Saturday, December 01, 2007

Gall Mart

The Amis vs Bennett racism debate continues today, with Martin getting his knife out:

"What you say about something is never your last word on any subject. But what you write should aspire to be just that: your last word. To paraphrase and slightly adapt Vladimir Nabokov (Strong Opinions): I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished man of letters, I talk like an idiot.

"Ronan Bennett thinks like an idiot."

The rest is here. (The battle seems to have mainly taken place on the pages of The Guardian, with an occasional foray into The Independent.)

If you want to catch up, Terry Eagleton writes about the early days of the spat here - "a Sunday Times profile of me attributed my wrath to a visceral, punk-like obsession with clobbering others." Amis's subsequent response to Eagleton is here - "Can I ask him, in a collegial spirit, to shut up about it? " Bennett's scathing "shame on us" attack is here - "He got away with as odious an outburst of racist sentiment as any public figure has made in this country for a very long time". Christopher Hitchens' defense of Amis here - "I am not writing as Amis's worst enemy". Ian McEwan weighs in here - "inflated, hysterical pull-quotes". And Chris Morris has a go here - "Martin Amis is the new Abu Hamza". What fun!

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