Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Universal Disdain and Poured Scorn

I'm pretty sure I don't understand anything any more. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, it seems, have made up their differences and agreed to be children's camp counsellors in a new series of The Simple Life. Producer Jon Murray also intends to send them to a desert island with a bunch of survivalists. He says, 'They reached out to each other in universal disdain for the island concept and rekindled their friendship.' I've got to get out of the irony business, I'm being outclassed. Meanwhile, a fashion/celebrity website coos flatteringly about a short piece of mine on Paris in The Sunday Times Style magazine. Since the bit they quote so approvingly trashes more or less everything they stand for - Paris is 'the empty carrier for the entire culture of pallid, inattentive distraction.' - I'm not quite sure whether I'm up against more irony from a world I don't understand or they just can't read. I can, however, console myself with this headline from the Guardian, "Canoeists pour scorn on deals to open up 40 miles of waterways.' I've never heard or seen a canoeist pour scorn on anything, but it's very consoling - and understandable - to know that they do.

18 comments:

  1. In fact, I don't think I've ever met a canoeist, though a kayakist does come to mind.

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  2. That explains something, Maxine, but not quite the weird nexus of irony and greed I was trying to define. People used to try and hide this stuff. But I think the combination of smart manager and dumb client is the new mode. I saw it with Aaron Jacksonand John Wayne Bobbit. Very weird.

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  3. Muggeridge's Law strikes again. No wonder Tom Lerher retired because he couldn't compete with reality. And that was a couple decades ago. It's tougher today.

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  4. Irony has been dead for longer than I've been alive. Certainly since the mass media explosion that propelled TV, radio and mass circulation dailies into their epistemological pole positions. As Amis, the Crown Prince of Rolling Irony, has recently said: 'Journalism conspires against literature.' To which I would add: 'Yes, Mart: by rendering all mainstream writing and especially the Amisian ouevre/mode of 'literature' journalism.' And: 'So what are you going to do - do, not write - about it, matey?'

    Answer: nothing, I bet.

    The problem we're all up against now is not providing fresh irony-transcendent content as such, but transcending the still-birthing dead-end of our modern delivery systems. 'The medium is now the message' turns out to have manifested itself as a terrible conversational stasis: by their very nature, TV/radio/mass dailies are permanently ironic modes of conversation, now that the first fertile blushes of technological innovation have been replaced by stylistic cliche, routine and self-reference, and especially since Reality TV/vox-pop/talkback/the internet has rendered us all our own (rolling) media critics-cum-technical deconstructionists. Who still presumes that what we see/hear/read is not some oblique or outright witty opposite of itself? This, let's not forget, is the literal definition of at least the key mechanism of irony. And here's the trouble: we can all do (the mechanism) of irony - in fact we have little choice, unless we want to play the contemptible straight man in someone's clever ironic skit; the Gotcha! victim, the Fool Who (Still!) Believes in God (snicker). But we can, and do, all play-act like this at irony without needing to know how it really works, what it really is, where it stands in relation to reality, to the concrete world, to belief and idealism and our personal stake in the cause-and-effect actualities of Life. Once upon a time, Socrates had to summons forth a useful ironic mode solely from his rhetorical skill, his cleverness with words and debate, with interacting ideas. Now, the technology would do all the philosophical heavy lifting for him (thus destroying its raison d'etre)- slick editing, the juxtapositon of soundtrack musak, cut-aways, double-takes to camera...would all replace Socratic irony, blunting the creative/intellectual tool of irony and making it so much harder to use it effectively to inspire original thought, scepticism, inverted perspectives; to entice the collective creation of an intellectual ballet of engagement, itself leading to some new abstraction greater than the sum of the individual abstract parts.

    Paris Hilton, who is as dull as batshit and about as talented and interesting and original as a plastic drawing pin, is and/or has been turned into a perfect parody of the above process - by the accidents of modern information technology, which especially includes Gonzo journalism, AKA the journalist-as-fasttrack-faux-artiste. (Money, AKA popular media success, is also of course a fundamental component of the modern parodies of irony.) Fine, you might (a bit pitifully, actually) regard her career - books, albums, TV shows - in an 'ironic' light, BA...but it deserves no such contempt. It's a very real creative career, a booming one, in fact; even though it also is exactly what it looks like: a f**king hustle. But it's real enough, alright; a reality made possible, like all successful hustles, by the willing participation of...enough big-eyed hickbilly mugs.

