Thursday, May 24, 2007

Angry at the Angry Old Men

A review of Colin Wilson's The Angry Years: the Rise and Fall of the Angry Young Men here.
Instead of being funny and outrageous, however, the tone of The Angry Years is gloating and the prose flatter than a cartoon cat hitting a wall. All Wilson wants to do is settle scores.


Amis wanted to push Wilson off a balcony during a party ("Look, there's that bugger Wilson"). Of this incident, the author reflects, "For some reason I never quite understood, I seemed to arouse in Kingsley Amis the same deep uneasiness I could sense in Tynan." The explanation is not hard to seek. Wilson gets up people's noses because he has such a high opinion of himself: "I had taken it for granted that I was a man of genius since I was about 13."
Amis père, before he became bloated and hateful, wrote some scorching things about Wilson. I'll dig them out later.

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