Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Kathy Love, a great South Londoner (Or: Flinging Martin Amis across the room)

When the Guardian last week revealed that Martin Amis was to become professor of creative writing at Manchester University, it lapsed into a dangerous piece of journalistic shorthand: "Amis, who is often described as Britain's greatest living author . . ."

Is he? By whom? Using what criteria? One agitated reader was moved to write to the paper - and threatened the ultimate sanction: "If the media refer to Martin Amis as 'Britain's greatest living author' once more," wrote Kathy Love from south London, "I shall kill myself. The fact that such a misconception exists at all is enough to make most people with a passion for books want to emigrate to Uruguay immediately. Please save my life and don't do it again."

I tracked her down to an internet cafe. "I have never enjoyed a Martin Amis book," she e-wailed. "Most of them I have flung across the room unfinished. I hate his self-conscious literary style, his pathetic posturing. More importantly, he has nothing to say. Greatness in a writer can only be awarded posthumously. Let them snuff it first, I say. Then we'll decide."

That's Stephen Moss in The Guardian, found via The Soul of Man Under Capitalism, the new(ish) blog brought to you from the same folks as brought you Cunt of the Week. Both are well worth a visit.

1 comment:

V said...

Thanks for the link and the kinds words. You made an angry man very happy ;)