name = Sir Kingsley Amis
birthname = Kingsley William Amis
birthdate = birth date|1922|4|16
birthplace = Clapham, South London, England
deathdate = death date and age|1995|10|22|1922|4|16
deathplace = London, England
occupation = novelist, poet, critic, teacher
nationality = British
period = 1947-1995
genre = Fiction, fictional prose
spouse = Hilary Ann Bardwell (m.1948)
Elizabeth Jane Howard (1965-1983)
children = Martin Amis
influenced = Martin Amis
Sir Kingsley William Amis, CBE (April 16, 1922 – October 22, 1995) was an English novelist, poet, critic and teacher. He wrote more than twenty novels, three collections of poetry, short stories, radio and television scripts, and books of social and literary criticism. His son is the English novelist Martin Amis.
Kingsley Amis was born in Clapham, south London, England, the son of William Robert Amis, a mustard manufacturer's clerk. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/portal/2007/06/09/nosplit/ftfamdet109.xml Family detective - Telegraph ] ] He was educated at the City of London School, and St. John's College, Oxford April 1941 where he read English; it was there that he met Philip Larkin, with whom he formed the most important friendship of his life. After only a year, he was called up for Army service in July 1942. After serving in the Royal Corps of Signals in the Second World War, Amis returned to Oxford in October 1945 to complete his degree. Although he worked hard and got a first in English in 1947, he had by then decided to give much of his time to writing. In 1946, he was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.
In 1946 he met Hilary Bardwell, and they married in 1948. He became a lecturer in English at the University of Wales Swansea (1948–61). Amis achieved popular success with his first novel "Lucky Jim", which is considered by many to be an exemplary novel of 1950s Britain. The novel won the Somerset Maugham Award for fiction and Amis was associated with the writers labelled the Angry Young Men. "Lucky Jim" was the first British campus novel, setting a precedent for later generations of writers such as Malcolm Bradbury, David Lodge, Tom Sharpe and Howard Jacobson. As a poet, Amis was associated with The Movement.
During 1958-59 he made the first of two visits to the United States, where he was Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing at Princeton University and a visiting lecturer in other northeastern universities. On returning to Britain, he felt in a rut, and he began looking for another post; after thirteen years at Swansea, Amis became a fellow of Peterhouse at Cambridge (1961–63). He regretted the move within a year, finding Cambridge an academic and social disappointment and resigned in 1963, intent on moving to Majorca; he went no further than London. [Memoirs, "Cambridge"] [ Bradford, Ch 10]
In 1963, Hilary discovered Kingsley's love affair with novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard. Hilary and Kingsley separated in August; he went to live with Jane. He divorced Hilary in 1965, and then married Jane the same year; Jane and Kingsley divorced in 1983. In his last years, Amis shared a house with Hilary (his first wife) and her third husband, Alastair Boyd, 7th Baron Kilmarnock. Hilary and Kingsley Amis had three children, among them novelist Martin Amis, who wrote the memoir "Experience" about the life and decline of his father.
Kingsley Amis was knighted in 1990. In August 1995, he fell, suffering a suspected stroke, yet, after apparently recovering, he worsened, was re-admitted to hospital, and died on 22 October 1995 in London. [Bradford, Ch 23] He was cremated; his ashes are at Golders Green Crematorium.
Amis is chiefly known as a comedic novelist of mid- to late-20th century British life, but his literary work extended into many genres — poetry, essays and criticism, short stories, food and drink writing, anthologies and a number of novels in genres such as science fiction and mystery. His career initially developed in a pattern which was, ironically, the inverse of that followed by his close friend Philip Larkin. Before becoming known as a poet, Larkin had published two novels; Amis, on the other hand, originally wished to be a poet, and turned to writing novels only after publishing several volumes of verse. He continued throughout his career to write poetry which is known for its typically straightforward and accessible style, which yet often masks a nuance of thought, as in “Bookshop Idyll” or “Against Romanticism.”
