Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kingsley Amis practiced the best kind of literary experimentation.

In short stories, Kingsley Amis reigns supreme | The Australian:

Kingsley Amis via The Australian

There are beautiful genre efforts, including a whole Sherlock Holmes story. There are stories in genres that Amis never properly attempted on a larger scale: one series, beginning with The 2003 Claret, is a brilliantly amusing mash-up of oenophile fantasy, time-travelling science-fiction and raw farce. (Amis never lost interest in what happens to genre when one or more of the characters is almost permanently drunk.)
I'm always intrigued by the tension (and occasional overlap) between genre and literary writers, and the results when genre writers go for mainstream cred by writing straight fiction (or are accorded literary merit while staying with the genre (Lem, Delaney, Ballard, or Atwood, for example).  Likewise, I'm curious about the results when acknowledged literary talents like Amis, Theroux (O-Zone), and McCarthy (The Road) dip their toes in the genre pool. 
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