Martin Amis on Martin Amis
in the words of Martin Amis (for a change)
by Stephen James

Lack of fame is almost seen as a violation of your civil rights
It’ll look like a parting V sign to England
They wish that you were so influenced by them
It must be to do with my father
reduced to writing about writers.
you have unpleasant women in your novels so you’re a misogynist
extra-literary, not literary at all
how long are you going to last?

Not all of me will die
the old will outnumber the young by two-to-one
The old will flood the cities like a tsunami of hideous refugees, stinking up all the restaurants and using up all the hospital space
the egotism of the human race

we are not naturally an altruistic animal
I defend my right to say that kind of thing
No-one has the right not to be offended
You shouldn’t be singled out

The qualities we enjoy in a fictional character have nothing to do with what we value in life
It’s the hardest thing in fiction to write enjoyably about goodness and happiness
Fiction is freedom.

erect these no-entry signs
no serious person ever thinks about anything else
a mirror that will show you not what you look like, but who you really are
Are you a Sadist? Do you have courage?
the constantly cherished sense of your own innocence
the feeling of mortality

SOURCE: Martin Amis interview on ABC-TV in Australia (2/26/14).

IMAGE: Author Martin Amis (BBC photo).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I tried to pick out lines that not only sounded poetic and had some atmosphere to them but also related to things that I, and I’m sure sure quite a lot of other people, associate with our Martin. Things like the strange kind of fame that can only be achieved by a cult author, his father, narcissism, wanting to “beat” mortality, sexism, whether or not people have the right to complain or be offended by literature or art (even if it’s misogynistic) and fiction vs. reality as an entire concept. I have added nothing to these lines, I have not even changed the order. This is all Martin, baby.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Twenty-three years old and hailing from Manchester, UK, Stephen James has been writing for a long time and has a blog but is relatively new to doing so publicly and performing his work. Over the last six months or so, however, he has jumped right in there. He has self-published a book of poems and several pamphlets containing short fiction(ish) and has guested at several events and made himself a regular at numerous open mic nights. He even ranked last in a poetry slam. He also hosts his own Spoken Word Showcase, which is definitely not a competition. He is a strong believer in poetry as self-expression, and self-expression is something that you cannot do wrong or better or worse than somebody else. He urges everybody to put pen to paper. It is immensely satisfying.