Spectator with the words: ‘Somewhere or other Martin Amis remarks that…’

As soon as I read this opening I was struck by its familiarity, and a moment’s mental searching brought up the reason why. It is a re-cycling of George Orwell’s opening to his essay ‘Notes on Nationalism’: ‘Somewhere or other Byron makes use of the French word longueur, and remarks in passing that though in England we happen not to have the word, we have the thing in considerable profusion’. 

Given how well-read Hensher is, I doubt that the resemblance is a coincidence. But I am curious as to whether it was an unconscious echo, or a deliberate homage.

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2 Comments
  1. Simon Carter permalink

    An Homage to Catalonia?

  2. auke permalink

    Or, maybe, it actually reminded you of ‘Somewhere, a dog barked’:
    https://brandonrobshawtheenglishlanguage.com/2012/03/20/somewhere-a-dog-barked/

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