It’s my dream to go from being the bad boy of English letters to the bad man of English letters. I thought that might happen after my father died but it still seems to be with me. So, I’ll probably go to my grave as the bad boy of English letters.
Let’s put to one side the fact he’s mocking the term, etc. But really, how does he think this? How does he come to believe that people perceive him this way? Has someone played a cruel joke on him? Does the paperboy deliver a copy of The Guardian from 1986 each morning? Is he also thinking of applying for shares in British Gas?
There’s a lot to say about Amis. One of these days – but Auden’s the more urgent subject.