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Martin Amis and Clive James on ageing.
« : 23.12.09 at 13:48 »
On Monday 7th December 2009, the novelist and Professor of Creative Writing at The University of Manchester, Martin Amis, in a public debate organised by the university's Centre for New Writing [link], argued that writers are past their prime once they reach old age.
Amis cited Philip Roth, Vladimir Nabokov and John Updike as prime examples writers whose literary abilities diminished as they grew older.
Amis's adversary, the novelist, poet and literary-critic Clive James argued that Tolstoy, Goethe and Yeats – all of whom produced their best work in their twilight years – amply demonstrate that a decline in literary power is not a necessary concomitant of old age.
A podcast of this debate (Literature and Ageing) which also featured the poet Peter Porter is available here