    Which is where the real irony in the Paris Hilton story arises, BA: the irony is that...you are one of the big-eyed hickbilly mugs. Mate. Oh yes, there's real irony here, alright: big truckfulls of it. Shitloads of irony, bagfulls of it, mountains of it, oceans of it...irony that you're forelock-tuggingly allowing her to hand your way, you mug, like a silly besotted intellectual fool thinking he's opening the big baby blues of some waif of an undergrad to the Magnificent Truths & Mysteries of Life...when all she's doing is humoring him to get an easy pass. You sucker, BA. You dirty old slobbering Boomer sucker, stuffing your folded column-bills into the knickers of a vacuous billionaire tart in gummy gratitude for her flashing her not-very-fetching intellectual twat in your column-chops. You fool. You silly dribbling git. You really do think your ironic joke is on her - on the Jeffreys of the modern world - but it's on yourself, BA. It's on you, it's on Amis, it's on Rushdie, Bellow, Nabakov...Joyce's big ironic joke is on no-one but Joyce. It's on all the too-smart modernists and post-modernists who've been prattling away faux-ironically on the deck of their own sinking word-Titanic, instead of unironically manning the f**king lifeboats, or better yet, patching up the f**king holes and word-sailing on. The faux-ironic joke of the (post-)20th century is on all the clever writers who were and are still chatting away to each other in a self-satisfied vacuum, ironically amused at their own ironic amusement, as the possibility of words being genuinely useful to them for much longer gets eaten away...by f**ktard Barbarians with much to gain from just that.

    But mostly, BA, the Paris Hilton joke is on us - the would-be writers of my generation who want desperately to shore up words, the idea of words, the possibility of them. We are fighting against an ever-accelerating tidal wave of useless, faux-ironic f**king crap-words. Jesus, when are you 'professional writers' all going to shut up and DO something?

    The internet, of course, is the worst thing to happen to words since TV. It's a f**king disaster for words. A catastrophe. A digital suicide bomb. Once you guys have gone, you Boomer guys, you McLuhanite children of the mass media age, with your comforting, misleading word-weight placebos - your byline incumbency, your celebrity, the sheer media/word momentum your generation has accumulated - my lot will inherit a world in which words have been faux-ironised to death. Words will mean nothing at all, not for reasons of 'semantic bloat', or 'relativism', or 'post-modernism', or any other convenient scapegoats you Boomers bodge up, but simply because the best (talented, witty, funny, compassionate, inventive, disciplined, blessed, blessed, BA...blessed with talent and opportunities some of us would kill for...) the best writers stopped investing their own words with real world meaning to honour that talent, by matching their real world actions to their abstract world words...stopped doing this critical writerly thing, all in the name of, using the excuse of, thanks to, masquerading as...faux-irony...so long ago, that writers have all forgotten that that sort of integrity is still even possible. That a notion like 'literary integrity' doesn't automatically have to be an ironic joke. That words do not have to be 'ironically detached' to be clever. That making a living from writing is not an automatic mark of being a good writer. That maybe the opposite is closer to the truth now...when Maxine writes: 'Follow the money?', I want to write to her: 'Yes, OK, let's do that, Maxine. But only if you agree to ditch the sense of worldly, knowing (morally prophylactic) irony that comes packaged in that aside, too.'

    So will you? Will you do that, Maxine, with me? BA? Will you follow the money, without the safety net of irony? Because I think you've mapped out a path out of this hateful morass, one we all recognise and do hate, from Amis down. I think that, yes, maybe money is now the only benchmark with the intellectual firepower to cut through the stinking sea of faux-irony flooding the world's pages, flooding its epistemological engine room. And I think that (here it starts to get scary, Boomers) your lot, BA - the Appleyards, the Amises, the Bellows, the Name Boomer wordsmiths - are the only word-guardians with the personal financial grunt to wield that firepower effectively. Yes, I think it's time we followed the money to see which Boomer writers really do have Talent, Mart.

