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Martin Amis quotes
Everything seems fine until you're about 40. Then something is definitely beginning to go wrong. And you look in the mirror with your old habit of thinking, 'While I accept that everyone grows old and dies, it's a funny thing, but I'm an exception to that rule.'
It's an ancient idea that the leader of a democracy should not be the cleverest but the most average. That's an arguable point, but the world has decided otherwise - except in America, where it still divides the country right down the middle.
It's becoming clearer and clearer to me that the world is there to be celebrated by writers, and in fact this is what all the good ones do, and that the great fashion for gloom and grimness was in fact a false path that certain writers took, I think in response to the horrors of the first half of the twentieth century.
Jane was my wicked stepmother: she was generous, affectionate and resourceful; she salvaged my schooling and I owe her an unknowable debt for that. One flaw: sometimes, early on, she would tell me things designed to make me think less of my mother, and I would wave her away, saying, 'Jane, this just backfires and makes me think less of you.'
Language leads a double life - and so does the novelist. You chat with family and friends, you attend to your correspondence, you consult menus and shopping lists, you observe road signs, and so on. Then you enter your study, where language exists in quite another form - as the stuff of patterned artifice.
The process of writing a novel is getting to know more about the novel until you know everything about it. And it's been described as a kind of dreamlike state where you're letting the novel make its own shape, and you're putting into it the pleasure of creation, which is intoxicating.
When I go back to the core of my childhood, my cousin Lucy seems always to be in the peripheral vision of my memories. She is off to one side, always off to one side, with a book, with a scheme or a project or an enterprise.