|Saying something is 'satire' isn't an automatic get-out clause from its content. |
True, as I pointed out when I wrote:
this doesn't exonerate him from charges of various forms of gross insensitivity
I assume you're not accusing me of letting Amis off the hook, 'cause it's clear from the above that I'm not.
What non-repugnant values and principles do you think we can find in Amis?
For starters, almost every novel he's written has been concerned, implicitly or explicitly, with male violence. It'd be hard to argue that this is something that he is in any way for. Instead, it is deeply, deeply implicated in almost every horror he writes about, from capitalism, to nuclear weapons, to the gulag. As he writes in the first para of 'Yellow Dog': 'Male violence did it'.
Like Twig the Wonder Kid, I too have really conflicted feelings about Amis. I'm certainly not looking to paper over the problems in his work, nor am I looking to covert anyone to it. I do think, though, that there are things of worth in his novels, especially his London trilogy, and I don't want to dismiss them on the grounds that his unreliable narrators at times mouth politically objectionable views. Amis' recent journalism, however, is another matter, seeing as in that case authorial opinion is much more clear cut. It's tempting to read one through the lens of the other, but that would be to perhaps a) misunderstand the nature of a 'text', and b) to map the older author onto the younger.
if anyone can find a passage (a paragraph, maybe), or Amis' fiction that they think is aesthetically pleasing or particularly effective in some way, then I'll attempt to explain why I think it'sin fact smug, florid and overblown dribble (if I do think that)
Sounds like fun. I post the below (the opening para of London Fields) not in the spirit of converting Flyboy to MA, but in the hope of being entertained by his analysis.
"This is a true story but I can't believe it's really happening.
It's a murder story, too. I can't believe my luck.
And a love story (I think), of all strange things, so late in the century, so late in the goddamned day.
This is the story of a murder. It hasn't happened yet. But it will. (It had better.) I know the murderer, I know the murdereee. I know the time, I know the place. I know the motive (her motive) and I know the means. I know who will be the foil, the fool, the poor foal, also utterly destroyed. And I couldn't stop them, I don't think, even if I wanted to. The girl will die. It's what she always wanted. You can't stop people, once they start. You can't stop people, once they start creating.
What a gift. This page is briefly stained by my tears of gratitude. Novelists don't usually have it so good, do they, when something real happens (something unified, dramatic and pretty saleable), and they just write it down?"
Robot Wars, commence!