Quotation by Martin Green

In many ways, Twain and Waugh were strikingly similar. Even within the group of great humorists, they belong together. Both anti-erotic imaginations, they stress male comradeships and represent love-relationships most conventionally and sentimentally. They both show society as dominated by fools and bores, and fate as characterized by betrayal and disaster—life as subordinate to death. For that reason, no doubt, both are much interested in militarism and the machinery of death, as well as in the military and manly virtues. Both men tell jokes that belong to the bar where magistrates gather, managers, captains, men who take responsibility for law and order. Both were quickly irritated by most real clubs and bars. One might say that both belonged to the same cultural type.
Martin Green (b. 1927), U.S. cultural historian, critic. Transatlantic Patterns: Cultural Comparisons of England with America, ch. 5, Basic Books (1977).
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