the freedom to be Martin Amis

the freedom to be Martin Amis

“It took a little longer to establish the origin and deliver the verdict: esophageal cancer, stage IV. 'And – as Christopher immediately added – there is no stage V'”. Martin Amis recounts the illness of his great friend and essayist Christopher Hitchens, who died at the age of sixty-two, and it is the same disease that killed Amis two days ago, and it is the same disease that killed another close friend, the poet Philip Larkin. “One thinks not to hide any secrets from one's dearest friend, but nobody is ever told everything. Neither of them would remember that Larkin had died of esophageal cancer at the age of sixty-three. And for us, sixty-three was on the threshold… Visible to the naked eye”. Martin Amis had more time, a handful of more years to live, to write, to wage war on clichés and to offer us one last great book, due out tomorrow by Einaudi with a translation by Gaspare Bona. It is entitled "A story from within", are seven hundred pages of fictionalized autobiography that celebrate friendship and literature in that tortuous, impetuous and limpid way together: they never escape death, they never give up thought, desire and alcohol.

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