Home » Writing » Henry Miller » ‘Reading is a skill: you have to be taught how to do it.’ Nabakov

‘Reading is a skill: you have to be taught how to do it.’ Nabakov

Movie Poster House Tour: Crash

Movie Poster House Tour: Crash (Photo credit: fimoculous)




Originally posted on 02/02/2003 in my Diaryland blog.


From Martin Amis


I read a review by Martin Amis each time I go to the loo; which is often given the column of vegetable matter and brown rice that I’m consuming.


J G Ballard ‘Crash’


A 1996 review of the film by David Cronenbourg with more reference to the book on which the film was based that was published in 1971.


I’m so ill read I didn’t even now Ballard had written ‘Crash’.


Everything about him as an author appeals to me though given how his writing style, especially his ‘early style’ as described by Amis. The local library does not have ‘Crash’ – if you have a copy do send me one. Address on request. Was I time I’d order anything on a whim from Amazon, tuck into my credit card; was I time I’d so the same in the bowels of Blackwell’s in Oxford.


I like the way it is explained to us that the main character, James Ballard, does one thing in the film and another in the book .. a book that preceded the firm by 25 years.


‘Under the sway of a ‘benevolent psychopathy’, a ‘new logic’, the entire cast surges eagerly towards an autogeddon of wound-profiles and sex deaths.


I like the idea that crash deals with ‘obsession’, I must of course, having read all of this, get a copy of ‘Crash’ – from the library I hope.


‘Crash emerged from a background of surrealism, cultural activism, hyper-permissiveness and lysergic acid.’


Anthony Burgess


On being a A novelist or a B novelist.


  • Nabakov: His Life in Part by Andrew Field review by Martin Amis
  • Nabakov regarded cliché as the key to bad art, yet it is an attractive irony that bad art is what his life so frequently resembles.
  • Lectures on literature by Vladimir Nabakov. Edited by Fredson Bowers. Reviewed by Martin Amis.


‘Reading is a skill: you have to be taught how to do it.’


Nabokovian advice. The only things that a good reader needs are imagination, memory, a dictionary and some artistic sense.


I need to read Kurt Vonnegut, ‘Slaughterhouse 5’ perhaps, and ‘Galapagos.’ State otherwise.


The library doesn’t even have Kurt Vonnegut


I found a J G Ballard though (not crash). I’m after ‘Les Particules elementaires’ by Michel Houellebecq too.


I can pick holes in the translation of ‘Atomised’ – why? It’s been translated into American English. Ha! You see. There needs to be a English English version, an Australian English version, a Canadian English Version and an Indian English version … there are more. Now who was it who predicted, that like Latin, English would gradually form several separate languages????




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