Closing in on seventy, he has by now spent decades outside Kingsley Amis’s fading shadow, but his literary psychology remains distinctly more fils than père. His deepest considerations and loyalties have all involved literary father figures. Most of those are now dead, but Amis, having sometimes reviewed their books while they lived, still tends and ponders their achievements through the posthumous appearance of letters or adaptations or previously unpublished works. By my count, adding up what’s in this new collection and three previous ones—“The Moronic Inferno” (1986), “Visiting Mrs. Nabokov” (1993), and “The War Against Cliché” (2001)—there are five takes on Philip Larkin; seven each on Saul Bellow and Philip Roth; nine apiece on J. G. Ballard and Updike; and ten on Vladimir Nabokov, the most baroque of all the statues in Amis’s personal pantheon.
Monday, January 29, 2018
… Martin Amis, Style Supremacist | The New Yorker. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)