Friday, November 6, 2009

Martin Amis

Linda L. Richards interviewed Martin Amis in 2000 about his memoir, Experience.

Part of their dialogue:

Was it difficult writing a memoir?

It's a great surprise to some, because people think that writing is a cerebral business but, in fact, your whole body is involved. That really came home to me when I was writing Experience. I thought I had suddenly succumbed to some ravage of age, because while I was writing the book my sleep patterns changed completely. I suddenly needed about 14 hours of sleep a night. I was like one of my teenaged sons on a weekend, staggering out of bed at four o'clock in the afternoon and wanting more sleep and finding that dozing state incredibly delicious. So, I thought: I'm really slowing down, soon I'll be up for a couple of hours a day and then be going back to bed again. But the minute I stopped writing the memoir, I went back to how I was before. My whole metabolism switched. Because it was front brain emotion rather than the novel which is much more subliminal. You're using a different part of the brain.

With the novel you're creating. With the memoir you're sort of dredging.

Yeah. And you're also writing directly about the things you really care about. I suppose it partly was also a cognitive stretch of grieving for the father. But it wasn't just that.

Why a memoir? Why now?

For the reasons given in the first chapter, really. It was all public already, so I didn't feel I was revealing anything. I was just trying to get rid...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue