Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Quote unquote

Or misquote in this case. Naughty Another Country - you've let me down, you've let the school down but most of all you've let yourself down...
When I started out on this blog it was a whim.Not a lot of thinking involved and when I got to the point where I had to come up with a title I put in the first thing that came into my head.
How about Another Country? Didn't somebody say the past is another country, they do things differently there? Or something of the sort. It seemed to fit my purposes - the past is another country in erotic fiction, they certainly do some different stuff there (click the 'read me' button on the right for a flavour.)
Then up popped a post a day or two ago from the visionary Underling and my certainty got a bit of a shaking. Namely the second excerpt of a story he called Another Country.
I had to check. With a few minutes googling I found what I thought was my source, the novel 'The Go-Between', by LP Hartley. It was published in the 1950s, but set in the years before WW1.
Turns out that Hartley said: "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." Oops, so where did I get another country from?
Well first off, lots of other writers seem to have made the same error. The misquote "the past is another country" turns up so often that it has developed a life of its own.
It's possibly a result of two quotes being shunted together to make something that people like better than either original. Christopher Marlowe used the phrase "another country" in 'The Jew of Malta'
No excuses really though. I must try harder. I must try harder. I must try harder. I must try harder. I must try harder. I must try harder.I really must try harder...

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