Monday, January 28, 2008

Something's Amis!

The Headline in Friday's Manchester Evening News:-

'Martin Amis paid £3000 per hour to lecture in creative writing at Manchester University'.

The Manchester Evening News discovered this by persistently invoking the Freedom of information act.
Martin (son of Sir Kingsley) earns £80000 per year and is required to teach 28 hours on a post grad Creative Writing course. Most part time lecturers earn less than £20 per hour before Tax. They don't get paid for marking, preparation, meetings etc.
They must feel as thrilled as the regular Guardian techies when told that Stephen Fry was going to do the 'Dork Talk' page in 'Weekend.

The University recently shed 750 jobs to get itself out of a £30million debt mostly caused by it's decision to recruit academic super celebs to transform it into a world class university.

Martin has not been asked to trouble himself with assessment or marking. But - surely he must spend hours and hours preparing for his seminars.

I don't think so.

When he accepted the post last Summer he said - "If all this does turn out to have a theme, it'll be, `Place an enormous stress on individuality, don't use novelty phrases that bob around in the atmosphere for a few months, like `no-brainer' which are ways of signalling to your peer group that you're just like everyone else. Make it fresh, make it your own, make it individual'.

So take good note all you Bloggers who aspire to be creative writers - seems like a 'no brainer' to me.
Martin also said (with a disdainful smirk) that he would not actually be moving to Manchester - "just going up once a fortnight".
In the Evening News article I couldn't help notice hints of - Bumptious cocky southern bastard comin’ up ‘ere to tell us 'ow it’s done'. This preconception (as encouraged by the lovely Stuart Maconie in 'Pies and Prejudice') says that all Northerners are loveable, working class chaps and everyone south of Stockport is a posh, arrogant clever - dick.

This can’t be true or they wouldn’t have given us Harvey Nicks ... and I wouldn't have chatted with that lovely Arsenal supporter at King’s Cross a few years ago.



Blogger Geoff said...

If we get just one good poncey novelist out of it, it'll be worth it.

Besides, I thought UEA was the place to be for Creative Writing.

2:01 pm  
Blogger garfer said...

Don't be nasty to poor Martin, his looks have gone and be is no longer a wunderkind. Anyway, he smokes roll ups so he must be all right.

Northerners smoke tabs and drink beer. They die a lot as a consequence.

2:04 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

“Thank you for sharing,” Kaz.

“I hear what you’re saying.”

We’re “singing from the same hymn sheet.”

2:36 pm  
Blogger ziggi said...

'Martin Amis paid £3000 per hour to lecture in creative writing at Manchester University'

you'd think being a famous southern smartarse they'd be paying him

6:38 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

UEA is sooo last week - they only pay £2999 per hour.

Martin - all right??
I'd rather have Gary Rhodes. At least we'd get a decent meal.

Sorry to be so Manc - centric.
Thanks for your unconditional no brainer clichéd support.

I think Martin is looking for a bit of Northern gritty reality to use in his novels.
It don't come cheap!

7:03 pm  
Blogger tony said...

Hecky Thump!!!!! ,Give Him a month or two & he will be Eating Whippets & Racing Tripe Just Like The Rest Of Us.................

7:23 pm  
Anonymous Sidney Hound said...

I was shocked to my hob-nailed boots when In read about this. How could they do it? Obviously, no bugger at that uni had ever read anything that Mr Amis has written. I wouldn't pay him out in shirt buttons.

9:23 pm  
Blogger Murph said...

I hear his books are coming out in Northern Editions.

"The Tracey Papers"


"Hudders Fields"

"The Goss"

10:11 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Not sure he'll get so involved in our culture on 'once a fortnight' visits.
Do you think he'll bother to stay overnight?

I've read two of his novels.
'The Information' was clever - but in a long winded, showy off style that developed into annoying and boring!

Didn't he also write 'Rather ill looking Dog'?
Better take care of yourself.

9:52 am  
Blogger stitchwort said...

Can't comment, as I know nothing about this person.

Shall we all sign up for the course?

11:19 am  
Blogger Old Wom Tigley said...

Tell me where he lives Kaz... I'll confront this soft sountern jessy on his door step with a pound of think seamed honeycomb and let the whippet have him...

12:30 pm  
Blogger Hyde DP said...

When I first read this I thoght [damn finers acting up retyped that four times] "usual media claptrap making 2 and 3 add up to 7 again" and felt a twinge sorry for Amis - but happen he deserves it [the flak that is not the dough].
At those rates he can afford a private copter each way.

1:45 pm  
Blogger Mopsa said...


3:25 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

We might get a concession - but I don't think they'll allow dogs!

You are certainly a connoisseur of tripe.
Oops I mean the edible stuff - not what Martin writes.

I think it's the university that deserves the flak. They should know better than to be seduced by the cult of celebrity.
Re the copter - is it just coincidence that (just this week)I've noticed lots of adverts for helicopter hire round here?

3:38 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

I took so long writing those replies that you snook in.
You're the third canine to comment on this post.
Perhaps you didn't enjoy Martin's novel called 'Yellow Dog'!

3:42 pm  
Blogger Rimshot said...

I forget exactly who the gentleman was, but there was a well known author speaking at a local university to the 'writers'. He was introduced and made his way to the rostrum, looked out and asked, "How many of you wish to be writers?"

All the hands went up.

"The what the hell are you doing here? Go home and write."

He walked back to his seat. Lecture over.

5:43 pm  
Blogger Arabella said...

Well......I think 'Experience' is a very good memoir. And that dentists and the 'editors' of British 'newspapers' should be made to read it.
You'll have to read it to know what I'm on about.....ching...more money for Martin.

5:52 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

You make a very good point - Can 'creative writing' be taught?
I think not!
The debate continues.

I shall definitely read this - I know the legend of 'the teeth' but not the detail.
No problem giving money to Martin for his writing. And the low down on Kingsley should be good - I've read Philip Larkin's biography.

9:35 pm  
Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

Ah yes the age old U of Man/Man U conundrum regarding the educational vocation vs recreational entertainment remuneration equation.

If he was an third string midfielder for Man U he would prolly make twice that amount.

4:52 am  
Blogger Roses said...

I've read this 4 times before I could write a comment that wasn't an incoherent rant - well it comes from completing a BA in Creative Writing in Norwich, but not at UEA, hince my *slight* bias.

For £3000, I hope those students are getting their money's worth, but somehow I doubt it.

8:28 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

The Man Evening News actually said that the hourly rate was equivalent to a premiership football player.
But I cannot begin to work out how they calculate that.

Incoherent rant - such a pity we missed that!

I'm sure some students will think they've got their money's worth in chat up lines - "As I was saying to Martin this morning...".
But has the University got its money's worth?

7:09 pm  

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