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Kingsley's English

September 02, 1990

Merle Rubin's fulmination against Kingsley Amis--so rabid as to undercut anything objective she might have had to say--seems to me less her fault (after all, she need not like his work; though she has little excuse for being so grossly misinformed about him and the critical work done on him).

It was clearly an editorial decision to assign this novel to someone who has never liked the particular writer ("overrated"); who clearly . . . pities those less adept ("the befuddled middle-of-the-road reviewer"), and who confuses a review with an ad hominem attack on the novelist and on all those benighted and misguided souls ("liberals whose literary standards are . . . debased") who might find him to have talent.

I had dinner one Boxing Day with an ex-wife of Amis (she is a first-rate novelist in her own right), and she didn't feel it necessary to attack this man. Why, I wonder, does Rubin?

RONALD C. DIXON

SANTA MONICA

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