Sometime in the late ’90s, I attended a reading by Martin Amis and Will Self at a Waterstones bookstore in Boston. The two authors were well-spoken and composed during the Q&A, which consisted of the typical questions regarding their inspiration. However, when a man in the audience brought up the numerous books by Kingsley Amis found in the library, it was obvious that the audience was ready for humorous jabs at Martin’s father. Instead, Martin acknowledged the fact indifferently and moved on to discuss his own writing abilities.
Upon hearing of Martin Amis’ death, the author James Parker reflects on the profound impact that Amis had on his life. He marvels at Amis’ democratic, infuriatingly comical, yet highly sane sensibility that guided him for 35 years. Parker realizes how much Amis had explained and shaped his world, and wonders what it would be like if Amis hadn’t been there to illuminate it all. However, Parker notes that Amis’ legacy lives on through his novels, essays, memoirs, and immortal lines.
Parker also reflects on the value of sharing the same real sensory experiences as Amis, such as the surrounding cultural noise, car makers, politicians, and moon. He appreciates Amis’ ability to respond to his experiences of living in the now with poetic accuracy. Parker ultimately concludes that although Amis’ death leaves a moment of deprivation, it also sharpens our senses and allows us to temporarily catch the energy that is flying.
Overall, Martin Amis’ legacy as a writer and his impact on readers such as James Parker is profound. Despite his passing, his work continues to inspire and enrich individuals across the globe.