Kingsley Amis: Antimodels and the Audience

Overview


While it has become commonplace to discount British novelist Kingsley Amis as a "naïve realist," a mere comedic novelist, even a misogynist and failed moralist, Andrew James argues that Amis was seriously concerned with the role of the artist in society and explored this subject in many of his novels. Throughout the first twenty years of his career, Amis used bad artists as whimsical characters, or antimodels, that helped identify his artistic preferences and fictional techniques. He became convinced that the ...
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Kingsley Amis: Antimodels and the Audience

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Overview


While it has become commonplace to discount British novelist Kingsley Amis as a "naïve realist," a mere comedic novelist, even a misogynist and failed moralist, Andrew James argues that Amis was seriously concerned with the role of the artist in society and explored this subject in many of his novels. Throughout the first twenty years of his career, Amis used bad artists as whimsical characters, or antimodels, that helped identify his artistic preferences and fictional techniques. He became convinced that the relationship between an artist and his audience was reciprocal and that both the outer audience and the artist's inner circle must be held accountable for the production of bad literature. During the last twenty years of his career, Amis no longer concerned himself with satirizing bad artists, but instead explored ways of ameliorating them. James shows that the development of antimodels as fully drawn characters and Amis's insistence upon reciprocity in the writer-reader relationship demonstrate that he was more than just a comedic writer, and was aware of himself as an artist with social responsibilities. The first study of Amis to analyze manuscript revisions in all of his novel drafts, Kingsley Amis: Antimodels and the Audience shows the more serious side of a complex writer who has yet to receive the critical recognition he deserves.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Andrew James deftly and respectfully clears away existing critical opinions about Amis to make room for his own explorations of the novelist's work. His analysis dramatically changes the conversation about an important twentieth-century novelist." John Xiros Cooper, Department of English, University of British Columbia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780773541368
  • Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2013
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Andrew James is an associate professor in the School of Commerce at Meiji University in Tokyo.
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