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Martin Amis

Datum narození: 25. srpen 1949
Další jména: Martin Louis Amis

Martin Louis Amis je anglický spisovatel narozený ve Walesu. Je synem spisovatele Kingsley Amise. K jeho nejznámějším dílům patří romány Peníze , Londýnská pole a The Information , které tvoří tzv. Londýnskou trilogii. Dvakrát byl nominován na Man Bookerovu cenu, roku 1991 za Šíp času a 2003 za Yellow Dog. Do roku 2011 byl profesorem tvůrčího psaní na Univerzitě v Manchesteru. Pracoval též jako novinář v týdeníku New Statesman a v deníku The Observer, díky čemuž úzce spolupracoval s Christopherem Hitchensem, s nímž se stali blízkými přáteli. Napsal též scénář ke sci-fi filmu Saturn 3, zkušenost s filmovým průmyslem pak popsal v románu Peníze. V roce 1998 byl hostem Pražského festivalu spisovatelů. Wikipedia

„It was the advent of the second plane, sharking in low over the Statue of Liberty: that was the defining moment.“

—  Martin Amis

"Fear and loathing" (2001)
Kontext: It was the advent of the second plane, sharking in low over the Statue of Liberty: that was the defining moment. Until then, America thought she was witnessing nothing more serious than the worst aviation disaster in history; now she had a sense of the fantastic vehemence ranged against her.

„A joke is by definition politically incorrect — it assumes a butt, and a certain superiority in the teller. The culture won't put up with that for much longer.“

—  Martin Amis

Kontext: I'd like to be remembered as someone who kept the comic novel going for another generation or so. I fear the comic novel is in retreat. A joke is by definition politically incorrect — it assumes a butt, and a certain superiority in the teller. The culture won't put up with that for much longer.

„Philip Larkin, a big, fat, bald librarian at the University of Hull, was unquestionably England's unofficial laureate: our best-loved poet since the war“

—  Martin Amis

"Political Correctness: Robert Bly and Philip Larkin" (1997)
Kontext: Philip Larkin, a big, fat, bald librarian at the University of Hull, was unquestionably England's unofficial laureate: our best-loved poet since the war; better loved for our poet than John Betjeman, who was loved also for his charm, his famous beagle, his patrician Bohemianism and his televisual charisma, all of which Larkin notably lacked.
Ten years later, Larkin is now something like a pariah, or an untouchable.

„The reaction against Larkin has been unprecedentedly violent as well as unprecedentedly hypocritical, tendentious and smug. Its energy does not, could not derive from literature — it derives from ideology, or from the vaguer promptings of a new ethos.“

—  Martin Amis

"Political Correctness: Robert Bly and Philip Larkin" (1997)
Kontext: The reaction against Larkin has been unprecedentedly violent as well as unprecedentedly hypocritical, tendentious and smug. Its energy does not, could not derive from literature — it derives from ideology, or from the vaguer promptings of a new ethos. … This is critical revisionism in an eye-catching new outfit. The reaction, like most reactions, is just an overreaction, and to get an overreaction you need plenty of overreactors — somebody has to do it. … I remember thinking when I saw the fiery Tom Paulin's opening shot, We're not really going to do this, are we? But the new ethos was already in place, and yes, we really were going to do this — on Paulin's terms, too. His language set the tone for the final assault and mop-up, which came with the publication of Andrew Motion's, Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life. Revolting. Sewer. Such language is essentially unstable. It calls for a contest of the passions and hopes that the fight will get dirty.

„I gave a school speech in which I rejected all belief as an affront to common sense. I was an atheist, and I was 12: it seemed open-and-shut.“

—  Martin Amis

"The voice of the lonely crowd" (2002)
Kontext: My apostasy, at the age of nine, was vehement. Clearly, I didn't want the shared words, the shared identity. I forswore chapel; those Bibles were scribbled on and otherwise desecrated, and two or three of them were taken into the back garden and quietly torched.
Later — we were now in Cambridge — I gave a school speech in which I rejected all belief as an affront to common sense. I was an atheist, and I was 12: it seemed open-and-shut. I had not pondered Kant's rather lenient remark about the crooked timber of humanity, out of which nothing straight is ever built. Nor was I aware that the soul had legitimate needs.
Much more recently I reclassified myself as an agnostic. Atheism, it turns out, is not quite rational either. The sketchiest acquaintance with cosmology will tell you that the universe is not, or is not yet, decipherable by human beings. It will also tell you that the universe is far more bizarre, prodigious and chillingly grand than any doctrine, and that spiritual needs can be met by its contemplation. Belief is otiose; reality is sufficiently awesome as it stands.

„There are two rules of war that have not yet been invalidated by the new world order. The first rule is that the belligerent nation must be fairly sure that its actions will make things better; the second rule is that the belligerent nation must be more or less certain that its actions won't make things worse.“

—  Martin Amis

"The Palace of the End" (2003)
Kontext: There are two rules of war that have not yet been invalidated by the new world order. The first rule is that the belligerent nation must be fairly sure that its actions will make things better; the second rule is that the belligerent nation must be more or less certain that its actions won't make things worse. America could perhaps claim to be satisfying the first rule (while admitting that the improvement may be only local and short term). It cannot begin to satisfy the second.

