Sunday, January 14, 2007

I respect Martin Amis. What I admire mostly about him is how he modulates language with great facility and imagination to express his special kind of insight into the state of the world today.

The Independent provides a selection of quotes from his new book "House of Meetings". Two selections captured my attention:

Why be of the crowd? Why oblige the crowd? Why go with the crowd? The reason I
wrote Koba the Dread, in a way, was to try and probe this difference between my
father and me, because he was definitely ideological. Communism in him was
replaced by anti-Communism, which is just as much of an ideology. He was
tremendously independent in all sorts of ways, so why did he need this little
umma in the mind, this little community? Why did he need that? I came up with
this sort of pathetic explanation: because he was an only child. But I think
some people have it and some people don't, like some people sleep well and
others thrash all night.

A poet was asked, are you pessimistic or optimistic? And he said, " About
what?" That's the wrong answer. But I don't think I'm either. I'm realistic. As
I said, I think we will prevail. I don't think the West is going to collapse.
But it's going to be bloody awful. So a bit of one and a bit of the other.


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