    Which is why your lot have always balked - by way of faux-irony - at embracing the traditional writerly obligations, BA. Because you all like being well-off. You imposters. It's really that pathetically mundane, isn't it. That's the real source of all this faux-irony. You need it to avoid having to say, of the latest (juicily lucrative) word-outrage gig offered your way: 'No, this is not right. So I refuse to be a part of it.' Novelist, journalist, speechwriter, filmmaker, academic, poet...who says no to money because the words don't sit just right, anymore? Not the 'best' writers, that's for sure. By definition. The medium is the message, and the message is: you have to be good to be a successful writer. So if you're not a successful writer, you're not good.

    How I long for a famous modern intellectual - let's say a Booker winner - to out-ironise the faux-ironic twentieth century by accepting the prize with humility and gratitude...while politely refusing the cash, purely as a matter of literary principle. How I long for Martin Amis to bequeath his entire next advance to the cause of...oh, I dunno, let's say the hiring of five full-time readers of unsolicited MSS at his publisher. How I long for Bryan Appleyard to publish an honest critique - and we both know how it would (should) sting him, BA - of what his boss Rupert Murdoch has done to journalism in his next Sunday Times column...the risk to his cushy word-sinecure be damned!

    And resign on principle should his editors refuse to run it.

    Yes, how I long for Zadie Smith, Dave Eggers, DBC Pierre, Johnathan Safran-Foer to...ah, but what the hell, why not let's do irony, too. That way we, too, can be rich and clever, if we're unTalented enough. Right Mart? Who once argued that it was not possible to be a talented writer under Stalin, because your Talent wouldn't let you write the sort of stuff that would see you stay alive. Well, I say it's not possible to be a Talented writer and rich in the West. Because your Talent shouldn't allow you to write the sort of stuff that will make you rich. You can be an unTalented writer and be rich, of course; just as you could be an Untalented writer under Stalin and survive. Thrive, even.

    Once upon a time the serious-writer-of-the-day's conscience-anvil might have been religious; it might have been political; it might have been ideological. Today, it's financial. There is no getting around it. Except, of course, by recourse, again and again and with every more transparent desperation, to...faux irony.

    The current ubiquity of which is which is why Paris Hilton - Christ, even Jefrey Archer - will win the Booker Prize before a Booker Prize winner will ever explicitly, manifestly acknowledge their direct cause-and-effect obligation to society in such a discomfortingly unironic way as those I suggested above.

    I hope you won't mind the rudeness, BA. You know I'm a great (and ever-hopeful) fan of yours. But I also think you, like all your peers, hide behind convenient faux-irony in a demeaning way. IMHO this blog is both far too faux-ironic and far too polite to deserve the self-aggrandising (though, natch, faux-ironically so) tag 'Thought Experiments'.

    Maybe 'Thought Cliches' would be more apt. Stop trying to suck up to the cool kids of the next (net) generation, BA. You wimpy old Boomer fawner. Say something interesting. Write something concrete. Do you believe in God? Who do you vote for? What wouldn't you write, as a writer, for money? Got any true career stories of that nature? It's not moralising to share them, you know. Or maybe it is, but so what? Are you scared of moralising? What would Rupert Murdoch have to do before you resigned from the ST in protest? Anything? What cause would you die for? Kill for? What's the piece of writing you most regret?

    No irony allowed. Come on, you wimp. Have a go. Yah boo sucks.

    PS: Pardon the length, too. I won't cry 'censorship!' if you ditch this post on those grounds. I've always had trouble writing succinctly, a talent/stylistic weakness that has made for many a tedious blog post in the past. It also probably accounts for my failure as a writer thus far. A big component of the way the (mass media) medium has thoroughly trumped the (ideas) message can be observed in the totalitarian triumph of such beasts as the 700 word column and the snappy one-line blog-comment.

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  5. Thanks, Jack. Overall you are right. Except that the Sunday Times does not censor me and I have never been told what to write. I never touch stories or opinions I don't believe - like everybody else I sometimes lose faith in them later - nobody, in short, pays me to say anything, they pay me to say something. You may find this hard to believe, but it is true. What you want os to turn boomer writers into a generation of Tolstoys. I can think of no nobler aim. There are myriad problems, however, ranging from the fact that no-one would listen to the fact that I don't know HOW to be Tolstoy toda. Anyway, I admire and appreciate your passion. It won't be quite as bad as you say after we're gone.

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  6. Not unexpectedly, remarkably generous, BA. Thanks.

