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Martin Amis

“Success is a drag as a subject in literature. It’s always the same. It’s boring. And that’s why it’s the province of writers like Jacqueline Susann and Jackie Collins. It’s trash, success.

Failure, on the other hand, is the subject of fiction in all cultures. It’s heroic. Failure is rich and plangent and complex. And besides, despite the kind of therapy age we’re living in and all the self-esteem slogans we hear, I think we live in our failures. We don’t give ourselves credit for anything at all; and when we walk down the street, it’s our failures that make our hands fly to our face when we think of our gaffes and fiascos and disappointments. That’s where we live and breathe.”


Martin Amis, speaking in an interview with Allan Gregg.

Read on:

  • Why I think the novel will never die
  • Amis discusses an unavoidable fact: our world may not be getting better or worse, but it’s getting less innocent each day
  • Amis reflects on how our memories become more important as we age