Having only recently (and narrowly) survived one, hangovers have been rather on my mind recently. In another post, I quoted Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim on the subject of the crushing feelings that make themselves felt after an evening’s overindulgence.
Martin Amis (Kingsley’s son) described his father as ‘the laureate of the hangover’ in the memoir Experience. Let’s have another look at the passage from Lucky Jim: Continue reading
I love hearing about how writers write. Hemingway wrote standing up – by some accounts with a carpenter’s pencil (macho: very, very macho). Terry Jones insists that he wrote Starship Titanic in the nude. Proust wrote in bed, in a cork-lined room. Hunter S Thompson loaded up on anything from bourbon to Benzedrine, put a Dunhill in a cigarette holder, lit up and let rip. Kerouac wrote on rolls of paper because he believed that individual pages imposed artificial boundaries on his prose. Martin Amis hand-writes his fiction, but used a computer for Experience. Clive James sometimes writes in cafes and takes a nap every afternoon. When writing a book Stephen Fry gets up progressively earlier each day to work on it and eschews shaving. Salman Rushdie starts writing at 10:30am and doesn’t eat lunch.
I love this kind of information because it’s essentially gossip. The last thing I’d ever do is think that any of these snippets represented the secret to successful scribbling. They just give my impressions about writers a local habitation and a name.
It’s puzzling, therefore, to be confronted with advice relating to writing. And when I’m confronted with rules for becoming a writer purporting to be a signpost reading ‘Fountain of the Hippocrene: 500m’, I start to twitch a bit and bite things. Continue reading
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Tagged Clive James, Experience, Fiction, Hemingway, Hunter S Thompson, Kerouac, Martin Amis, Proust, Salman Rushdie, Stephen Fry, Terry Jones, Will Self, Writing