Tuesday 18 June 2024

Quotations from Sir Martin Amis


(He accepted a knighthood from the King which was dated to the day before he died.)

“Your purpose when driving is not to arrive at your destination safely or quickly. Your purpose when driving is...to impress your personality on the road.”

"An artist is a person who is most alive when alone.”

"The middle class is doing fine in fiction. But it's not what gets me going. I love the working class, and everyone from it I've met, and think they're incredibly witty, inventive - there's a lot of poetry there."

"Like fundamentalist Judaism and medieval Christianity, Islam is totalist. That is to say, it makes a total claim on the individual."

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

“He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed.” The Information

'He believed that, in the end, what mattered most was “how things went with the women and the children”.' Lady Amis (Isabel Fonseca). He left his first wife for her. He said this many times and his mentor Saul Bellow, who married five times, agreed.


  1. Of course, the American class structure is not the same as the English. But had Amis ever got over Rousseau? Anyone who has ever done blue collar work is not likely to romanticize the working class.

    1. He didn't romanticise anyone at all but found the working class more interesting and enjoyable to write about.