Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Martin Amis loses the plot

They'd like it, wouldn't they? All the hacks, with their jealous rants gabbling from the anaemic newsprint, queuing to take me down a peg, they can't wait to pronounce me finished, ficted out, my fictile member no longer potent. Hubricity is the media's ultimate crime- they try to push me from enfant terrible to evil uncle.

Things have changed, of course. Since the 70s, I have felt we were snatching the last few drags from the fag-end of history, puffing frantically before it is finally stubbed out. But, politicians, environmental disasters, wars, and greed notwithstanding, the End of the World has been postponed. My apocalyptic apothegms, my Millenium Buggery, seem quaint and dated. Life will, it seems, go on.

My interest in the wider world has shrunk, and I find myself drawn to that simulacrum of desire fulfilled, the pornography industry, and I study its ins and outs, ups and downs, its trades, its unions, its congresses. I am the mathematician of skin, a reckoner of the deviant algebra of addition, mutliplication, subtraction and division.

Maybe that's not very interesting to you: but would you really rather hear about my dental treatments?


sarcastrix said...

Hey! What are saying about people who rant about their dental work. 'Cause er... well, you know... In case anybody ever does, which they probably wouldn't...

martin said...

Writing about dental work is different to writing about love or death or going shopping. You care about your teeth, but really I only care about mine; I can sympathise but not empathise; the most you can hope in writing is to make someone care how you feel about your teeth. If you write about a more universal topic, you can get further, and someone feel the same as you.

But anyway, a blog is for rants. Amis' autobiography has two whole chapters about his teeth, and his dentists figure more prominently than his friends. That's not literature, it's therapy (and the trick is that this the therapy someone else pays for). There's a section where he tries to argue that dental pain is the worst there is, so all those birth-giving mothers, torture victims etc are just wimps.

sarcastrix said...

I find the topic itself to be less important than the style and quality of the expression. No matter how interested I am in a particular topic, if it's not well presented, I will struggle to get through it.