Kingsley Amis (April 16, 1922 – October 22, 1995)
an English novelist, poet, critic and teacher. He
wrote more than twenty novels, three collections
of poetry, short stories, radio and television
scripts, and books of social and literary criticism.
His father is the English novelist Martin Amis.
Kingsley Amis was born south London and was
educated at the City of London School, and St.
John's College, Oxford April 1941 where he read
English. After only a year, he was called up for
Army service in July 1942. After serving in in the
Second World War, Amis returned to Oxford in
October 1945 to complete his degree. Although
he worked hard and got a first in English in 1947,
he had by then decided to give much of his time
to writing. In 1946, he was a member of the
Communist Party of Great Britain.
In 1946 he became a lecturer in English at the
University of Wales Swansea (1948–61). Amis
achieved popular success with his first novel
Lucky Jim, which is considered by many to be
an exemplary novel of 1950s Britain.
The novel won the Somerset Maugham Award
for fiction and Amis was associated with the
writers labeled the Angry Young Men. Lucky
Jim was the first British campus novel, setting
a precedent for later generations of writers such
as Malcolm Bradbury, David Lodge, Tom
Sharpe and Howard Jacobson.
Angry Young Men
is a journalistic catchphrase applied to a
number of British playwrights and novelists from
the mid-1950s. The phrase was originally used
by British newspapers after the success of the
play Look Back in Anger to describe young
British writers, though it was derived from the
autobiography of Leslie Paul, whose "Angry
Young Man" was published in 1951.
It has been used more generically, to refer to a
young person who strongly criticizes political
and social institutions.
known as an academic novel, is a novel whose main action is
set in and around the campus of a university. The genre in its
current form dates back to the early 1950s.
Many well-known campus novels, such as Kingsley Amis‘s
Lucky Jim and those of David Lodge, are comic or satirical,
often counterpointing(对应） intellectual pretensions（自负）
and human weaknesses. Some, however, attempt a serious
treatment of university life.
Campus novels exploit the closed world of the university setting,
with stock characters inhabiting unambiguous hierarchies. They
may describe the reaction of a fixed socio-cultural perspective
(the academic staff) to new social attitudes (the new student
During 1958-59 he made the first of two visits to
the United States, where he was Visiting Fellow
in Creative Writing at Princeton University and a
visiting lecturer in other northeastern
universities. On returning to Britain, he began
looking for another post; after thirteen years at
Swansea, Amis became a fellow of Peterhouse
at Cambridge (1961–63). He regretted the
move within a year, finding Cambridge an
academic and social disappointment and
resigned in 1963, intent on moving to Spain; he
went no further than London.
Kingsley Amis was knighted in 1990. In August
1995, he fell, suffering a suspected stroke, yet,
after apparently recovering, he worsened, was
re-admitted to hospital, and died on 22 October
1995 in London.
Amis is chiefly known as a comedic novelist of
mid- to late-20th century British life, but his
literary work extended into many genres —
poetry, essays and criticism, short stories, food
and drink writing, anthologies(诗选） and a
number of novels in genres such as science
fiction and mystery.
Amis originally wished to be a poet, and turned
to writing novels only after publishing several
volumes of verse. He continued throughout his
career to write poetry which is known for its
typically straightforward and reachable style.
a comic novel, first published in 1954. It was his
first published novel, and won the Somerset
Maugham Award for fiction. Set sometime
around 1950, Lucky Jim follows the exploits of
the titular（有名无实的） protagonist James
Dixon, a reluctant Medieval history lecturer at a
provincial English university . The novel uses a
precise but plain-spoken narrative voice.
Time magazine included the novel in its TIME
100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to
Jim Dixon is not particularly dedicated to his job as a
medieval history lecturer at a provincial university.
Having made a bad first impression in the history
department, he is concerned about being fired at the
end of his first year, and seeks to hold his position by
maintaining good relations with his superior, the
tedious Professor Welch - an often absent-minded and
unbearably self-important amateur（外行）. He also
attempts, without success, to get his article on the
economic consequence of medieval shipbuilding
methods published in an academic journal, in order to
enhance his insufficient professional standing.
Dixon is largely without the tact and caution expected
in provincial bourgeois society - character traits
displayed by his difficulty in accepting the pretension
of Welch and others. Dixon has contempt for just
about everyone around him, including his unbearable
on-again off-again “girlfriend” Margaret Peel (a fellow,
but senior, lecturer), who is recovering from a failed
suicide attempt, having apparently swallowed a
potentially lethal dose(致命剂量的） of sleeping pills.
Via a mixture of emotional blackmail and appeal to
Dixon's sense of duty and pity, she manages to trap
Dixon in a relationship he would rather not be in.
Welch's "arty" endeavors present several
opportunities for Dixon to advance his standing
amongst his colleagues and superiors, but these go
Along the way Dixon meets Christine Callaghan,
a young Londoner who is dating Professor
Welch‘s son Bertrand - an amateur painter
whose self-importance particularly infuriates
Dixon - and comes to find out she has just as
little patience for the world of artists and
connoisseurs（行家）. After initially not hitting
it off particularly well, the two begin to fall in
love; this becomes an undercurrent for Dixon's
further contempt toward Bertrand. Bertrand, a
social climber, is using his connection with
Christine to reach her wealthy and well-
connected Scottish uncle, who is reportedly
seeking an assistant in London.
The novel reaches its climax in Dixon‘s
lecture on “Merrie England,” which goes
horribly wrong as Dixon, attempting to
calm his nerves with a little too much
alcohol, uncontrollably begins to mock
Welch and everything else that he hates;
he finally goes into convulsions(哄堂大笑）
and passes out. Welch, of course, fires
However, Christine's uncle, who reveals a unspoken
respect for Dixon's individuality and attitude towards
pretension, offers Dixon the desirable assistant job in
London that pays much better than his lecturing
Dixon finally has the last laugh, as Christine finds out
Bertrand was also pursuing an affair with the wife of
one of Dixon's former colleagues; she decides to
pursue her relationship with Dixon.
At the end of the book, Dixon and Christine bump
into the Welches on the street; Jim cannot help
walking right up to them, with Christine on his arm,
and exploding in laughter at how ridiculous they truly