I know little to nothing of the work of Martin Amis, or that of his father Kingsley Amis but I listened to a podcast today in which he was interviewed about both.
You can find it here
It’s number 94.
As someone with a father, who likes to write (me not my father) I found it a pretty interesting listen, although it didn’t make me feel inspired to read any of his work although I know I should. It’s on the list.
Here are the two ideas I liked
Firstly, he talks about “failures of tolerance” and the attributes, both positive and negative, are fathers pass on to us.
He mentions how he viewed increasing “failures of tolerance,” in Kingsley as he got older, and how he can see the same ones in himself but is quick to stomp them out. This articulates, better then I ever could, a fear I have about procreating. I fear I will be a dick to my kids the same way my dad could be to me as I grew up. Those little lapses in patience that you pass on like a nasty virus. I fear the pain of childbirth, and the expense of clothing and dropping my child on its head, but mostly I fear being a dick.
I can picture myself shouting at a smaller version of me
“Why did you put banana skins in the hallway?”
“I was scientifically testing the truth behind segments in my morning cartoon.”
“What did you learn?”
“it’s all lies and the world is a cold dark place.”
“Okay. Well I’m sorry for shouting. I had a genetic tolerance failure.”
The other idea I liked, (which I shall put in quotes to illustrate) is “Literary stimulation.”
Martin talks about his fascination with America, and how he visits the country for no other reason then for “literary stimulation.” He says England is too evolved for writers. His anthropological approach to the culture of America seemed both honest and insulting, like the most perfect back handed compliment. Your interesting, like a bug under a microscope.
I guess professional writers may not always be talking to you for the right reasons.
In summary I like “Genetic Failures in Tolerance,” and feel it could be the title to the follow up of “They Fuck You Up,” and “Literary Stimulation,” and feel it could be where sex is going wrong.