Peter Green, 'The Devil in Kingsley Amis'
Fri, August 28, 2009 • 3:00 PM • TOM LEA ROOMS, HARRY RANSOM HUMANITIES RESEARCH CENTER 3.206
What makes a good satirist? What skills elicit laughter? Could the secret be an accurate, uncommitted eye for social foibles? Peter Green investigates Kingsley Amis as a nice test case.
The only son of prudish lower-middle-class parents, elevated by scholarships into a world he viewed and chronicled as an alien zoo (with an attractive petting section), Amis wrote book after witty book to pay for the sex that shaped his plots and the drink in which he finally drowned. Details appall; the genius remains elusive.
Peter Green, Dougherty Professor of Classics at U.T. and one of the founding members of British Studies, also writes on English literature in periodicals such as the New Republic, where the present lecture with the title 'Drink and the Old Devil' had its first genesis as a review-article. He is the author of numerous books on ancient Greece, including Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography (1991).