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Literature / The English Dragon

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Damn funny-looking dragon.

A 2001 novel written by Tim Bragg. A chap named Oliver has his toddler son Ben kidnapped by stoned inner-city teenagers, provoking much mulling over what it means to be English and a culture clash between young and old, urban and rural, cosmopolitan and traditional.

The book was published by Athelney, whose catalogue also includes An English Nationalism, The Deculturalisation of the English People and English Witness to their Darkest Hour. The outfit is based in England.

Bragg later wrote a sequel, Oak, published by Black Cat Distribution using Lulu.

This book provides examples of:

  • Author Avatar: Like Bragg, Oliver is an English nationalist, a musician, and involved with small political parties.
  • Author Filibuster:
    • "Our Freedom is being eroded. Those bastards in government are taking it from us stealthily and insidiously. Our culture is being eroded. You can't be English any more. They'll make it illegal. '1984' said it all" says Oliver.
    • More still when Oliver imagines himself as Dante in Hell: "Oliver reserved the first circle for the writers of novels who censored their own work so as not to fall foul of politically correct editors... The second circle would be reserved for the editors and publishers who were scared of anything that wasn't politically correct... In the next circle he put cowardly politicans... In the next circle - always getting tighter and fouler he put the television presenters who voiced only one point of view... Oliver thought about the next circle [and] [p]eopled it with social worker busybodies".
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Played straight. Oliver wets himself while panicking about Ben's disappearance.
  • Jive Turkey: "Yoh, pimp, you bin shaggin' the bitch?"
  • Patriotic Fervour: Portrayed positively.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: Oliver. Although he'd probably rather be known as an English gentleman.
  • Shout-Out: The opening paragraph of chapter 14 is a pastiche of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four; in this version, Winston Smith's job now involves adding ethnic minorities to old films ("Films without cultural and racial diversity had to be re-cast. It was essential - for harmony and peace - to eradicate truth.").
  • Strawman Political: Liberal characters are prone to coming out with comments such as "You're racist because you're White" and "How do you know that you aren't a fascist?". The ignorant youths who kidnap Oliver's son, meanwhile, have dialogue like "St. George - He's someat to do with England...a king or someat" and "Nelson? Didn't he fight the Germans?" - Strawman Apolitical, perhaps.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Several chapters are narrated by Ben, the toddler. His remarkably eloquent inner voice is lampshaded. Ben represents naivety and Everyman - a literary device to see everything but to do so in an objective/naive manner.