Larkin, Nabokov, and Others
On this page I have created links to writers with important connections to Amis (for more on these connections, consult Understanding Martin Amis, by James Diedrick. Some are oft-acknowledged influences (Bellow, Larkin, Nabokov); others are friends (Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens); others are contemporary American writers whose preoccupations and narrative devices often parallel Amis's own (Don DeLillo, Philip Roth).
I begin with links to the three nineteenth-century writers whose voices can often be heard echoing in the margins of Amis's own novels: Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Austen's importance to Amis is especially important to emphasize, since he so often implies in his own criticism that the house of fiction is an exclusively male domain. Yet his own hard-edged comedies of ill-manners are inconveivable without the precedent and example of the great Jane Austen--as his own essay "Miss Jane's Prime" implicitly acknowledges. And while Dickens's influence is everywhere apparent in Amis's work, Stevenson's importance is less often remarked. Both writers, however, are preoccupied with doubles and doubling; both Other People and Time's Arrow evoke and extend the haunting mental landscape of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
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