Amis’s first novel, "Lucky Jim" (1954), is perhaps his most famous. Taking its germ from Amis's observation of the common room at the University of Leicester, where his friend Larkin held a post, [Jacobs, 1995, p. 131.] the novel satirizes the high-brow academic set of a redbrick university, seen through the eyes of its hero, Jim Dixon, as he tries to make his way as a young lecturer of history. The novel was perceived by many as part of the Angry Young Men movement of the 1950s which reacted against the stultifications of conventional British life, though Amis never encouraged this interpretation. Amis’s other novels of the 1950s and early 1960s similarly depict situations from contemporary British life, often drawn from Amis’s own experiences. "That Uncertain Feeling" (1955) centres on a young provincial librarian (again perhaps with reference to Larkin, librarian at Hull) and his temptation towards adultery; "I Like It Here" (1958) presents Amis’s contemptuous view of “abroad” and followed upon his own travels on the Continent with a young family; "Take a Girl Like You" (1960), perhaps Amis’s second best-known novel, steps away from the immediately autobiographical, but remains grounded in the concerns of sex and love in ordinary modern life, tracing the courtship and ultimate seduction of the heroine Jenny Bunn by a young schoolmaster, Patrick Standish.
With "The Anti-Death League" (1966), Amis begins to show some of the experimentation — with content, if not with style — which would mark much of his work in the 1960s and 70s. Amis’s departure from the strict realism of his early comedic novels is not so abrupt as might first appear. He had avidly read science fiction since a boy, and had developed that interest into the Christian Gauss Lectures of 1958, while visiting Princeton University. The lectures were published in that year as "New Maps of Hell: a Survey of Science Fiction", a serious but light-handed treatment of what the genre had to say about man and society. Amis was particularly enthusiastic about the dystopian works of Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, and in "New Maps of Hell" coined the term "comic inferno" to describe a type of humorous dystopia, particularly as exemplified in the works of Robert Sheckley. Amis further displayed his devotion to the genre in editing, with the Sovietologist Robert Conquest, the science fiction anthology series "Spectrum" I–V, which drew heavily upon 1950s numbers of the magazine "Astounding Science Fiction".
Though not explicitly science fiction, "The Anti-Death League" takes liberties with reality not found in Amis’s earlier novels, and introduces a speculative bent into his fiction, one which would continue to develop in other of his genre novels, such as "The Green Man" (1969) (mystery/horror) and "The Alteration" (1976) (alternate history). Much of this speculation was about the improbable existence of any benevolent deity involved in human affairs. In "The Anti-Death League", "The Green Man", "The Alteration" and elsewhere, including poems such as “The Huge Artifice: an interim assessment” and “New Approach Needed,” Amis showed frustration with a God who could lace the world with such cruelty and injustice, and championed the preservation of ordinary human happiness — in family, in friendships, in physical pleasure — against the demands of any cosmological scheme. The matter of Amis’s religious views is perhaps ultimately summed up in his response, reported in his "Memoirs", to the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s question, in his broken English: “You atheist?” Amis replied, “It’s more that I hate Him.”
During this time, Amis had not turned completely away from the comedic realism of "Lucky Jim" and "Take a Girl Like You". "I Want It Now" (1968) and "Girl, 20" (1971) both depict the “swinging” atmosphere of London in the late '60s, in which Amis certainly participated, though neither book is strictly autobiographical. "Girl, 20", for instance, is framed in the world of classical (and pop) music, of which Amis was not a part — the book’s relatively impressive command of musical terminology and opinion shows both Amis’s amateur devotion to music and the almost journalistic capacity of his intelligence to take hold of a subject which interested him. That intelligence is similarly on display in, for instance, the presentation of ecclesiastical matters in "The Alteration", when Amis was neither a Roman Catholic nor, for that matter, a devotee of any Church.
Throughout the 1950s, '60s and '70s, Amis was regularly producing essays and criticism, principally for journalistic publication. Some of these pieces were collected in 1968’s "What Became of Jane Austen? and Other Essays", in which Amis’s wit and literary and social opinions were on display ranging over books such as Colin Wilson’s "The Outsider" (panned), Iris Murdoch’s debut novel "Under the Net" (praised), or William Empson’s "Milton’s God" (inclined to agree with). Amis’s opinions on books and people tended to appear (and often, be) conservative, and yet, as the title essay of the collection shows, he was not merely reverent of “the classics” and of traditional morals, but was more disposed to exercise his own rather independent judgment in all things.
