Kingsley Amis and Catharsis

Kingsley Amis’ Dear Illusion is one of Penguin’s Mini Modern Classics. It is also a gem of story; a cracking yarn, as Wodehouse might write.


It is the story of an aged poet and his eventual bite back against fawning critics. Describing to a female journalist his reason for writing, he says:

I stopped being able to enjoy anything or see the point of anything. I felt bad from morning to night every day. Then, after about a month, some words came into my mind and straight away I felt a little better. I forget what they were, but they brought more words with them and they made me feel a little better still. By the time the words stopped coming I felt at peace.

It transpires, in fact, that the poet would appear to be suffering from depression. Irrespective of the root of his suffering, the cathartic effect of writing is one which I believe to (nonetheless) be undeniable. It is certainly one that I, and to which I know others, relate to.

I simply wanted to share this with whoever may read this post.

Have a great weekend.


Kingsley Amis, Dear Illusion (London: Penguin, 2011 [1983]), pp. 16-7.

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