Amis, Kingsley. (1922 - 1995).
L i f e
- youth: a radical member of the Communist Party x middle age: a conservative anti-Communist, disillusioned with the USSR
- father of Martin Amis, a lifelong friend of Philip Larkin
W o r k
A n g r y Y o u n g M e n :
- a gifted comic and satirist
- preoccupied with the upward mobility in the university environment
Lucky Jim (1954):
- a seminal work (= a work from which other works grow): the first English novel to feature an ordinary man as anti-hero
- a comic account of a young would-be-radical lecturer’s resistance to the earnestly pretentious and complacent culture of a provincial university
- the protagonist: Jim Dixon, a typical ‘angry young man’, an estranged critic of the middle-class social and cultural pretentiousness
That Uncertain Feeling (1955), I Like it Here (1958), and Lucky Jim’s Politics (1968):
- resuscitated the comic character of Jim Dixon
One Fat Englishman (1963):
- an account of a British visitor’s experience in an American college
- the protagonist = a typical example of an Englishman attempting to resist the American way of life
The Old Devils (1986):
- an account of the life of a group of retired friends and their wives
> won him the Booker Prize
S c i e n c e - f i c t i o n :
- coined the term ‘comic inferno’ for humorous dystopia
The Green Man (1969):
- a supernatural horror-novel, adapted by BBC for TV
The Alteration (1976):
- an alternate history novel (= a sub-genre of sci-fi set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known), set in a parallel contemporary Britain in which there has been no Reformation and the Papacy still wields supreme power
Russian Hide and Seek (1980):
- an alternate history novel set in a near-future Britain conquered by Russians after WW II
P o e t r y :
- associated with ‘The Movement’
Bright November (1947), A Frame of Mind (1953), A Case of Samples (1956)
AuthorSir Kingsley William Amis. (1922 - 1995). British.
WorkNovelist. Poet. Author of Lucky Jim (1954).
GenresAngry Young Men. Campus novel. Science fiction. The Movement.
Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.
Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.
Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.
Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.
Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.
Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.
"A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night and then as its mausoleum."
From Lucky Jim (1954).