Amis became associated with Ian Fleming's James Bond in the 1960s, writing critical works connected with the fictional spy, either under a pseudonym or uncredited. In 1965, he wrote the popular "The James Bond Dossier" under his own name. That same year, he wrote "The Book of Bond, or, Every Man His Own 007", a tongue-in-cheek how-to manual about being a sophisticated spy, under the pseudonym "Lt Col. William ('Bill') Tanner", Tanner being M's Chief of Staff in many of Fleming's Bond novels. In 1968 the owners of the James Bond franchise attempted to continue the series by hiring different novelists, all of whom were to publish under the pseudonym "Robert Markham". In the event, Amis's "Colonel Sun" was the first and only Bond novel to be published under that name. Amis also claimed that the producers of the Bond films asked him to write a screenplay based on one of Fleming's novels, perhaps "You Only Live Twice", but the producers were unimpressed with Amis's effort. [Leader, Zachary "The Life of Kingsley Amis" Pantheon Books 2007.]
Beginning in the late 1970s Amis’s work shows something of a decline from its earlier pitch, with the notable exception of "The Old Devils" (1986), which won the Booker Prize for that year. In novels such as "Jake's Thing" (1978) and "Stanley and the Women" (1984), Amis takes fogeyism and a certain misogynistic bent almost to the point of self-parody. While none of these works is free of Amis’s wit and even of his compassion for humanity, "The Old Devils" is perhaps the last novel which shows the coherence and complexity to be found in his earlier masterpieces.
This period also saw Amis the anthologist, a role in which his wide knowledge of all kinds of English poetry was on display. "The New Oxford Book of Light Verse" (1978), which he edited, was a revision of the original volume done by W. H. Auden. Amis took the anthology in a markedly new direction; where Auden had interpreted light verse to include “low” verse of working-class or lower-class origin, regardless of subject matter, Amis defined light verse as essentially light in tone, though not necessarily simple in composition. "The Amis Anthology" (1988), a personal selection of his favourite poems, grew out of his work for a London newspaper, in which he selected a poem daily and presented it with a brief introduction. [Fussell, "The Anti-Egotist"]
Personal life and political views
As a young man, Kingsley Amis was a vocal member of the Communist Party. He became disillusioned with Communism, breaking with it when the USSR invaded Hungary in 1956. Thereafter, Amis became anti-communist, and conservative. He discussed his political change of heart in the essay "Why Lucky Jim Turned Right" (1967); it percolates into later works such as his dystopian novel "Russian Hide and Seek" (1980). Amis became something of a cultural affairs confidant to Tory premier Margaret Thatcher.
Amis was by his own admission and as revealed by his biographers a serial adulterer for much of his life. Inevitably this was one of the main contributory factors in the breakdown of his first marriage. A famous photograph of a sleeping Amis on a Yugoslav beach shows the slogan (written by wife Hilly) on his back "1 Fat Englishman - I fuck anything".
In one of his memoirs, Amis wrote: "Now and then I become conscious of having the reputation of being one of the great drinkers, if not one of the great drunks, of our time".
