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Monday, June 7, 2010


Found this marvellous picture of my literary heart throb Martin Amis on the Telegraph site, thanks to a tweet and retweet by @neversarah and @gabyhinsliff.

Do I need an excuse to share it? No, I don't. Oh the joy of blogging. Look at the darling little crease on the top of his nose. So adorably grumpy. Sigh.

Even better is the article that goes with it, describing Amis's talk at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival last week, on the subject that literary awards only go to boring books. Here's what he said:

"There was a great fashion in the last century, and it's still with us, of the unenjoyable novel.

"And these are the novels which win prizes, because the committee thinks, 'Well it's not at all enjoyable, and it isn't funny, therefore it must be very serious.' "

The unenjoyable novel. So perfectly put. He goes on to descibe his own intentions as a writer, comparing them with the experience of reading late James Joyce:

"I want to give the reader the best glass of wine I have, the best food in my kitchen. Some writers clearly don't feel that way at all.

"When you visit the later James Joyce, you knock on the door and there's no one there.

"Eventually after you have wandered around for a bit you hear him in the other room mumbling to himself as he prepares a snack of two slabs of peat around a conger eel and some homemade cider that is absolutely undrinkable."

As I have always said that I hope one of my books is the reading equivalent of settling down on the sofa with a box of rose and violet creams, this makes me very happy. Martin and I clearly feel exactly the same way about it.

I love him. I just love him. I wouldn't want to go on a villa holiday with him - but in type, I love him.

Here's the link to the article:

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry, Maggie, but I call bullshit on that. Oh yes, those poor benighted judges, sitting around deliberately choosing the worst, most unreadable books to give awards to. No wonder no one ever buys or reads or enjoys the (for example) Booker Prize winners... oh wait. Wolf Hall anyone?

    I enjoy challenging literary fiction and I object to those books being disparaged equally as much as I object to popular/commercial fiction being disparaged. Each has its readers (and they are often the same readers) and each has its place on the bookshelf.

    Personally, I've never been able to get past the first couple of pages of an Amis novel. Didn't enjoy them, actually. I guess "enjoyable" is in the eye of the reader.