Birnbaum with Martin Amis

The tireless Robert Birnbaum has yet another interview posted over at Identity Theory. This time it is the ever popular, and often controversial, Martin Amis. The whole interview is interesting but here is a quote I liked:

RB: What is the end, the teleological concern? What are you going for? What’s the point of your reading?
MA: I think Dryden gave it, “What is the point of literature? It’s to give instruction and delight.” Certain writers will tip more toward instruction, others tip more towards delight, but it’s a combination of the two. I want to be getting as much out of it as I can. I think this is very much against the spirit of the time. Certainly in England, where they don’t want to be instructed or indeed, delighted much. They want a fifty-fifty, across the table kind of “you’re not telling me anything I don’t know, and I could tell you things.”

“Instruction and Delight.” I like that.

BTW, if you want my take on Amis’ Koba the Dread. You can find it here.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season – oh, and watching golf too).

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