MA in Larkin's letters
From: I. Zelnik
PHILIP LARKIN SAID: "Until I grew up I thought I hated everybody, but when I grew up I realized it was just children I didn't like. Once you started meeting grown-ups life was much pleasanter. Children are very horrible, aren't they? Selfish, noisy, cruel, vulgar little brutes."
IRVING ZELNIK SAYS: Adults versus children. I have never been able to understand that dichotomy. Which is doubtlessly due to the fact that I fail to see any difference between adults and children. In fact, the reason why I hate you puny miserable Earthlings is precisely because of the fact that most adults ARE children.
FROM A LARKIN LETTER TO NORMAN ILES: "When I said Oxford people were clever but mediocre I meant the dons, dear boy, not the undergraduates---God, I never met any of *them*, or only one---Martin Amis, Kingsley's younger son. He was all right---got a first in English. But the dons are the dreariest set of buggers it's ever been my lot to meet, though they probably thought the same about me."
FROM A LARKIN LETTER TO ROBERT CONQUEST: "Martin Amis writes to say he has just returned from a mediterranean cruise: 'singalongs in the Flamingo lounge, bingo in the Cockatoo bar'---and cock too, I expect. Strange pleasures!"
FROM A LARKIN LETTER TO KINGSLEY AMIS: "Did I say I had a TV set now? Where's all this porn they talk about? Have seen iij bummes and ij payres of Tittes since slapping my money down; no buses Christ bushes I mean. And your son Martin, going on about porn in the shops: let him come up to Hull and find some. All been stamped out by police with nothing better to do."
FROM A LARKIN LETTER TO ANTHONY THWAITE: "Martin's book [*Other People*] sounds piss. I thought your review read very well, and was echoed to some extent by Levin [Bernard Levin] (who says he can review novels, by the way?)."
FROM A LARKIN LETTER TO KINGSLEY AMIS: "What are you doing about a literary executor? I don't know anybody under fifty except Douglas Dunn and Andrew Motion. I suppose you'll nominate Martin? Lemme, no. NOT THAT I BLOODY WELL CARE what happens when I am amber dust, but one has to say something. The whole business depresses me."
MY FAVE LARKIN JOKE: "The lower-class bastards can no more stop going on strike now than a laboratory rat with an electrode in its brain can stop jumping on a switch to give itself an orgasm."
MY SECOND-FAVORITE LARKIN JOKE: "I reckon Heaney and Co. [the poets collected in the *Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry*] are like where we came in---Keyes, Heath-Stubbs, Allison, Porter, Meyer. Boring too-clever stuff, litty and 'historical'. And see that note [to a poem by Tony Harrison] on p.46: '(See the picture *A Dog Buried in the Sand* among the Black Paintings of Goya in the Prado)'---WHY THE FUCKING HELL SHOULD I??? See the picture *Kilroy was here* in the Gents in The Black Horse."
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