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(Message started by: Kevin Cryan on Today at 12:09)

Title: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 12:09
The Guardian

Clive James to publish new essay collection this summer (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/apr/10/clive-james-new-essay-collection-this-summer-latest-readings)

Latest Readings will be the second book this year from the writer who was diagnosed with terminal leukemia in 2010

http://i.guim.co.uk/media/w-620/h--/q-95/088cb5c691c17188c5d3ec3f871fdf43f9195a4b/0_0_5152_3810/1000.jpg
Clive James at his home in Cambridge in March. Photograph: Phil Fisk for the Observer

Friday 10 April 2015 07.30 BST Last modified on Friday 10 April 2015 08.44 BST



Quote:
Just weeks after his most recent poetry collection hit the shops, Clive James’s publishers have announced that he will publish a second book this year, a collection of literary reflections, Latest Readings, due out this summer.

James, who was diagnosed with terminal leukemia in 2010, will use the book to tackle subjects ranging from American Power to Women and Hollywood and “Naipaul’s Nastiness”.

The collection of short essays, dedicated to “my doctors and nurses at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK”, will mark a return from the melancholy of his late poems to the witty erudition of his earlier years as critic and commentator.

A spell in hospital suffering from pneumonia sent him back to Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim which he had detested at university, he reveals. “I suppose I had a plan to stave off one kind of boredom with another, as a kind of inoculation. On the strength of this long-delayed second reading, the book struck me as no more exciting than it had once seemed, but a lot more interesting.”

Conrad crops up in several essays, but James has room for lighter authors too, writing of how he was raised off his deathbed by his daughter’s introduction to Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey novels.

“She was like a drug dealer handing out a free sample. Within a few days I was back for the next one … and in the course of remarkably little time – the excitement of reading stopped me reminding myself that it was time I didn’t really have – I had read all 20 volumes.”

He concedes that O’Brian “doesn’t really know what to do with an interesting female character”. “The only woman on a par with the leading men gets killed off in a coach accident. No, these are boys’ books, and the lesser for it. I try to remember that most of the fans of O’Brian that I have met are women, but I suspect that they want a holiday from feminism, just as his male fans want a holiday from inertia.”

Two of the essays are about Hemingway, “I have spent a good part of my adult life reading books about Ernest Hemingway,” he writes, arguing that “he’s too much of a problem to leave unsolved”. After tackling the writer’s troubled masculinity, his shaky relationship with the truth, his addictions to alcohol and dangerous sports, James concludes of the author of A Farewell to Arms and The Old Man and the Sea: “The height of his tragedy was that he could not write about his own finale, which, lasting so long, could have been his great theme.”


Latest Readings will be published by Yale on 25 August.

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Revelator on Today at 22:03
Judging by their topics, these essays haven't been previously published (Kevin can correct me if I'm wrong), which makes the new book even more of a must-buy.

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Revelator on 29.07.15 at 18:37
Kirkus has published an early review (the book will be released August 25):

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/clive-james/latest-readings/

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Tiny_Montgomery on 30.07.15 at 09:05
I managed to get an early review copy of Latest Readings. Despite the occasional valedictory note, it is more generally marked by a lightness of touch and a sparkling enthusiasm for the world of books. James revisits such modern masters as Conrad and Hemingway, discovers new enthusiasms - such as Olivia Manning - or acknowledges his first literary love, poetry, in short pieces about Larkin, Kipling and Richard Wilbur. There is also much about the movies and the Second World War. But the book is also about the bibliophile's addiction; how books do not only furnish a room, but several homes too. James is forever coming clean about his addiction, shuttling back and forth from his favourite Cambridge bookstalls with towering piles of volumes his home cannot practically accommodate. In a moving coda, James wonders if all he has written is as significant as the kindness shown by a single night nurse when she came to his rescue one night in hospital. He also reveals the words he would like about himself on any future memorial plaque. But although touched by an acute sense of his own mortality, Latest Readings is more generally a bright, uplifting and highly readable set of literary portraits, a hymn to a lifelong love affair with books.