[Memoirs: Booze] He suggests that this is due to a naive tendency on the part of his readers to apply the behaviour of his characters to himself. This was disingenuous; the fact was that he enjoyed drink, and spent a good deal of his time in pubs. Hilary Rubinstein, who commissioned "Lucky Jim", commented "I doubted whether Jim Dixon would have gone to the pub and drunk ten pints of beer ... I didn't know Kingsley very well, you see". [Quoted in Bradford, Ch 5] Clive James comments: "All on his own, he had the weekly drinks bill of a whole table at the Garrick Club even before he was elected. After he was, he would get so tight there that he could barely make it to the taxi." [ [http://www.tls.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,25336-2576533,00.html "Kingsley without the women",] by Clive James, [http://www.the-tls.co.uk TLS] February 2nd 2007] Amis was, however, adamant in his belief that inspiration did not come from a bottle: "whatever part drink may play in the writer's life, it must play none in his or her work."] That this was certainly the case is attested to by Amis's highly disciplined approach to writing. For 'many years', [Jacobs, 1995, p. 17 ] Amis imposed a rigorous daily schedule upon himself in which writing and drinking were strictly segregated. Mornings were devoted to writing with a minimum daily output of 500 words. [Jacobs, 1995, p. 6 ] The drinking would only begin around lunchtime when this output had been achieved. Amis's prodigious output would not have been possible without this kind of self discipline. Nevertheless, according to Clive James, Amis reached a turning point when his drinking ceased to be social, and became a way of dulling his remorse and regret at his behaviour toward Hilly. "Amis had turned against himself deliberately ... it seems fair to guess that the troubled grandee came to disapprove of his own conduct." His friend Christopher Hitchens simply said, "The booze got to him in the end, and robbed him of his wit and charm as well as of his health." [Kingsley Amis, "Everyday Drinking", Bloomsbury USA, NY, 2008, editor's introduction.]
* "Lucky Him: The Life of Kingsley Amis", Richard Bradford, Peter Owen, 2001. ISBN 0 7206 1117 2
* "Kingsley Amis: Memoirs", Kingsley Amis, Penguin, 1992.
* "The Letters of Kingsley Amis", edited by Zachary Leader, HarperCollins, 2000. ISBN 0 00 257095 5
* "Kingsley Amis, a Biography", Eric Jacobs, Hodder & Stoughton, 1995. ISBN 0 340 59072 6
* "The Life of Kingsley Amis", Zachary Leader, Jonathan Cape, 2006. ISBN 0224062271
* "The Anti-Egotist: Kingsley Amis, Man of Letters", Paul Fussell, Oxford UP, 1994.
* "Kingsley Amis's Troublesome Fun", Michael Dirda. The Chronicle of Higher Education June 22, 2007. B9-B11.
* "AMIS & SON - Two literary generations" by Neil Powell, Pan Macmillan, 2008.
:1947 "Bright November":1953 "A Frame of Mind":1954 "Poems: Fantasy Portraits".:1954 "Lucky Jim":1955 "That Uncertain Feeling":1956 "A Case of Samples: Poems 1946-1956".:1957 "Socialism and the Intellectuals". A Fabian Society pamphlet:1958 "I Like it Here":1960 "Take A Girl Like You":1960 "New Maps of Hell: a Survey of Science Fiction":1960 "Hemingway in Space" (short story), "Punch" Dec 1960:1962 "My Enemy's Enemy":1962 "The Evans County":1963 "One Fat Englishman":1965 "The Egyptologists" (with Robert Conquest).:1965 "The James Bond Dossier":1965 "The Book of Bond, or Every Man His Own 007" (pseud. Lt.-Col William ('Bill') Tanner):1966 "The Anti-Death League":1968 "" (pseud. Robert Markham):1968 "I Want It Now":1968 "A Look Round the Estate: Poems, 1957-1967":1969 "The Green Man":1970 "What Became of Jane Austen?, and Other Questions":1971 "Girl, 20":1972 "On Drink":1973 "The Riverside Villas Murder":1974 "Ending Up":1974 "Rudyard Kipling and his World":1975 "The Crime Of The Century":1976 "The Alteration":1978 "Jake's Thing":1978 "The New Oxford Book of Light Verse" (ed.):1979 "Collected Poems 1944-78":1980 "Russian Hide-and-Seek":1980 "Collected Short Stories":1983 "Every Day Drinking":1984 "How's Your Glass?":1984 "Stanley and the Women":1986 "The Old Devils":1988 "Difficulties With Girls":1990 "The Folks That Live on the Hill":1990 "The Amis Collection":1991 "Memoirs":1991 "Mr Barrett's Secret and Other Stories":1991 "We Are All Guilty":1992 "The Russian Girl":1994 "You Can't Do Both":1995 "The Biographer's Moustache":1997 "The King's English: A Guide to Modern Usage":2001 "The Letters of Kingsley Amis", Edited by Zachary Leader:2008 ", Introduction by Christopher Hitchens
