Kingsley Amis, the addressee of many colourful Larkin bulletins, had written to his pen pal in 1956 of the ‘feast … awaiting chaps when we’re both dead and our complete letters come out’.
He was, he said, vastly amused by the debates occasioned by Motion’s biography: to be dismayed by Larkin’s spank mags and racism even in notes to his mum was, for Amis, a sign of humourless cultural Stalinism. (…)
There was also much swapping of fieldnotes on schoolgirls, in whom both were self-consciously interested. (‘I find myself wondering what would have happened,’ Alan Bennett wrote in 1986 of Larkin’s fear of death, ‘had he worked in a hospital once a week like – dare one say it? – Jimmy Savile.’)