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Martin Amis is dead

One of my favourite writers, Martin Amis, died recently. In a way, reading Amis taught me to write. When I was a teenager I listened over and over to interviews where he talked about The Zone of Interest, undoubtedly one of his best novels. This was a serious man. And a funny one, because one could not be a serious man without a sense of humour. To quote a devastating footnote from Experience:

By calling him humourless I mean to impugn his seriousness, categorically: such a man must rig up his probity ex nihilo.

Amis said in The War Against Cliche (as a response to then-recent (2000) trends in literary criticism) that

[i]n the long term, though, literature will resist levelling and revert to hierarchy. This isn’t the decision of some snob of a belletrist. It is the decision of Judge Time, who constantly separates those who last from those who don’t.

As a grateful reader, it is the least I can do to ensure that he continues to be read.