Poets in "The Amis Anthology: A Personal Choice of English Verse" (1988)
Richard Aldington - Kenneth Allott - Matthew Arnold - Kenneth Ashley - W. H. Auden - William Barnes - Oliver Bayley - Hilaire Belloc - John Betjeman - Laurence Binyon - William Blake - Edmund Blunden - Rupert Brooke - Robert Browning - Robert Burns - Thomas Campbell - Thomas Campion - G. K. Chesterton - Hartley Coleridge - Robert Conquest - W. J. Cory - John Davidson - Donald Davie - C. Day Lewis - Walter De la Mare - Ernest Dowson - Michael Drayton - Lawrence Durrell - Jean Elliot - George Farewell - James Elroy Flecker - Thomas Ford - Roy Fuller - Robert Graves - Thomas Gray - Fulke Greville - Heath - Reginald Heber - Felicia Dorothea Hemans - W. E. Henley - George Herbert - Ralph Hodgson - Thomas Hood - Teresa Hooley - Gerard Manley Hopkins - A. E. Housman - Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey - T. E. Hulme - Leigh Hunt - Elizabeth Jennings - Samuel Johnson - John Keats - Henry King - Charles Kingsley - Rudyard Kipling - Philip Larkin - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - John Lydgate - H. F. Lyte - Louis MacNeice - Andrew Marvell - John Masefield - Alice Meynell - Harold Monro - William Morris - Edwin Muir - Henry Newbolt - Alfred Noyes - Wilfred Owen - Thomas Love Peacock - George Peele - Alexander Pope - Frederic Prokosch - Walter Ralegh - John Crowe Ransom - Christina Rossetti - Siegfried Sassoon - John Skelton - Robert Southey - Edmund Spenser - Sir John Squire - Robert Louis Stevenson - Sir John Suckling - Algernon Charles Swinburne - George Szirtes - Alfred, Lord Tennyson - Dylan Thomas - Edward Thomas - R. S. Thomas - Francis Thompson - Anthony Thwaite - Chidiock Tichborne - Aurelian Townsend - W. J. Turner - Oscar Wilde - John Wilmot, Lord Rochester - Roger Woddis - Charles Wolfe - William Wordsworth - William Butler Yeats - Andrew Young
* [http://www.tls.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,25336-2576533,00.html "Kingsley without the women",] by Clive James, [http://www.the-tls.co.uk TLS] February 2nd 2007
* [http://www.williams.edu/English/faculty/rbell/scholarship-and-criticism/AmisIntro.html "Kingsley Amis in the Great Tradition and in Our Time,"] by Robert H. Bell, Williams College. Introduction to "Critical Essays on Kingsley Amis", ed. Robert H. Bell, New York: G.K. Hall, 1998.
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/authors/author/0,5917,-5,00.html Guardian Books "Author Page"] , with profile and links to further articles.
* [http://www.theparisreview.com/viewinterview.php/prmMID/3772 "The Paris Review" interview, with downloadable PDF]
* [http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?search_term=chatfield&id=8249 "The Serious Comedian"] , by Tom Chatfield, Prospect Magazine, a review of Zachary Leader's biography.
* [http://www.newcriterion.com/archives/25/03/the-old-devil/ "The old devil"] - article on Amis by Mark Steyn in The New Criterion
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/magazine/22amises.t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin The Amis Inheritance] —Profile on Martin and Kingsley Amis by Charles McGrath from New York Times Magazine (4/22/2007).
* [http://research.hrc.utexas.edu:8080/hrcxtf/view?docId=ead/00007.xml&query=amis&query-join=and Kingsley Amis Collection] at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
list=James Bond writer
NAME=Amis, Sir Kingsley William
SHORT DESCRIPTION=English novelist, poet, critic, teacher
DATE OF BIRTH=April 16, 1922
PLACE OF BIRTH=Clapham, South London, England
DATE OF DEATH=October 22, 1955
PLACE OF DEATH=London, England
Источник: Kingsley Amis