Patriotic ‘Truthiness’: the Myth of English History in England, England

Patriotic ‘Truthiness’: The Myth of English History in England, England

A reverence towards their history which borders religious worship is one of the defining characteristics of the English people in England England, by Julian Barnes. At Martha’s childhood school the students went through religious rituals on a daily basis, but those prayers were seen as superficial and hurried; a simple case of going through the motions in order to be able to consider them complete. This is contrasted with the daily ritual of the recitation of English history which is described as a type of worship, with the teacher who oversaw it depicted as “a charismatic priestess, keeping time, guiding the gospellers” (11). The history that England worships is not factually based, nor is there a wide desire for it to become such; patriotism and national pride are built upon a culture of fabricated memories and manufactured myths, thus putting the self identity of Englishness on shaky grounds as it moves into the future.
Often the best way to understand a group of people is to look at those who are not a part of them; without the ‘other’ the ‘us’ would cease to exist. The first example of a foreigner that is brought into the world of Englishness is the French intellectual, who came in to consult and advise Sir Jack and his employees on their England, England project. He describes the project as not an attempt to replicate English heritage and tradition, but rather the attempt to make something altogether novel and new. Overall his attitude can be described as extremely postmodern and as a result it was greatly distasteful to his audience at Pitco, in particular Sir Jack, even thought what he was saying was pleasantly reassuring in terms of the England, England vision. The French intellectual put an emphasis on the detachment of the replica from the original, whereas Englishness, and by extension of potential success of England, England, is centered on the notion of an emotional...