Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The process of writing a novel begins with a pang, a moment of recognition, and a situation, a character, or something you read in a paper, that seems to go off, like a solar flare inside your head. And you think, “I could write a novel about this.”
Martin Amis (via armedwithink)
Thursday, March 20, 2014
There is nothing as naked as human eyes: they haven’t even got skin over them.
Martin Amis, Time’s Arrow (via aknowmadspalimpsest)
Monday, March 17, 2014
Twenty may not be the start of maturity, but in all conscience, it’s the end of youth.
Martin Amis, The Rachel Papers (via poached-pilcrow)
Friday, January 17, 2014
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Probably human cruelty is fixed and eternal. Only styles change.
Martin Amis, “Time’s Arrow” (via freedfromcontext)
Friday, November 29, 2013
She smoked intently, narrowing her eyes each time she exhaled. One thing about that face: it is always beautifully lit.
London Fields, Martin Amis (via waco-bacon)
Friday, October 18, 2013
And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.
Martin Amis, London Fields (via trivialandvague)
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Monday, September 2, 2013
Martin Amis’ new novel
I noticed something at the bottom of Martin Amis’ new essay in The New York Times on Philip Roth, that his upcoming novel has a name: The Zone of Interest.
I had known for some time that he was working on a novel about the Holocaust, his second on the subject if you include the most excellent Time’s Arrow — my favourite Amis novel, as it goes. But I was not aware of the title. Google informs me that this is slightly old news by now. In the FT in May, the structure of the thing was outlined, at least:
The new novel is set in an unnamed Auschwitz. Amis points out that there was a “whole other stratum in Auschwitz that consisted of wives of SS officers, including the commandant, and they had quite a well-developed social life – they had theatre and thés dansants … ”
The genesis of the work was what he calls a donné, a bolt from the blue “where a little throb goes through you and you think, this is the start of something I can sit down and write. It was a very counter-intuitive one. It was imagining love at first sight at Auschwitz.” The woman involved is the wife of the camp commandant; the man is the nephew of Martin Bormann, Hitler’s private secretary, who, says Amis, is a sort of liaison officer and “very much against the regime”.
There are three narrators: the commandant, the nephew and a member of the Sonderkommando, the Jewish units forced to help with the disposal of gas chamber victims.
A writer’s life is half ambition and half anxiety, and there has to be both. It is no good writing a novel and feeling fine, and it is no good writing a whole novel feeling miserable. It has to be both, that mixture of anxiety and ambition, and you get that with every novel, but more so when you write about these epics of human suffering. I felt that just as much when I wrote about the Gulag. Every writer knows what that is. The process goes… you have to think: ‘This novel I am writing is no good.’ Then you have to think: ‘All my novels are no good.’ And then, when you reach that point, you can begin.
Martin Amis (via goonlibrary)