Friday, 11 February 2011

Martin Amis: Should We Really Be Surprised?

So, the enfant terrible of the British literary world has done it again... And how awkward that I have to bring this up after an earlier blog posts that lauds the efforts of children's publishers *sigh*

Apparently Mr Amis believes that writing for children means having to talk down to his audience. He says: "I say, 'If I had a serious brain injury I might well write a children's book', but otherwise the idea of being conscious of who you're directing the story to is anathema to me, because, in my view, fiction is freedom and any restraints on that are intolerable."

"If I had a serious brain injury...."

Yes, you read that right.

How insulting to ALL children's authors writing today!

And I would like to direct Mr Amis to authors like Philip Pullman, Garth Nix and Diane Duane. These consistently write fiction that NEVER talk down to children - in fact, Philip Pullman deals with complicated physics theories and a discussion on the nature of God!

I find it utterly disgusting that an author with the profile of Mr Martin Amis would sneer so at an extremely important body of literary work.

I am firmly on the side of children's authors and believe they do sterling work, introducing children to ideas of death, loss, religion and science.

Mr Amis should be utterly ashamed of himself.


  1. To that I say, "If nobody wrote for children, then children wouldn't read." Which would lead to adults who don't read. Thus there'd be little point in having writers whose intended audience is adults.

    the idea of being conscious of who you're directing the story to is anathema to me

    Just because you aren't conscious of it doesn't mean that you aren't writing in the manner of, in the style of, etc. If you write prose on the adult reading level and with themes that adults deal with and comprehend better than children, sorry, but you're writing for adults.

    My god, the kind of egotism expressed in his statement is just appalling!

  2. What a jackwad. He should be ashamed of himself!!

  3. 'Enfant terrible' in this case meaning 'tired old man pissed off that everyone knows his dad could write rings around him'.

  4. If I had a serious brain injury, I'd perhaps be stupid enough to say what Martin Amis said...

  5. Obviously no intelligent adult ever wasted any time educating him during his childhood. Otherwise this grown man would not feel comfortable assuming this semblance of self importance -- posturing to demean children. (I'm amazed to realize he feels dignified by doing that.) What a soulless, insolent, oppressive jackass.

  6. LOTR was written as a story for children...

  7. I think you've all slightly misunderstood what he is saying here. He is saying that when you write you write for anyone and everyone who wants to read your work, rather than restricting yourself to a specific audience and, therefore, also restricting readers to specific books. He is not actually criticising children's authors.