Friday, December 05, 2014
Heard and saw author Martin Amis read from his Zone of Interest yesterday, at Colgate University. Always a tad intriguing how a person turns out somewhat different from what you imagine or suspect from merely reading words on paper. He was more slight than I pictured, and softer voiced. He fielded my question, the last taken, about Lionel Asbo: State of England. I asked how, using his "novelistic" imagination (a word he just used regarding Hitler and Hitler's sexuality) he might "transfer" the novel's location and character's race and class if the book were to have taken place in the United States. He replied how he had lived in the U.S., in Princeton (is that America?) when he was nine and ten, and that America was so vast and wide and varied and encompassing -- that it would be too hard, impossible. Somewhat surprisingly (to me, at least), he referred to England as a little "pressure cooker." He started off his response to my question quoting Henry James: America is the world, or words to that effect.