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Tony Grist

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Potterism: Rose Macaulay [Sep. 20th, 2010|03:33 pm]
Tony Grist
Potterism is Macaulay's word for "the mixture of humbug, sentimentality, commercialism and genuine feeling" which doesn't otherwise have a name but which one recognises as a thing which should have a name when one encounters it in the pages of the Daily Mail.  I'm sure she hoped her coinage would stick (and it may have had a bit of slangly currency for a while) but in the end the book that launched it wasn't strong enough to hold it in the public mind and keep it there. This is a pity. It would be good to have a single word with which to pin the thing down.

Untypically for Macaulay it's an angry book-  with something that feels a lot like self-disgust taking the place of her usual detached amusement.  It came out just after the First World War which may be the explanation. There are few characters to like.  After a while it turns into a sort of half-hearted murder mystery.

Potterism the word didn't catch on, Potterism the book is a relative failure (though very readable), but Potterism- the thing itself- flourishes over these defeats in unknowing self-delight.
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Comments:
From: jorrocks_j
2010-09-20 11:45 pm (UTC)

But it's perfect for the mixture of humbug, sentimentality, commercialism and genuine feeling...

...that one encounters in J. K. Rowling's novels.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-09-21 08:48 am (UTC)

Re: But it's perfect for the mixture of humbug, sentimentality, commercialism and genuine feeling...

Ouch!
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