Larkin on MA


MA in Larkin's letters

From: I. Zelnik
Category: Amis
Date: 7/29/99
Time: 7:29:47 PM
Remote Name:


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."







This site is featured in
BBC.gif (1270 bytes)
BBC Education Web Guide



frontpag.gif (9866 bytes)


ie1.gif (14871 bytes)


Site maintained by James Diedrick, author of Understanding Martin Amis, 2nd edition (2004).
 All contents © 2004.
Last updated 10 December, 2004. Please read the Disclaimer



Home | Discussion Board  | Disclaimer Understanding Martin Amis  | James Diedrick  | Albion College