LATELY — 11 November 1999

Martin Amis and Steven Spielberg

So said an indignant Mr. Steven Spielberg to Mr. Martin Amis, upon being asked why he had never dealt with sex in his movies: “I think I have an incredibly erotic imagination. It’s one of my ambitions to make everyone in an 800-seat theatre come at the same time.” (This is in 1982–what are you waiting for Mr. Spielberg?)

Speaking of Mr. Amis, is anyone able to explain what he means by this: “Ms. Steinem has a literary gift–her prose is swift and sure–yet this is not quite the same thing as a gift for literature.” Mr. Amis frequently spouts this sort of nonsense; fortunately there are redeeming qualities.