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 03.08.15 at 17:13
POPMATTERS

Clive James Proves That Great Literature Is Not Dead (http://www.popmatters.com/review/195089-latest-readings-by-clive-james/)

by Hans Rollman

3 August 2015
[bgcolor=Black]
http://images.popmatters.com/misc_art/c/clive-james-latest-readings-650.jpg
Clive James’ Latest Readings provide a source of inspiration, wit, and lessons about life and art.
.[/bgcolor]

It’s either an ironic tragedy, or a bit of lucky fortune, to discover a great new writer just at the end of his life. This isn’t an epitaph; Clive James is not dead yet – “Near to death, but thankful for life” as a BBC documentary put it in March of this year. But in his latest volume of essays, James is quite forthright about how surprised he is that despite the veritable national convention of fatal illnesses that have congregated in his body, he’s somehow managed to do enough reading to produce a new book of literary criticism while battling them all. .....


read on (http://www.popmatters.com/review/195089-latest-readings-by-clive-james/)


http://images.popmatters.com/misc_art/c/clive-james-latest-readings-cvr-350.jpg

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 05.08.15 at 10:27
http://www.postmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/National-Post.jpg
National  Post (http://www.nationalpost.com/index.html)
The last words of Clive James keep lasting (http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/television/the-last-words-of-clive-james-keep-lasting)
Robert Fulford | August 4, 2015 3:00 PM ET

http://wpmedia.news.nationalpost.com/2015/07/arts_books_clive_james_23802996.jpg?w=620
Clive James, poet, essayist, critic and author.   W.W. Norton via Bloomberg News


Quote:
By neatly deploying several of his many talents, Clive James has managed to treat his imminent death in a way that’s at least mildly amusing and characteristically charming. In 75 years of life, most of them spent in Britain, James has been a poet, a TV broadcaster, a critic and the best-selling author of memoirs. He’s done all of these things exceptionally well, so no one should be surprised that he’s now dying in an exuberant and altogether literary manner.

In 2010 he was diagnosed with both leukemia and emphysema, the latter related to the 80 cigarettes a day he consumed at the height of his nicotine addiction. Immediately upon hearing the bad news, which seemed a death sentence, he began writing his last words.

But as time passed the last words kept lasting……
..


read on (http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/television/the-last-words-of-clive-james-keep-lasting)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 06.08.15 at 19:40
THE INDEPENDENT Thursday 06 August 2015
http://www.independent.co.uk/independent.co.uk/assets/images/redesign/masthead/indy-masthead-small.png

Latest Readings by Clive James, book review: The author delivers a sign-off of substance (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/latest-readings-by-clive-james-book-review-the-author-delivers-a-signoff-of-substance-10443312.html)

http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article10443325.ece/alternates/w620/CliveJames-Tom%20Pilston.jpg
Terminally ill essayist Clive James takes an elegiac wander around cherished works

James Kidd Thursday 06 August 2015


Quote:
'Latest Readings' comprises 30 essays written, as the title suggests, in the saddest of circumstances. Diagnosed with terminal leukemia in 2010, Clive James does not seem to be raging against the dying of the light so much as reading until it finally goes out. Late, later, latest: these are almost last readings, undertaken with an affection fit for James' fantasised blue plaque: "I would like it to say: 'He loved the written word, and told the young'."
As literary bucket lists go, James' choice of reading is pleasingly scattershot. Heavyweight novelists (Proust, Powell, Conrad, two helpings of Hemingway) mingle with poets (Kipling, Larkin, Stephen Edgar, Richard Wilbur), who rub shoulders with odd sods like Hollywood, Villa America, John Howard and German flying saucers. There is not much recent writing, though Lucy Hughes-Hallett's biography of Gabriele D'Annunzio is one. But if I were in James' position right now, I might not have the time for Go Tell a Watchman either.....


read on (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/latest-readings-by-clive-james-book-review-the-author-delivers-a-signoff-of-substance-10443312.html)


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 07.08.15 at 08:12
EveningStandard

Latest Readings by Clive James – review (http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/books/latest-readings-by-clive-james-review-10443919.html)
Clive’s race against time to revisit his favourite reading. By William Leith

William Leith Thursday 6 August 2015 17:29 BST

http://www.peteatkin.com/images/latestreadings.jpg
Latest Readings by Clive James

Latest Readings by Clive James (Yale, £12.99)


Quote:
In 2010, Clive James tells us, he could “hear the clock ticking”. He already had “wrecked lungs”, and now he had been diagnosed with leukemia. So the bookish James asked himself a desperate question: in his state, did he have enough time for long books? For anybody who reads, it’s a hellish question. Anyway, the answer was a Churchillian yes. James took on Boswell’s Life of Johnson and decided to keep on going. “If you don’t know the exact moment when the lights go out,” he tells us, “you might as well read until they do.”

