Thursday, 13 May 2010

Felix Dennis Q&A

I read a Felix Dennis Q&A on the weekend. He wrote a seriously interesting, insightful and wise book on what it takes to become rich (ignore the 'how to...' title - it's much better than that [by the way, I won't be making the cut]). His poetry, however...not so much*.

Here's a short selection of Qs and As:

What is the worst thing anyone's said to you? 
"I am not begging you – I am asking you as a friend."

Which living person do you most despise? 
Such an emotion places one, however remotely, within another's power.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you? 
Fear nothing – failing that, fake it!

The second strikes me as very true and good advice if you want an equable life. However, such a self-denying approach to vituperation, as well as being difficult to maintain, does remove a fair bit of fun from things.

* I would guess one of the more reliable ways to become a much published poet is to become a multi-millionaire publisher first. As for his public performances he offers unlimited free wine. Lack of self-knowledge isn't something you could accuse him of.


worm said...

I read that book and hated it! Well, I found it very interesting, but I took an instant dislike to Mr Dennis

Brit said...

He's a very unlikeable man.

His poetry is interesting. I admire the fact that he resolutely refuses to bow to fashion. His poems rhyme and are straightforward. Unfortunately they're also bloody awful, which would be ok if it were not for the fact that he takes himself extremely seriously as a poet.

Vern said...

Really enjoyed that book, decided not to engage with the poetry. Although Tom Wolfe likes his stuff. According to Mr. Dennis, that is.

malty said...

The court case was the final nail in the coffin of the old established order they never recovered, skulking in their clubs, country houses and in the case of the judiciary, the back streets of Kings Cross. Dennis getting banged up did us all a favour. Sounds a bit of a tosser though but.
So that's all you need for unlimited sex, money.

zmkc said...

I liked that first question and answer very much.

Gaw said...

Worm: I admired the honesty he showed about what it takes to get rich. Being unlikable seemed to be part of the package.

Brit: Amazing what money can buy you.

Vern: I thought it was the best book on the extremes of money motivation I've ever read.

I wonder whether T Wolfe shared his enthusiasm whilst being hosted on Dennis's Caribbean island? In any event, I think he would be good company and I would be glad to share a bottle of red with him.

Malty: Didn't know the case was that influential. All I know about Oz, apart from Dennis's jailing, is that picture of G Greer.

Money can't buy you love though, it seems (read the book).

Gaw said...

z: It hit a chord with me too. Never happened to me but I can well imagine it. Another reason not to want to be extremely rich?

Vern said...

I thought it was great on money motivation but could also apply across the board to other kinds of over riding drives eg for literary glory- which Dennis also shares.

I know a guy who edited some of his magazines; got fired twice; but they're still on good terms and meet for drinks whenever they're in the same city. apparently he is good company.