5.20.2023 – we read to have a

we read to have a
good time, not an easy time

Martin Louis Amis (25 August 1949 – 19 May 2023) 

Back in 2020, the NY Times By The Book Review asked Martin Amis, How have your reading tastes changed over the years?

Mr. Amis said:

I find myself increasingly committed to the pleasure principle — first formulated by John Dryden in 1668.

We read for “delight and instruction,” while bearing in mind that literature “only instructs as it delights.”

In plainer terms, we read literature to have a good time.

Not an easy time, necessarily, but not a hard time and not a bad time.

So I like fiction that makes me welcome, and I’m quickly exasperated by the freakish, the introverted and above all the compulsively obscure.

For months now I’ve been trying to penetrate the bristling bastion of William Faulkner.

He is like Joyce — all genius and no talent; he just isn’t interested in pushing the narrative forward.

Well, I suppose his readers have enough to do anyway, trying to establish who is who and what (if anything) is going on.

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