You could see this as a book of essays about the reading habits of a man as he approaches the end. Or you could see it as a superbly compressed memoir. It made me think of the feeling you get when you’re cramming for an exam: you’re in control of the material and time is short, and you’re finally aware that if you had all the time in the world you’d enjoy this stuff so much more. But then again, if you had all the time in the world you’d never have come to this exact realisation.

With a watchmaker’s skill, James dramatises the inner workings of the act of sitting down and reading. “Being book crazy,” he writes, “is an aspect of love, and therefore scarcely rational at all.” For James, books are rapacious; they chase him down, they fill up his house. Soon, he knows, he won’t have any more space on his shelves. But he too is ruthless....




read on (http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/books/latest-readings-by-clive-james-review-10443919.html)

Kevin Cryan

« Resized excessively wide image - SJB »

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 14.08.15 at 21:42
The Weekly Standard

Book Review



The Magazine_________________


All Booked Up (https://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/all-booked_1010393.html)

At the end of life, reading as therapy.

Aug 24, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 47 • By THOMAS SWICK


Quote:
All writers begin as readers, and the majority, the ones worth reading, continue life as more prolific readers than writers—especially, it seems, as they age. “In my seventh decade I feel a new haste,” Larry McMurtry wrote in Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen (1999), “not to write, but to read.” As Clive James writes in his introduction here, in a line that evokes the child hiding under the covers with a flashlight and book as much as it does the grizzled bibliophile: “If you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do.”


https://www.weeklystandard.com/sites/all/files/imagecache/teaser-large/images/teasers/BOB.v20-47.2015-08-24.Swick_.Newscom.jpg....
Clive James at home in London (2014)



read on (https://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/all-booked_1010393.html)

Kevin Cryan



Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 15.08.15 at 09:25
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August 14, 2015 4.35 PM
’Latest Readings’ and ‘Sentenced to Life’ by Clive James (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4c78416c-3f58-11e5-b98b-87c7270955cf.html)

The author's most recent essays and poems are haunted by death - yet radiate life.

Review by Jason Cowley

 

http://im.ft-static.com/content/images/bf7e9191-eeb4-4e28-af92-eda85432dc38.img
[bgcolor=Black]Photograph: Phil Fisk/Camera Press [/bgcolor]

Clive James at his home in Cambridge, England, earlier this year.



Quote:
No literary artist, Martin Amis once wrote, ages more slowly than a poet, "some of whom (Yeats for instance) just keep on singing, and louder sing for every tatter in their mortal dress". He could have been discussing the late-career flourishing of his old friend Clive James who keeps on singing even as his mortal dress is shredded by leukaemia, bouts of pneumonia and chronic emphysema.

We all live with the knowledge of mortality, with the sound of the clock ticking. But for five years now the clock has been threatening to stop ticking altogether for James: he has in effect been living under a death sentence that miraculously keeps being extended, like some death-row inmate whose lawyer keeps winning him a last-minute reprieve from the executioner's needle.

........


Available in print or by subscription (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4c78416c-3f58-11e5-b98b-87c7270955cf.html)


Kevin Cryan


Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 16.08.15 at 10:14
The Guardian

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Essays
[/bgcolor]

[bgcolor=Maroon]The Observer
[/bgcolor]

Latest Readings by Clive James review – a life in books (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/aug/16/latest-readings-clive-james-review)

Clive James displays all his artistry and swagger in these moving reflections on books he has long loved – and those he has at last begun

http://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Observer/Pix/pictures/2015/8/7/1438969081616/Clive-James-Latest-Readin-009.jpg?w=700&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&s=3f06626a986524ff6fd18bc551de8d34
Clive James at home in Cambridge: ‘His old brillliance for epithet is to the fore’. Photograph: Phil Fisk for the Observer

Tim Adams
Sunday 16 August 2015 08.00 BST



Quote:

Clive James (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/clive-james) was diagnosed with the leukaemia that will sooner or later be the death of him in 2010. Given his talents, his gift of the gab, it is fitting and fabulous that his goodbye is still going strong. So far James’s refusal to go gently into that long Saturday night has produced two volumes of verse, a fine translation of The Divine Comedy, (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/22/divine-comedy-dante-clive-james-review) a book of notes on his favourite poets, (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/15/poetry-notebook-2006-2014-clive-james-absorbing-thoughts-art-form) and this new volume of short essays. He’s written more in the shadow of death than many writers manage in a procrastinating lifetime.

