Literature and Britishness

Yesterday I went to listen to a debate on this topic at Manchester University’s Whitworth Hall. It is the same grand hall I received my post grad honours in. The debate was organised by the Centre for New Writing and the debators were the writers Martin Amis and Howard Jacobson.

I’ve been a long-standing fan of Amis (his autobiography ‘Experience’ is the only one of an author I’ve ever read) and was delighted when he came to Manchester as the Professor of Creative Writing at Manchester Uni in February 2007.

I’ll jot down the key points of the debate as an aide memoire for posterity.

Host intro: The Labour Party phases of Britain 1) Cool Britannia – pop, art. 2) Multicultural Britain – Zadie Smith’s ‘White Teeth’. 3) Return of the Empire, Britain Day – Kipling.

Amis: Death of the comic novel.

(…to be continued)

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