I arrived at Swansea University as a student a few years after Kingsley Amis left, which was a shame because I would like to have met him. I’ve never much cared for the output of his increasingly obnoxious son, Martin who seems to think euthanasia booths for the aged are a good idea. Considering Martin Amis is 60, one would think that the instinct for self-preservation would deter him from advertising such boorish ideas; he grew up in a less civilised time than his father, of course. Kingsley Amis showed little interest in his son’s work, apparently,
Kingsley Amis had a keen eye for the absurdity of the cherished ambitions of the elite, although in his personal life he was not averse to indulging them. His novel “Stanley and the Women” particularly appealed to me; by today’s standards it was rabidly misogynistic – it’s main proposition was that all women are mad, a notion that resonated with me greatly at the time. It must have been a phase I was going through. He didn’t much like Dylan Thomas, but I forgave him that.
I was thinking of plagiarising one of Amis’s bon mots for this blog: “If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing”.
A new book, “Conversations with Kingsley Amis” has just been published; I am looking forward to reading it (hint for birthday present).