    I wouldn't mind a blowjob for every occasion over the last decade that I've blundered rudely about, abusing both the hospitality and sensibility of precisely the wrong people on this theme. Like a lot of failed, and/or failing, would-be writers I come equipped with large chips on each shoulder, a boundless supply of self-pity and of course the requisite resentment of all Baby Boomers, especially those who grant me some of their time, space and effort, to listen.

    I do, in my own defence, often wonder where the line between healthy propelling anger and self-defeating narcissism lies, in the lonely (pathetic) battle to maintain motivation in the face of the professional writing world's...well, let's say ironically bemused indifference...only to give up, and conclude that angry instinct is all that you can trust in the end. Oh dear me, yes, that's just the sort of Tullian gripe that has 'talentless loser' imprinted all over it, in letters ten miles tall. O moan, o moan...Christ, the brutal f**king tyranny of writerly failure...it eats at you like a f**king cancer, alright...

    So all I can say is 'bless, for being so gracious', Bryan. One of the reasons I'm a shyly simpering fan. Decency is uncommon in Bylines. And it's a quality that shimmers off even your tyro stuff like a cooling mist. You take a lot of big chances with your books, too - Aliens, BNW, Immortality - these are potential kook-topics, real career-riskers...there's a very English sense of masculine self-deprecation running through all your writing, like one of Constable's gentle, salving creeks. It's that same authorially grown-up quality hidden coyly between the lines of the last fifty-odd pages of The Information; as opposed to the advertising faux-kind ('Neo-Humility'), as common as muck in media Names these days (and to which even The Mart seems to have succumbed dreadfully, ever since he discovered that Totalitarianism Is Like Really Bad And Only He Has The Words & Talent To Explain It To My Generation, Venus...you wanker, Amis. Jesus, my family was dying fighting Communism - and Nazism - when Kingsley was still shitting his nappies...you WANKER, Martin Amisovitchski...oh Christ, there I go again, BA...sigh...but...I'm sure you can dimly recall that impotent feeling, BA...where all you crave is one clear shot at the Tough Guys...one clean punch, BA...

    Enough. Except to note that...BTW, the above (shameless) belated hosing doesn't apply to your Dylan junk, of course. This I find simply inexplicable...inexplicable, dammit. Better the goddamned Monkies, I say.

    Ah yes, as I said, BA - another case in point here-in, alas - the internet, with its easy seductive accessiblity...my, what a f**king disaster for words and wordsmithery, for my lot's wordsmithery especially (for mine). All that easy access to a weak facsimile of the vindication of real publication...not to mention the bypassing of such crave-worthy goodies as professional editing, et al...so my advice, BA - and I am a long-time connoisseur of unpaid online tilting at windmills, who should know a bit about pissing one's best lines into the swiney vacuum of cyberspace (er...such as they are, anyway, ahem, clunk)- is...get the hell off-line before the - we? - trolls get you down.

    The internet is a waste of time, effort and talent.

    PS: A belated thank-you in parting for a kind favour done many years ago. In the face of - it depresses me very much to to reflect from my evidently un-matured perch eight years on - pretty much the same kind of miserable undergrad bile you've just suffered in good humour now. BTW, Professor Scruton was fantastic - I would even say Tolstoy-like, actually - in granting me some precious face-to-face time, even though he had a new baby with him at the time and I could, after all, have been a complete loony. And even though, sadly, the great slab of pure geenyus I was humping about London in those days turns out to have had more use as a doorstop than a masterpiece since, too. Still, as much it makes me wince to look at it these days - Lord, BA, how I poured my gruesome yearning heart and soul (ick!) into that slab of utter rubbish - I have great memories of that time, and especially of the brief chat RS and I had. (Well, me, mostly, as is the way of these youthful episodes...) He won't remember it, and if he does, he'll probably not thank you much for reminding him (should you do so when next you see him), since it subsequently turns out I probably am a loony, after all...and certainly no political stablemate. But his generosity, and yours for that matter, meant a lot to me then, and so it still does now. Because I really like the stupid passionate angry naive yearning wannbe writer I was then. And am more or less now, too.

    So thanks for your indulgence then, too.

    And keep fighting the good wordy fight, BA. It makes a real difference to some of us futile toiling nobodies out here. It's worth it in the long run for better reasons, too. I think so, anyway, even if I'm not a terribly useful scrapper myself.

    Best regards.

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  7. Fuck you, Jack.

