MAD SEASON   Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:31 pm GMT
Robin   Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:16 pm GMT
Last night I saw quite a moving film on TV, about a woman in a hospital, who was undergoing a course of treatment that would eventually kill her.

Initially, I thought the woman was English. But then, I noticed that all the Hospital Staff had American accents. So, I concluded that it was an American film.

I know this is not directly on the subject. But 'English Speakers' have to look for clues as to the location, before concluding where the location is.

So to answer your question, although I am sure there are significant differences between American Literature and British Literature, for most readers; the plot, the characters, the location, are the things that matter.

The film was called "Wit" (2001)

(Note: the two different meanings for the word: 'English', below)

Emma Thompson plays Dr Vivian Bearing, a middle-aged English professor and expert on John Donne's meditations on life and death, the Holy Sonnets. When Bearing is belatedly diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, Donne's sonnets take on an added resonance. The disease is in its fourth stage. There is no fifth.

Emma Thompson (born April 15, 1959) is a double Academy Award, Emmy Award and BAFTA-winning English actress, comedian, and screenwriter.
Boy   Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:39 pm GMT
Robin, I don't get your main point. Your style of explaining things go over my head and also my IQ level is zero, that's also a part of the problem. What you are trying to say is that English literature is more detailed and verbose than American literature which is precise in length. This was the impression that I got after comparing the length of above mentioned passages. Accept my apologies in advance if I misinterpreted your post,

Anyways, I will check that movie out because "Moving movies" and "Hollywood" do not go hand in hand.
Robin   Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:54 pm GMT
Dear Boy

I did not really answer the question because I was talking about differences between English and American things in general.

The other thing I did; was a copy and paste, without making it clear, what was 'imported'.

I was recently quite impressed by a book, that my English Teacher regarded as being pornographic, which was:

'Taming the Beast' Emily Maguire

The novel is by an Australian author who studied in the States. (The name is Irish)

The book I eventually chose to study, is:

The Number One Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

This is a novel set in Botswana (close to South Africa and Zimbabwe). The author is Scottish which pleased my teacher. However the author was actually born in Zimbabwe.

If I am making any point, it is that the distinctions are not 'cut and dried'. There is an 'English Speaking World'.

The novel we have been given as a set book, is:

'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' by Muriel Spark

This time, very much a Scottish Author in a Scottish location, dealing with Scottish themes.

To conclude: 'There is an 'English Speaking World'.
Boy   Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:49 pm GMT
Robin, Thanks for your clarification. Now I get the gist of your post. I have a question let's make it two. First, when you say "There is an English speaking World" but my observation says that It is always American and British authors who always rule the roost and maybe Scottish authors to some extent -- apart from them no-one talks about Aussie, Kiwi and Canadian authors, they are always like on the backburner. I feel like English literature is comprised of American and British authors only and the authors from other countries are not discussed or popular among the masses. I don't know why is this? How can you say that "There is a whole Speaking world" when the authors from two English speaking countries are more popular. or Am I missing something?

Second, you study novels after novels as a part of your course of study. Have they changed your perception towards many things in real life, do you feel better as a person? I mean I have read simplified novels of Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie...for improving my English. On the creative or philosophical side, I gained nada from these novels, so I am wondering what is the purpose of reading them?
Adam   Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:46 pm GMT
"but my observation says that It is always American and British authors who always rule the roost and maybe Scottish authors to some extent "

I always thought the Scots were British.
Boy   Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:04 pm GMT
Opinions are divided on this as it seems most of the time on this forum. Adam, I also know what you are talking about(Scotland has not got an independence yet). I am also confused by the fact that whenever universities from UK come to visit the local city - I always witness a separate compartment/space for Scotland and UK. Don't Scotland universities have to represent under the UK universities compartment/space when Scots are British? Why are there two separate cricket teams - Scotland and England? Shouldn't Scottish cricketers represent England if they are British? Why is there a separate cricket forum for Scotland on BBC website? It seems that Scots dont call themselves British... enough chaos , confusion for a little mind.
Damian in Edinburgh   Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:17 pm GMT
It's good to know that Emma Thompson is a fellow Arian. She is just brilliant...and so versatile...she played Sally in the last West End stage production of "Me and My Girl" at the Lyric in the Strand.
Robin   Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:24 pm GMT
Well, it is confusing for a British person living in Scotland etc etc.

I recently went to Ireland, where there was a war memorial for Irish soldiers who fought for the British Army in India, China and the Crimea.

'England and Wales', Scotland, and Northern Ireland (Ulster)

Ireland (Eire) which is Southern Ireland, is a seperate country within the European Union.

Together they are the British Isles, but British does not include people from the South of Ireland, now-er-days.

The House of Commons at Westminster, is the Government of Britain, and England, and Northern Ireland.

In addition, there is a separate Parliament for Scotland, and a National Assembly for Wales.

Education is something that has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament. So Scottish Universities, will be represented by an organisation funded by the Scottish Parliament, that is separate from anything English, Welsh or Irish.

It is confusing, and all the implications have not been fully worked out. Ireland has a different currency, the Euro, to the rest of the British Isles, which have the Pound Sterling.

If you are really interested, do a search on the 'East Lothian Question'.

In Ireland, the best seller lists are full of Irish books, which are of course, written in English, rather than Irish (Gaelic). I am sure that you would find something similar in Australia or New Zealand. The culture that you are exposed to, is probably dominated by the BBC, and American Television.

Bye for now
Uriel   Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:01 pm GMT
Well, back to the original question: do you think there is any big difference between American and British novels, in terms of style, plotting, characterization, etc.? I don't think you can point out any hard-and-fast rules for either nationality -- I think it varies by the individual author, regardless of their nationality.