by Martin Amis
Time 100 Novels, Guardian 1000 Novels
... I'd like to return to the motivation question. It seems to me it's an idea taken from art, not from life, not from twentieth-century life. Nowadays motivation comes from inside the head, not from outside. It's neurotic, in other words. And remember that some people, these golden mythomaniacs, these handsome liars—they're like artists, some of them.This mirrors a conversation protagonist John Self had with Doris Arthur, another writer, earlier in the novel, when he pooh-poohed her when she asked about the motivation of one of the characters. The characters in the movie Self is directing have uncertain motives, but the motivations of the characters in the novel Money are just as inscrutable. That stands out most in the case of producer Fielding Goodney, but Selina, Martina, Doris, Martin, and John himself act in capricious and random ways constantly. Is that how life is? Most of us would probably like to think not, but there's quite a bit of truth in the quotation above.