This book, he says, by way of introduction, came from a simple invitation from the editors at Yale: write about the books you are reading (perhaps, the invitation went without saying, the last ones you will read). When he first got his diagnosis James was at a loss to know if he would open a book at all. Boswell’s Life of Johnson (https://bookshop.theguardian.com/life-of-johnson.html)cured him of that lack of purpose. The question of what to read was obvious: he should reread all the books he’d loved, and read all the ones he thought he might love but had never got round to, with as much Johnsonian urgency as he could muster.

A move from his London flat back to the proximity of family in Cambridge necessitated the culling of half of his library. He has spent much of the time since building it all back up again, trawling the tables of Hugh’s bookstall in the university city’s market square for bargains.
...................



read on (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/aug/16/latest-readings-clive-james-review)


Kevin Cryan


Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 17.08.15 at 19:21
http://www.newstatesman.com/sites/default/files/nsnewlogo_2014.jpg

http://www.newstatesman.com/sites/default/files/styles/thumbnail/public/blogimages/blog-culture-capital.jpg?itok=GS7egAeJCULTURAL CAPITAL
..........................The latest on books and the arts



How books help us to be better human beings (http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/08/how-books-help-us-be-better-human-beings)
Is literature therapy, comfort food, or a route to self-knowledge? Four literary critics pick up where Montaigne left off.

by Jonathan Bate (http://www.newstatesman.com/writers/jonathan_bate) Published 17 August, 2015 - 11:19

Curiosity
Alberto Manguel
Yale University Press, 392pp, £18.99
 

Where Have You Been? Selected Essays
Michael Hofmann
Faber & Faber, 304pp, £30
 

The Nearest Thing to Life
James Wood
Jonathan Cape, 144pp, £12.99
 





Latest Readings
Clive James
Yale University Press, 192pp, £12.99


Quote:
Over the past few weeks I have been reading four enormously enjoyable books about the pleasure of reading. The richest of them is Curiosity by Alberto Manguel, a Canadian writer, editor, translator and critic who “would rather define himself as a reader”. The other three are collections of essays, by the poet and translator Michael Hofmann; James Wood, resident literary critic at the New Yorker; and Clive James, the “memoirist, poet, translator, critic and broadcaster”. It is striking that none of them has made it their profession to teach literature at a university (though Hofmann and Wood supplement their earnings with visiting faculty positions). It is even more striking that the kinds of things they say would never (well, hardly ever) be said by a professor in a department of English: “art is the nearest thing to life” (Wood, quoting George Eliot); “This transmigration of souls is literature’s modest miracle” (Manguel on how “if we recognise ourselves in Cordelia today, we may call Goneril our sister tomorrow, and end up, in days to come, kindred spirits with Lear, a foolish, fond old man”); “Ted Hughes is at least arguably the greatest English poet since Shakespeare” (Hofmann); “Finally you get to the age when a book’s power to make you think becomes the first thing you notice about it” (James, on reading and rereading in the knowledge that he is in the endgame of a life of reading).

These are books about how books help us to be thoughtful, feeling human beings. They are works of empathy even as the spirit of criticism shines through them, provokingly in Hofmann, very subtly in Wood, sometimes flashily but always sincerely in James. …..

-------------------------------------

Conversation is the key: the problem with “academic” literary analysis is that too often it sounds like talking at the reader or, worse, talking down to him or her. And the style is all too frequently that of the monologue. But the experience of reading the classics is a genuine dialogue with the dead. For Manguel, Dante and Montaigne are living presences. As is Conrad for Clive James (he made me think: “Yes, I must go back to Conrad, haven’t read him for years and years”). When James is dead he will live on through his books.



read on (http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/08/how-books-help-us-be-better-human-beings)


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 20.08.15 at 10:16
https://www.spectator.co.uk/wp-content/themes/spectator/images/logo.jpg

'Doorways to the unknown’: Clive James’s Latest Readings (https://www.spectator.co.uk/books/9610492/doorways-to-the-unknown-clive-jamess-latest-readings/)

In this wry reading diary, James revisits the books he has most loved — for poetry, history and swashbuckling adventure

BOOKS Daniel Swift (https://www.spectator.co.uk/author/daniel-swift/) 22 August 2015


Latest Readings Clive James
Yale, pp.192, £12.99, ISBN: 9780300213195



Quote:
In the preface to his great collection of essays The Dyer’s Hand, W.H. Auden claimed: ‘I prefer a critic’s notebooks to his treatises.’ Auden’s criticism is like that: a passage of insights instead of a single sustained argument, and the same is true of Samuel Johnson, whose works are a pleasure to read for the feeling of the pressure of a great mind at play. Clive James belongs in this company.

