The Odd Couple: The Curious Friendship between Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin

The Odd Couple: The Curious Friendship between Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin

by Richard Bradford

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Kingsley Amis was a mimic, jester, father, husband, atheist, pseudo-socialist and clubland Tory boozer with a limitless taste for adultery; Philip Larkin a glum misanthrope who lived in self-imposed solitude. And yet, after meeting at St John's, Oxford in 1941, this unlikely pair struck up a friendship to endure for more than forty years, despite a period of acrimony in the 1960s. From their early days of undergraduate ambitions and enthusiasms through to the bitterness of middle age, Richard Bradford charts the progress of a remarkable friendship, and shows how crucial it was to the making of these two literary giants. Without Larkin's inspiration and input, Amis would never have written his award-winning debut, Lucky Jim; if not for Amis's overnight success, Larkin would never have abandoned his hopes of becoming a novelist and turned instead to verse. Larkin's ensuing resentment would simmer beneath the surface of their relationship for years to come. Drawing on an enormous archive of letters, manuscripts and interviews, The Odd Couple not only offers a rare glimpse into the private correspondence of two controversial and eccentric men, it also illuminates some of the finest novels and poems of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849544719
Publisher: Biteback Publishing, Ltd.
Publication date: 10/30/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Richard Bradford: Richard Bradford has authored biographies of Kingsley Amis (Lucky Him 978 0720611175), Philip Larkin (First Boredom, Then Fear 978 0720613254) and Martin Amis (978 1605983851).

Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgements vii
Chapter 1 Before They Met 1
Chapter 2 Early Years 28
Chapter 3 The Return of Amis 59
Chapter 4 Lucky Jim 82
Chapter 5 Belfast 108
Chapter 6 The 1950s 140
Chapter 7 The Third Man 196
Chapter 8 The Split 214
Chapter 9 Worlds Apart 252
Chapter 10 Reconciliation 280
Chapter 11 ‘And age, and then the only end of age’ 323
Select Bibliography 361
Index 365

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