MARTIN AMIS QUOTES II

English novelist (1949- )

The trouble with life ... is its amorphousness, its ridiculous fluidity. Look at it: thinly plotted, largely themeless, sentimental and ineluctably trite. The dialogue is poor, or at least violently uneven. The twists are either predictable or sensationalist. And it's always the same beginning; and the same ending.

MARTIN AMIS, introduction, Experience

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Tags: life


On any longer view, man is only fitfully committed to the rational -- to thinking, seeing, learning, knowing. Believing is what he's really proud of.

MARTIN AMIS, "The Voice of the Lonely Crowd", The Guardian, Jun. 1, 2002

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Tags: belief


What is the only provocation that could bring about the use of nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the priority target for nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the only established defense against nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. How do we prevent the use of nuclear weapons? By threatening the use of nuclear weapons. And we can't get rid of nuclear weapons, because of nuclear weapons. The intransigence, it seems, is a function of the weapons themselves.

MARTIN AMIS, "Introduction: Thinkability", Einstein's Monsters

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Tags: nuclear warfare


It used to be said that by a certain age a man had the face that he deserved. Nowadays, he has the face he can afford.

MARTIN AMIS, "Phantom of the Opera: The Republicans in 1988", Visiting Mr. Nabokov and Other Excursions

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You can kill time in a number of ways but it always depends on the kind of time you're fighting: some time is unkillable, immortal.

MARTIN AMIS, Money

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Tags: time


Good sex is impossible to write about. Lawrence and Updike have given it their all, and the result is still uneasy and unsure. It may be that good sex is something fiction just can't do -- like dreams. Most of the sex in my novels is absolutely disastrous. Sex can be funny, but not very sexy.

MARTIN AMIS, interview, Washington Post, Nov. 7, 2003

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Weapons are like money; no one knows the meaning of enough.

MARTIN AMIS, "Introduction: Thinkability", Einstein's Monsters

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Money doesn't mind if we say it's evil, it goes from strength to strength. It's a fiction, an addiction, and a tacit conspiracy.

MARTIN AMIS, attributed, Novelists in Interview

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Tags: money


While clearly an impregnable masterpiece, Don Quixote suffers from one fairly serious flaw--that of outright unreadability.

MARTIN AMIS, The War Against Cliche

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Tags: Miguel de Cervantes


Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth ... is that nobody gets over anything.

MARTIN AMIS, House of Meetings

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The easier a thing is to write then the more the writer gets paid for writing it. (And vice versa: ask the poets at the bus stop.)

MARTIN AMIS, The Information

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What did Nabokov and Joyce have in common, apart from the poor teeth and the great prose? Exile, and decades of near pauperism.

MARTIN AMIS, Experience

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Tags: James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov


Gluttony and sloth, as worldly goals, were quietly usurped by avarice and lust, which, together with poetry (yes, poetry), consumed all my free time.

MARTIN AMIS, House of Meetings

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But before we face experience, that miserable enemy, let us have some more innocence, just for a while.

MARTIN AMIS, Experience

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It seems to me that you need a lot of courage, or a lot of something, to enter into others, into other people. We all think that everyone else lives in fortresses, in fastnesses: behind moats, behind sheer walls studded with spikes and broken glass. But in fact we inhabit much punier structures. We are, as it turns out, all jerry-built. Or not even. You can just stick your head under the flap of the tent and crawl right in. If you get the okay.

MARTIN AMIS, Time's Arrow

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Sex was like Disneyland to her: an allotment of organized wonders and legal mischief.

MARTIN AMIS, The Rachel Papers

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Suicide is what everyone young thinks they'll do before they get old. But they hardly ever get round to it. They just don't want to commit themselves in that way. When you're young and you look ahead, time ends in mist at twenty-five. "Old won't happen to me", you say. But old does. Oh, old does. Old always gets you in the end.

MARTIN AMIS, Other People

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Tags: old age


The children of the nuclear age, I think, were weakened in their capacity to love. Hard to love, when you're bracing yourself for impact. Hard to love, when the loved one, and the lover, might at any instant become blood and flames, along with everybody else.

MARTIN AMIS, Experience

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Much modern prose is praised for its terseness, its scrupulous avoidance of curlicue, etcetera. But I don't feel the deeper rhythm there. I don't think these writers are being terse out of choice. I think they are being terse because it's the only way they can write.

MARTIN AMIS, interview, The Paris Review, spring 1998

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Tags: writing


The true manipulator never has a reputation for manipulating.

MARTIN AMIS, "Claus von Bulow", The Moronic Inferno and Other Visits to America

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