Clive James


Clive James
Clive James is an author, critic, broadcaster and poet. He has written more than 20 books, including his memoir, The Blaze of Obscurity, and a collection of essays, The Revolt of the Pendulum.



By this author


The velvet shackles of a reputation

arts

In Dr Johnson's little novel Rasselas, the Poet tells the Prince about the psychological requirements of a poetic career. The poet, says the Poet, must "content himself with the slow progress of his name". On the other hand, he should learn to "contemn …

The nymph Calypso

arts

Planning to leave Calypso in the lurch, Odysseus snuck off to build a ship. He found the right-shaped boughs of larch or birch Or spruce, for all I know, from which to strip The bark, and ... but the details we can skip. I won't pretend that I've …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Saying famous things

Society

In Hollywood, "The son-in-law also rises" is a remark that was already part of the culture before World War II. Like the original author of "Sic transit Gloria Swanson", the original author of "The son-in-law also rises" has never been tracked down, possibly …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Happiness writes white

nation_reviewed

Usually attributed to that prolific aphorist Anonymous, the sadly true notion that "Happiness writes white" probably emerged from Tin Pan Alley or Broadway, when somebody finally realised why most of the good love songs were about love lost. The idea …

Windows is shutting down

Culture

Windows is shutting down, and grammar are On their last leg. So what am we to do? A letter of complaint go just so far, Proving the only one in step are you. Better, perhaps, to simply let it goes. A sentence have to be screwed pretty bad Before …

The continuing insult to the language

arts

In which English-speaking country is the English language falling apart most quickly? Britain. Are things as bad in Australia? I hope not. In Britain, in 2006, the Labour government is still trying to fix the education system, but surely one of the reasons …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Winning slowly

nation_reviewed

“The secret,” said Niki Lauda, “is to win going as slowly as possible.” This remark is sometimes attributed to another and even greater racing driver, Juan Manuel Fangio. Perhaps Niki Lauda was quoting it without acknowledgment. Anyway, I actually …

Show me the horror

arts

Directors, producers and the importance of unsubtlety

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Comment

Society

The nickname ‘Diamond Jim’ fitted James McClelland the way ‘Big Julie from Chicago’ fitted the gangster in Guys and Dolls who rolled spotless dice, with the difference that Diamond Jim wasn’t acting. He was really like what his nickname said: …

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