amis amiss?


Mr. Amis’s new book, “The Second Plane” (Knopf, 212 pages, $24), comes wreathed in a new controversy; but this time there is more at stake than teeth. Last year, the British Marxist critic Terry Eagleton, one of the more noxious presences on the academic literary scene, fiercely attacked Mr. Amis for comments he had made to an interviewer on the subject of Islam. Musing on how to combat Islamic terrorism in Britain, Mr. Amis had said: “What can we do to raise the price of them doing this? There’s a definite urge — don’t you have it? — to say, ‘The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order.’ What sort of suffering? Not letting them travel. Deportation — further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms.”

The irresponsibility of this is only partly mitigated by Mr. Amis’s explicit disclaimer that such retributive measures were just “an urge.” But Mr. Eagleton put himself in the wrong when, rather than rebuking or rebutting Mr. Amis, he attacked him as no better than “a British National Party thug.” Mr. Eagleton went on to suggest that Mr. Amis had inherited his prejudices from his father Kingsley Amis, whom he characterized as a “racist, anti-Semitic boor, a drink-sodden, self-hating reviler of women, gays and liberals.”

more from The NY Sun here.