His new book Latest Readings is a kind of reading diary: a collection of short essays, each prompted by one book or a handful he happens to be reading. They are not in any logical order or sequence, but are given unity by two things: one biographical, the other stylistic. James is — as has been widely publicised over the past two years — now dying, of leukaemia and emphysema, and while he only briefly mentions it here, this whole book is marked by a sense of medical struggle and imminent extinction. Olivia Manning’s cycle of novels, he writes, ‘makes now more bearable’. So the title contains a very Jamesian pun: it means both most recent and, implicitly, last. He will not be reading these books again.

......................


...read on (https://www.spectator.co.uk/books/9610492/doorways-to-the-unknown-clive-jamess-latest-readings/)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 22.08.15 at 10:41
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/img/Small_masthead_positive_A.gif

Non-fiction
[bgcolor=Navy] Welcome to your preview of The Times[/bgcolor]
Latest Readings and Sentenced To Life: Poems 2011-2014 by Clive James (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/books/non-fiction/article4533734.ece)

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/multimedia/archive/00961/a546491c-4785-11e5-_961949c.jpg
Clive James, who had leukaemia diagnosed in 2010, would like his epitaph to be: “He loved the written word, and told the young”
Richard Cannon/The Times


Philip Collins
Published at 12:09AM, August 22 2015


Quote:
When I interviewed Clive James recently he kept using the word “eventually”. For a man who, in September 2014, published in The New Yorker a poem called Japanese Maple that announced his imminent demise, sticking around is getting embarrassing. His illness, first diagnosed in 2011, has coincided with an improvement in the drugs available to treat his leukaemia.  

There are other volumes planned to follow Sentenced to Life, a collection of recent poems, and Latest Readings, literary vignettes with a characteristically wide sweep, the centrepieces of which are Conrad, Hemingway and Johnson. It is possible to think that this might.......


To see full article you need to subscribe:

[bgcolor=Navy]Login or Subscribe[/bgcolor] (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/books/non-fiction/article4533734.ece)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 22.08.15 at 15:19

on 08/22/15 at 10:41:38, Kevin Cryan wrote :
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/img/Small_masthead_positive_A.gif

Non-fiction
[bgcolor=Navy] Welcome to your preview of The Times[/bgcolor]
Latest Readings and Sentenced To Life: Poems 2011-2014 by Clive James (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/books/non-fiction/article4533734.ece)

.........

Philip Collins
Published at 12:09AM, August 22 2015

To see full article you need to subscribe:

[bgcolor=Navy]Login or Subscribe[/bgcolor] (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/books/non-fiction/article4533734.ece)

Kevin Cryan


Collins, later on his piece, writes:


Quote:


Finding Clive James at an impressionable age gave me permission to love the range of the arts and not be forced, through snobbery, to narrow down. He showed that, just because you were funny, it didn't mean you weren't being serious............



Read an extract from Latest Readings in Times2 next week

KC

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 23.08.15 at 08:32
The Guardian



Clive James: new cancer drug has him 'unreasonably well' and still writing (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/aug/23/clive-james-new-cancer-drug-has-him-unreasonably-well-and-still-writing)
 
[bgcolor=Purple] James dedicates his ‘little book’ of essays to hospital staff while describing his health as like waiting for a delayed flight
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‘I am waiting for the next technological advance which I hope will enable me to live forever’: Clive James Photograph: Chris Bourchier/REX Shutterstock

Melissa Davey (http://www.theguardian.com/profile/melissa-davey)
@MelissaLDavey (http://twitter.com/MelissaLDavey)
Sunday 23 August 2015 06.29 BST


Quote:
Australian poet, cultural critic and novelist Clive James, (http://www.theguardian.com/culture/clive-james)who in 2010 announced he had been diagnosed with leukaemia and was “on limited time”, said a new drug has helped to keep his cancer at bay and allowed him to continue to read and write.

