George Mikes – How to be an alien

“Foreigners have souls; the English haven’t.
On the Continent you find any amount of people who sigh deeply for no conspicuous reason, yearn, suffer and look in the air sadly. This is soul. 

The English have no soul; they have the unterstatement instead.”

“I heard of a distinguishedm pure-minded English publisher who adapted John Steinbeck’s novel ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ so skilfully that it became a charming little family book an grapes and other fruits, with many illustrations.
On the other hand, a continental publisher in London had a French political book ‘The Popular Front’ translated into English. It became an exciting, pornographic book, called ‘The Popular Behind’.”

“Queueing is the national passion of an otherwise dispassionate race. The English are rather shy about it, and deny that they adore it.

Many English families spend lovely evenings at home just by queueing up for a few hours, and the parents are very sad when the children leave them and queue up for going to bed.”

Beinahe zu kurz, um als Buch durchzugehen, aber herzlich schwarz bringt dieser Klassiker von 1946 die Klischees über die britische Seele auf den Punkt.