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  8. Jack, you remind me of Joyce Carol Oates. She has hypergraphia (I think, anyway), which is how she manages to publish a short story or a novel or an essay about every five minutes.

    In your case, if each word were a piece of bread, you'd have enough to stock all the soup kitchens in the East End, and still have enough left over to feed all the pigeons at Trafalgar Square.

    And I bet you've still got words enough left over to write letters to the editor every day o' the year!

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  9. Manners, boyo.

    If you really must invite someone to off-fuck, better to do so directly and without recourse to silly masks, no? Like a man's man.

    Cyber-fag.

    'K'

    PS: Got all the way to page 42 before I lobbed 'Meetings' down the khazi in bored disgust, boyo. So you must be getting better, mustn't you.

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  10. I always said you couldn't take a joke, Dad. Apologies for the language but if there's one thing I cannot abide is being savaged by an Australian.

    P.S. I thought you were dead.

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  11. Just to add, am I really that bad? Haven't read any of my own work yet.

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  12. Susan Balee, nah, the letters pages of even Murdoch's rags have some vague semblance of standards, y'know. As for Oates, I wouldn't mind her showreel at all.
    Nope...t'is the unlimited, mediocre spaces of the internet, or nix, for me. It seems thus far. Speaking of which...what exactly are you doing slumming it hereabouts anyway, Madam?

    Mart, go to your room. And write out: 'I will not casually deploy the term 'the Australian literature' as a snickering, oxymoronic punchline in a book on the craft of writing ever again.' one million times.

    PS: No, of course not. As I've said before: 'The best of a bad lot'. Do you think I'd waste an ounce of my best piss and bile on soft-cock imposters like Rushdie, McEwan and Barnes?

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  13. Thanks Jack. I'm slighlty tempted to check out some of my own stuff. Any recommendations?

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  14. The Information edges out London Fields as your best, then perhaps Money, then Night Train...although most critics as you know would put all that the other way around, leaving out Night Train altogether and adding Time's Arrow fairly high. (As you and Hitch know well, Mart, appropriating the Holocaust is only a slightly less useful career-move for an Oxbridge WASP with literary ambitions than marrying and/or turning out to be a four-be yourself...now, look, don't finger Jack as a bigot, BA, this is Kingsley speaking, after all...I digress...)

    According to my drinking-and-fornicating mate Jack's view (a forty-year-old Australian literary genius who has the post-modern luxury of taking the stylistic and structural wankery that so gave me the shits for granted - ie, doesn't everyone appear in their own novel, now, etc? - ...er, where was I...oh yeah, in my unsung genius mate Jack's view, what makes your stuff interesting, boyo, is that its much-lauded, near-definitive authorial trickery has always in fact been the dullest aspect of it. Ten seconds after your first walk-on cameo, (for example), it was a done-to-death cliche. One still being done to death today. Yawn.

    What has always interested us about your big books is, in order:

    a. the ambition of them, you uppity little shit, you;
    b. their 'fuck-you, sinners' morality, you priggish little champ, you;
    c. the brilliant, urgent sense of authorial fear, anger and desperation with which you always pen-trump your own obvious (tedious, done-to-death) cynicism and irony. In other words, your humility - a very post-modern stamp there-of, granted, but the Real Deal never-the-less. But don't get a big head, boyo. You're still merely the best of a bad lot. And you're still a short-arse. (By God I must have been pissed the night I sprogged you, I'd say...no other way some squalid runt of an also-ran taddy could have outpaced the bolshier front-rowers in my lot...I digress.)

    'London Fields' was the first thing of yours Jack read - late, when he was working on boats in the Indian Ocean fifteen years after your wrote it. (OK, so he's a towering hickbilly waif...cut him some slack, boyo, he's country Australian, didn't even pick up a pen until he was way past thirty). He too was wildly impressed by the same things most of your simpering Gen X fans are - the wordplay, the mock street filf ventriloquism, the sex, the shitting, the wanking, the pimple-popping, the multiple voices, the look-at-me metaphor-riffs and punk-lit neologisms...whoopy-doo...all that's dated a bit now, mostly because all such structural and stylistic ground-breakers end up being (superficially) superceded by imitators pretty quickly. Anyway, Will Self has already proved himself much harder core at that game than you ever were...I mean if you'd actually gone out and free-based ammonia or stuck cocks up your arse for cash by way of bad guy research, I might have been impressed...but yours was always a very middle-class 'streetwise' snarl, what-ho? Truth is you're the natural teach's pet type, Mart. The clean-cut Beatles-boyband of our tedious age's Fuckc**tshitwankrimtossboozefight Literature. You're Street Lite, Martin. You're a bookish pansy middle-class dilettante, and it's when you admit as much and embrace it as both virtue and ambition that you're at your true hardest.