In an interview (http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2015/s4297903.htm) with the ABC’s Mark Colvin about his new book, Latest Readings (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/aug/16/latest-readings-clive-james-review), James, 75, described himself as “unreasonably well” despite his diagnosis, which last year he told interviewers had left him fearful of soon losing his eyesight and ability to work.

Colvin commented that James sounded more bright and energetic than back then, to which James replied: “People keep telling me that with an undercurrent of suspicion, as if I’ve been faking the whole thing, and I suppose they’ve got a point.


People keep telling me that with an undercurrent of suspicion, as if I’ve been faking the whole thing, and I suppose they’ve got a point.


“I’m unreasonably well-looking for where I’m at,” he continued. “Really what’s happened is my leukaemia came out of remission. Quite seriously, everything was taking a dive. But a new drug came online which is holding the leukaemia in check, but we have to rebalance the antibiotics.

“So there’s been a sort of fluctuating period when I’ve been up and down but now everything’s smoothed out again and here I am waiting for the next technological advance which I hope will enable...................
read on
(http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/aug/23/clive-james-new-cancer-drug-has-him-unreasonably-well-and-still-writing)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 26.08.15 at 20:09
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npr (http://www.npr.org/)


'Latest Readings' Offers Buoyant Musings On A Lifetime Of Literature (http://www.npr.org/2015/08/26/434332463/latest-readings-offers-buoyant-musings-on-a-lifetime-of-literature)
   

August 26, 2015 7:03 AM ET

Craig Morgan Teicher


Quote:
­

Diagnosed with terminal leukemia in 2010, Clive James has made of death a different kind of inspiration than the perennial dark muse it is for most writers. Rather than dwell on his stance squarely in the crosshairs of oblivion, James, the Australian-born writer who is one of the U.K.'s most eminent and famous literary personalities, has doubled down on his writing practice, or perhaps simply kept up his prolific pace. In just the past five years, he's published retrospective and new collections of poems, a landmark translation of all three books of Dante's Divine Comedy, a career-spanning selection of essays, a volume of reflections on poetry, and now Latest Readings, a collection of short essays, most only a couple of pages, on his own list of essential books.

For the literature-obsessed, this slim volume is a delectable gift, a reminder of why one reads at all, especially when the mortal countdown timer is ticking loudly. And it proves that James is the rare literary critic who can speak deeply to a general audience, with a sense of humor and levity that suggests that high art can indeed be for everyone.

These essays are not earth-shattering re-evaluations of the classics. Instead they are personal encounters with books that have shaped one very great and capacious mind. Particularly moving are two pieces on Ernest Hemingway, about whom James feels a powerful ambivalence.At first, he calls The Sun Also Rises "the perfect expression of a young writer getting into his stride." Yet, "reading it once again, and at the end of my own career, I am less envious — clearly Hemingway's own personality had always scared him into suicidal excess — but still enchanted by a prose style that gave us such a vivid semblance of simplicity."

He also rereads, during a prolonged hospital stay, Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim, which he had last read as a university student; then, he found it "a boring book." Now, with a lifetime of deep reading in history, politics and literature under his belt, it paints "an international historical picture," though it is "no more exciting than it had once seemed, but a lot more interesting."

It is these utterly precise, yet lighthearted cleavings that make James one of the most useful and enjoyable literary critics around. "The critic," he writes, "should write to say, not 'look how much I've read,' but 'look at this, it's wonderful.' " That said, he never goes easy on books or their authors, though even his most withering assessments are cast in buoyant prose, inviting us, his imagined readers, to agree with or condemn his opinions, with his blessing and encouragement. He praises the American poet Richard Wilbur's long-treasured (and long out of print) book of prose about poetry for "laying out his knowledge in an easy-seeming sweep of conversational English." But he gently condemns the fate of literature in the academy: "How did literary theory get started? Because the theorists couldn't write.".........



