Prufrock's Page

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lucky Martin

Salman Rushdie's joined Emory, and now it's Martin Amis' turn: he's agreed to take up his first teaching role as professor of creative writing at Manchester University. And his advice on writing as a career? "Well, it is a sort of sedentary, carpet slippers, self-inspecting, nose-picking, arse-scratching kind of job, just you in your study and there is absolutely no way round that. So, anyone who is in it for worldly gains and razzmatazz I don't think will get very far at all."

Somewhat more to the point, he adds: "I may be acerbic in how I write but I'm not how I live. And I would find it very difficult to say cruel things to people in such a vulnerable position. I imagine I'll be surprisingly sweet and gentle with them. One of the things I've learned about fiction - you really do lay yourself open in a way that no other so-called creative artist does. Most other art you're just exhibiting a particular talent, even poetry up to a point, but by writing fiction you expose not only your talent but your whole being, your social, sexual and psychological being and you're never more vulnerable than when you do that, and I'm well aware of that fact and will take it into account."


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