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On the work of Martin Amis.


It was with a kind of irritated curiosity that, two issues back, I read Joseph Wilson's piece in Catalonia Today about Martin Amis, whose novel 'House of Meetings' has just appeared in Catalan and Spanish, and whose collection of essays 'The Second Plane' was published in Britain last week.
'Irritated curiosity', because Amis is a writer I've never trusted, without understanding exactly why. Even in his supposedly good novels, such as 'Money' (1986), I've always suspected him of holding something back, too busy with the window-dressing to deliver the goods, so to speak. This suspicion was reinforced by 'Experience' (2000), an autobiography which reveals nothing whatsoever about its author except how skilled he is at doing precisely that.
Worse still is Amis's more recent tendency to pontificate on Stalinism and, especially, Islam, which - as Wilson's article showed - has led him to make a series of generalisations as steeped in solemnity as they are manifestly silly. It wasn't, however, until critic Emili Manzano interviewed Amis last week on Canal 33, that this much-revered novelist finally flashed his Achilles' heel in a single sentence: 'Being a writer involves three things: the writing itself; the reading; and, of course, a little living, too'. Ironic though he was trying to be, he had, it seemed to me, unwittingly exposed his work as a contrived web, word-spun out of a lettered, monied and relatively un-driven life ('a little living'). Nothing but piss and wind, in harder words, like the English private schoolboys I used to know so well and have tried all my life to forget, and whose ghastly pseudo-wisdom Amis - ensconced before the cameras and holding forth to the manner born - reminded me of so hauntingly.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programaciˇ: Nac -