    Still, even in all the cartoon-poseur-wide boy claptrap of London Fields there's enough authorial moral desperation for an angry old reactionary like me to side you with the good guys. With us good guys, I should say, Mart: with you and me, and your mum and your brother and sister (who says hi), with your rich wives and your Oxbridge sons and your Chosen daughters - oy! oy! O, Yahweh, spare them the Camps, Yahweh, Oy vey! not the Camps!...you uncut cocksucking little WANKER, Rabbi Martinovitchski-Cohen-Rothschild-Goldwater...you narcissistic, grubby little WASP tragedy-leech...still trying to make amends for me, are you, or are you like your spotty mate Hitch (who I never liked, btw) simply a natural-born bandwagon-hijacker?) - ...with all the quiet, polite, law-abiding, mass-dwelling, safe and unthreatened, decent good grey insider sheep of England's - the Western world's - admirable middle classes.

    Who'd buy your books without them, matey? Much less read and admire you.

    Which is why Mart-virgins might best start with The Information, right, because in this the contrived (and purely plot-functional, iconic, metaphoric ) nature of your 'outsider bad boys' is more honest, more explicitly signalled...also, it's your most deftly and cleverly plotted in a traditonal novel sense; morally and character-wise, your most weighty (because everyone is, more or less, you, and meant to be seen as so, and you're such a terrible, uncompromising, wonderful little prig, Mart); your funniest; and, especially in the denouement, your most potentially illuminating to modern men of my post-everything times: post-mass media, post-Celebrity, post-pomo, post-reality, post-post, post-The Lot.*

    *A quiet personal word, son: here I have to say I am bloody grateful to you, Mart. You finally stopped, or at least tried to stop, the 'rebel-as-hero' rot I myself helped start with the absurdly misleading, dishonest, self-serving fantasy-ending to Lucky Jim. Christ, how I raged and raged and raged in my fading old age that I was ever so fucking stupid and narcissistic to suggest that the moral champion of a serious novel about the middle classes ought naturally be the one who sneers at the middle classes, escaping them in the final triumphant act to a transcendent life of city glamour, success, rutting, drink, drugs, money, me-me-me fulfillment and irony. Christ, I regret the last smug, sneering fifty pages of that book almost as much as I regret divorcing your mum - the fifty year 'rebel hero' wank-fest me and various other angry young arty wannabes kicked off, across all media, all styles, all modes in those days...the imitative chickenshits snapping at your heels these days simply assume that 'The System' is always bad, and those who would mock 'The Man' are the good guys...so anyway, thanks for partially righting that bit of Family Firm wrongery, son.

    Granted, I may be inventing authorial manoeuvres that don't exist, but as I said before...what you do in the last fifty pages - the sublime, albeit incredibly subtle (and as far as I know still largely unremarked), authorial meta-sacrifice you very coldly and deliberately make in resolving what is essentially a modern spin on 'The Meek Shall Inherit'...

    ...is breathtakingly beautiful and grown-up.

    * * *

    Sorry, Mart, my reactionary old chum K does like to prattle on. And why not - there's a literally infinite amount of word-space to be word-populated out here, BA, right?

    Now if I were you, I'd read:

    Heavy Water (short stories - a good, pacey, intro to your style/mannerisms; which, if they grate too much, might save you a lot of wasted time...)

    But if your stuff does light your own boat and float your own fire, maybe go:

    The Information; then
    London Fields; then
    Night Train; then
    The Rachel Papers; then
    Money: A suicide note; then
    Yellow Dog, Success, Other People...and so on

    To see why you're starting to lose some of your older fans I'd read your Totalitarian trilogy-and-a-bit at one sitting, in all of which your authorial boldness - declarative, imperious, thundering, sure-fire, hilarious, etc in your purely-invented novels - pox-rots into a very unlikeable, priggish Head Boy oik-speak. By God, Mart, I mean this in the nicest possible way - a very un-Kingsley-like, non-bigoted, PC, touchy-feely kind of way, obviously - ...but...well, Kingsley's's right, at heart: you must be one of the only writers in the English language at least whose ickily-earnest victim-suckholing-slash-gazzumping, when writing about tragic subjects like the Holocaust and Stalinist Russia, can make one feel instinctively sympathetic to...the bad fuckers...I mean - again, no offence, Mart, honestly - but...Jesus wept, you really are a droning pompous hectoring self-righteous little c*** on such topics. You know what I mean?

