Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Book, Random Passage #4

Nice Vintage edition paperback of Martin Amis's The Rachel Papers. Read this back in 1992 or 1993, I believe. I've soured a bit on Amis (Martin, not Kingsley though) over the years and haven't read him since The War Against Cliché. I remember liking this one though. Flipping at random to:
It seems improbable now, but on the way there we talked about DeForest's infrequent and ham-cocked performances in bed. (We laughed, too, wholly without malice: an example of prelapsarian high spirits which as of tonight will be another experience unavailable to me.) DeForest's chief, though by no means his only, problem was that he tended to come before either he or Rachel could say - 'Jack Robinson'. He would slap on the contraceptive and surge into her with the look of someone who had just remembered he ought to be doing a terribly important thing elsewhere, like attending his mother's funeral.
Is it possible to grab a passage from Amis and not have it be immediately recognizable as his?  I've learned that bit about Jack Robinson doesn't refer to Jackie Robinson, as I thought (being quick on the basepath), but is a British turn of phrase with cloudy origins.

I should probably revisit Amis.  I think I went off on him because I got a vague, and perhaps ill-informed sense, that he might be a bit of a ... well, not racist ... but that is anti-Islamism might be sort of racially motivated.  He's against nuclear proliferation, as all rational people are and I've learned he endorsed Obama, so I can be reasonably confident he's not a right-wing nutter.  Around the time he was jousting with left-wing nutter Terry Eagleton I probably camped him in my mind with the right.  It didn't help that I found TWAC tedious.  Money, though, brilliant.

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