Scientists measure momentum by multiplying mass times velocity. In terms of artistry, that would be the success of a piece times the rate at which it was produced. Thus allowing a certain separation to exist between the heavyweight writers and the amateurs of the medium. Martin Amis being one of those that skimmed to the top, becoming a figure who is prolific, without being over confident in his nature.
As Amis comes with an added controversy (such as his political comments and public announcements) and because of his originality, he is a unique writer to follow. No story he writes is the same as any other. And one cannot help but register a feeling of sheer immediacy, when experiencing his writing.
…a kind of futuristic postcard created out of poetry.
Time’s Arrow, for example, is unique. Its narrative unfolds backwards, but is told forwards; the narrator is a soul caught in a body, which becomes a kind of a peephole to the past life being experienced in reverse. Making it seem precious to the reader, as you are able to unpack the content and its meaning yourself.
I was often left spellbound by the powerful imagery in the novel. Such an important message was deeply rooted in it, making the novel feel as if it were a singular entity that could never be repeated; such as:“Our preternatural purpose? To dream a race. To make a people from the weather. From thunder and from lightning. With gas, with electricity, with shit, with fire.”
The celebrated enfant terrible grows on every reader with every piece. Amis’s work never really ages. It is a post-mortem examination of us, a kind of futuristic postcard created out of poetry.
Image courtesy of Martin Amis