    Look, read all these in one nauseating go and you'll get my drift:

    Time's Arrow; then
    Koba the Dread; then
    House of Meetings; then
    The Last Days of Mohamed Atta;

    Then, having got in the mood to be throughly disgusted by your own towering authorial narcissism - no Tragedy too Yawning nor Epic nor Thoroughly Parsed Already for New Broom Mart to in-dippeth his orgasmic authorial 'I', thusforth to diddle & tweak the carcasses to yet weepier heights and depths** - in the cold light of post-publication, read:

    (**Apparently.)

    Experience
    Visiting Mrs Nabakov,
    The Moronic Inferno; and
    ...other incidental journalism, etc

    Mate, vomitous copious maximus time-wasticus Rex. Journalism is for yellow dogs. Leave it out.

    Meanwhile, 'The War Against Cliche' is largely your reviews. And I mean...like, yawn, mate. As we say in Oz...well derrrr, Mart...if journalism is for yellow dogs, Lit Crit is an even worse waste of time: it's for wannabe novelists who haven't got the balls to wash dishes to pay the rent, y'know? Not that you've ever had to stoop so low, granted. Probably the reason why (your fantasy version of) lowlife gives you such a hard-on, eh? (BTW, Mart, if you ever do want a bit of genuine rough trade cock, I know a few nasty spots around Sydney where you could slake your obvious raging thirsts...why not pop down some time...fag...)

    (Goodness me, I have prattled on again, Susan Balee. But..well, why-ever not? No limitations here in cyberspace...)

    Good luck with your own gear, Mart. You are, it goes without saying, about two hundred pages and thirty years ahead of pretty much everyone else. Still.

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  15. Thanks both to Jack and Kingsley. I'm flattered, appalled and on my way to Sydney. Get the spare room ready, Jack. Also you may be interested to know I may be able to slightly vicariously satisfy your literary ambitions by including you as a minor but pivotal character in my second next book, for a samll fee(five thousand sterling). Wolf from the door and all that. Sadly the next novel is if anything over-booked as it is, though I've developed some nice tactics for fitting these hired hands in like having the hero wander thru a shopping centre asking for directions to the toilets/ off-licence whatever. Easy to fit someone in there. Or asking a stranger for a light or vice versa. A very exciting direction, I'm sure you'll agree Jack, and after all, literature is all about the consumer at the end of the day. Am I right or am I right? Also, if I'm gonna drag my guts thru the slaughterhouse in writing these damn things, I might as well get fucking well paid for it.

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  17. kick out the idiots

    Martin Amis is a complete untalented idiot whose books are only composed of cheap tricks and worn cliches. One should be crazy to read and buy that word bullshit. It's the same as throwing your money into the water closet. Amis will be there, inside, in the whirlwind, and will grab them with his shitty mouth. What an miserable impostor! He's a typical modern misunderstanding. His writing is just vulgar slops pretending to be realism. Realism? Come on. You always pretend to be a realist when you don't have any imagination. And all that worn triviality: taboo-breaking, good bad guys, facing rough truths of life, and bla-bla-bla. It's so pathetic. Especially when mixed with strains for would-be imaginative language and tripped humour. Satirist? Do you men went crazy? He's just a cheap bore. "Cheap", "trivial" and "rubbish" are the three words describing this verbal shit best. He's a writer without any significance and it's really ridiculous that he passes for a good author. I'm not so stupid to buy it, but obviously there are people who are. Anyway, that talking bullshiter is really lucky he doesn't depend on me to buy his hogwash. In such a case he would have eaten it himself or die of starvation which is precisely what should happen to him and all those fools like him together with their verbal chaff. There are lots like them by now. They don't matter anymore: too many, too banal, too ungifted. The just dirty the earth. Too much rubbish. Too unnecessary. Too old. Human shits.

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