Monday 14 February 2011

I can't believe you just said that...

I read this article a couple of days ago and cringed a little, the way I cringe when I overhear a really bad chat-up line, or I watch a stupid tackle in a football game and the subsequent it wasn't my fault gestures.

But the more I thought about it, the more incensed I became.

What right has any author got to demean the work of another author? Has that writer not spent as much time thinking about plot, characters, research? What right has any author got to demean readers who are not specifically his own? Children are very discerning in their reading matter, and they are the adult readers of the future. Added to this, the mention of brain damage in this inflamatory concoction, means he's insulted a whole section of the population who may or may not be fans of his.

The arrogance and egotism of Martin Amis is incredible - he says: "I would never write about someone that forced me to write at a lower register than what I can write."
I just sat with my mouth open when I read that part. Children do not want to be written down to. They want authors who respect them and want to give them the very best literary experience, a book they can come back to time and again, and even as adults look back on fondly.

Opinion, I understand, is divided over his own talent to say the least. I personally have never made it to the end of one of his novels - a quick search on Google reveals I have tried to read three of his books - Money, The Information and, just recently, The Rachel Papers - and given up through intense boredom each time. I find his novels and characters to be arrogant and egotistical, and now I know why! Yet he is apparently setting himself to be the benchmark to which every writer should strive - or so it seems through these comments. I think not. His writing style is sludgy, slimy and unappealing, and sooo middle/upper class that I feel immediately alienated. He doesn't draw me into these worlds, he blocks me from entering with a shake of his head and his arms folded, with the appearance of a very surly doorman.

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