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„Terrorism undermines morality. Then, too, it undermines reason.“

—  Martin Amis

"The Palace of the End" (2003)
Kontext: Like all "acts of terrorism" (easily and unsubjectively defined as organised violence against civilians), September 11 was an attack on morality: we felt a general deficit. Who, on September 10, was expecting by Christmastime to be reading unscandalised editorials in the Herald Tribune about the pros and cons of using torture on captured "enemy combatants"? Who expected Britain to renounce the doctrine of nuclear no-first-use? Terrorism undermines morality. Then, too, it undermines reason. … No, you wouldn't expect such a massive world-historical jolt, which will reverberate for centuries, to be effortlessly absorbed. But the suspicion remains that America is not behaving rationally — that America is behaving like someone still in shock.

„People don't change or improve much, but they do evolve. It is very slow.“

—  Martin Amis

"Political Correctness: Robert Bly and Philip Larkin" (1997)
Kontext: Feminists have often claimed a moral equivalence for sexual and racial prejudice. There are certain affinities and one or two of these affinities are mildly and paradoxically encouraging. Sexism is like racism: we all feel such impulses. Our parents feel them more strongly than we feel them; our children, we trust, will feel them less strongly than we feel them. People don't change or improve much, but they do evolve. It is very slow.

„Ten years later, Larkin is now something like a pariah, or an untouchable.“

—  Martin Amis

"Political Correctness: Robert Bly and Philip Larkin" (1997)
Kontext: Philip Larkin, a big, fat, bald librarian at the University of Hull, was unquestionably England's unofficial laureate: our best-loved poet since the war; better loved for our poet than John Betjeman, who was loved also for his charm, his famous beagle, his patrician Bohemianism and his televisual charisma, all of which Larkin notably lacked.
Ten years later, Larkin is now something like a pariah, or an untouchable.

„Larkin the man is separated from us historically by changes in the self. For his generation, you were what you were and that was that. It made you unswervable and adamantine. My father had this quality. I don't. None of us do. There are too many forces at work, there are too many fronts to cover.“

—  Martin Amis

"Political Correctness: Robert Bly and Philip Larkin" (1997)
Kontext: Larkin the man is separated from us historically by changes in the self. For his generation, you were what you were and that was that. It made you unswervable and adamantine. My father had this quality. I don't. None of us do. There are too many forces at work, there are too many fronts to cover.
Still, a price has to be paid for not caring what others think of you, and Larkin paid it. He couldn't change the cards he was dealt. What poor hands we hold, when we face each other honestly. His poems insist on this helplessness...

„I'd like to be remembered as someone who kept the comic novel going for another generation or so.“

—  Martin Amis

Kontext: I'd like to be remembered as someone who kept the comic novel going for another generation or so. I fear the comic novel is in retreat. A joke is by definition politically incorrect — it assumes a butt, and a certain superiority in the teller. The culture won't put up with that for much longer.

„His indivisibility judges their hedging and trimming. His honesty judges their watchfulness.“

—  Martin Amis

"Political Correctness: Robert Bly and Philip Larkin" (1997)
Kontext: A life is one kind of biography and the letters are another kind of life, but the internal story, the true story is in the Collected Poems. The recent attempts by Motion and others to pass judgement on Larkin look awfully green and pale, compared with the self-examinations of the poetry. They think they judge him? No, he judges them. His indivisibility judges their hedging and trimming. His honesty judges their watchfulness.

„It's been said that happiness writes white. It doesn't show up on the page.“

—  Martin Amis

"The Sadistic Muse" - an interview with Laura Miller at salon.com (10 February 1998) http://web.archive.org/web/20000110052318/http://www.salon.com/books/int/1998/02/cov_si_10int.html
Kontext: It's been said that happiness writes white. It doesn't show up on the page. When you're on holiday and writing a letter home to a friend, no one wants a letter that says the food is good and the weather is charming and the accommodations comfortable. You want to hear about lost passports and rat-filled shacks.

„I once wrote, in The Information, that an Englishman wouldn't bother to attend a reading even if the author in question was his favorite living writer, and also his long-lost brother — even if the reading was taking place next door.“

—  Martin Amis

Kontext: I once wrote, in The Information, that an Englishman wouldn't bother to attend a reading even if the author in question was his favorite living writer, and also his long-lost brother — even if the reading was taking place next door. Whereas Americans go out and do things. But Meeting the Author, for me, is Meeting the Reader. Some of the little exchanges that take place over the signing table I find very fortifying: they make up for some of the other stuff you get.

„In Andrew Motion's book, we have the constant sense that Larkin is somehow falling short of the cloudless emotional health enjoyed by, for instance, Andrew Motion.“

—  Martin Amis

"Political Correctness: Robert Bly and Philip Larkin" (1997)
Kontext: In Andrew Motion's book, we have the constant sense that Larkin is somehow falling short of the cloudless emotional health enjoyed by, for instance, Andrew Motion. Also the sense, as Motion invokes his like-minded contemporaries, that Larkin is being judged by a newer, cleaner, braver, saner world. … Motion is extremely irritated by Larkin's extreme irritability. He's always complaining that Larkin is always complaining.

„Saddam's hands-on years in the dungeons distinguish him from the other great dictators of the 20th century, none of whom had much taste for "the wet stuff".“

—  Martin Amis

"The Palace of the End" (2003)
Kontext: Saddam's hands-on years in the dungeons distinguish him from the other great dictators of the 20th century, none of whom had much taste for "the wet stuff". The mores of his regime have been shaped by this taste for the wet stuff — by a fascinated negative intimacy with the human body, and a connoisseurship of human pain.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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