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read on (http://www.npr.org/2015/08/26/434332463/latest-readings-offers-buoyant-musings-on-a-lifetime-of-literature)
   

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 27.08.15 at 20:16
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Arts

[bgcolor=Navy]Welcome to your preview of The Times[/bgcolor]

Clive James on Hemingway, Larkin and finding room for book shelves (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/article4538853.ece)

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/multimedia/archive/00965/6aa6dc2a-4bfb-11e5-_965027c.jpg
Clive James at his home in London
Richard Cannon/Times Newspapers


Clive James
Published at 12:01AM, August 27 2015

In an extract from his latest collection of essays, the critic and presenter discusses two of his favourite authors


Quote:

I last read The Sun Also Rises long enough ago to have forgotten all but the odd detail. But the sharpness of the details I remembered — the chestnut trees of Paris, the running of the bulls in Pamplona — was a sufficient reminder that the book had always struck me as fresh and vivid, the perfect expression of a young writer getting into his proper stride. When I first read it I was a young writer myself, and scarcely into my stride at all.

Reading it once again and at the end of my own career ................




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Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 28.08.15 at 16:33
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FT Magazine

Interview: Clive James (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a6393156-4c33-11e5-9b5d-89a026fda5c9.html)

August 27, 2015 4.58 pm

Caroline Daniel

The prolific writer, who was diagnosed with leukaemia five years ago, says the idea of death inspires him, especially not knowing exactly when it will happen


Quote:

On my way to Clive James’s house, I pass a poster for the Cambridge News. “Moment Armed Police Swooped on My Brolly.” It is the sort of quintessentially British headline that I imagine James would notice with pleasure on his careful amble into town.

Peering through the clear window of his front door, James is visible in a room at the back, typing on his laptop: “the author at work”. It’s a shame to disturb his concentration, yet he shows no sign of irritation as he affably greets the photographer and me in his thick black socks. He only wears loose black ones these days as his feet are swollen, he tells me. “The drugs have ruined my sartorial standards. I never was one for sartorial standards. Some writers are.”

He leads us through a cavern of books into the main room with a small kitchenette and a vast desk under skylights. On it are piles of New Yorkers, doctors’ notes, and a red and black notebook. A sticker on it reads: “Clive”, with his address. On his laptop, a long poem-in-progress is being transcribed from a handwritten book, with scribbles and a stanza crossed out.

A straw hat is on his desk, a prop ready for his portrait. “I don’t want to look too funereal,” he jokes. “It’s a bit cool but it will look like summer if I am sitting outside, wearing my hat.” It may also be a jaunty means to cover his head, which is covered in sores, including a circular gouge on his forehead above his white-trimmed sideburns. “My head’s a mess, I’m afraid. But that’s OK. It looks interesting.”

James, 75, has endured many “last” interviews, since being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010. Mordant headlines have included: “The art of dying”, “A long goodbye” and “In death as in verse”. The trigger for our meeting is his new book Latest Readings (it is dedicated to the doctors and nurses at Addenbrooke’s, his local hospital in Cambridge). “I was going to call it Last Greetings ......

http://im.ft-static.com/content/images/5c91b33e-4c60-11e5-9b5d-89a026fda5c9.
Sitting in his garden at his Cambridge home beneath the Japanese maple immortalised in one of his poems.



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Caroline Daniel is editor of FT Weekend. Clive James’s ‘Latest Readings is published by Yale University Press

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 30.08.15 at 11:15
The Irish Times

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne reviews Latest Readings by Clive James (http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/%C3%A9il%C3%ADs-n%C3%AD-dhuibhne-reviews-latest-readings-by-clive-james-1.2332344)

Consolation and life in literature: Nicely written, very readable, with many great insights, some essays are substantial, some a bit throw-away


Éilís Ní Dhuibhne

Sat, Aug 29, 2015, 00:13
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Quote:
http://www.irishtimes.com/polopoly_fs/1.2332342.1440771180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_140/image.jpgClive James has written more than 30 books, including novels, literary criticism and poetry. In 2010 he was diagnosed with terminal leukaemia. The news made him wonder “whether it was worth reading anything new and substantial, or even re-reading anything substantial that I already knew about”.

But James, whose career as a writer has been overshadowed by his time as the high-profile presenter, in the 1980s and early 1990s, of Clive James on Television and other series, quickly decided that “if you don’t know when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do”. The essays in his collection prove that this was a wise and life-enhancing strategy.

The consolation of literature for those coming face to face with serious illness and death has been recently described by the great Swedish writer of detective novels, Henning Mankell, in a collection of essays documenting his experience of lung cancer, and the books he has been reading during a year of treatment.............





read on (http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/%C3%A9il%C3%ADs-n%C3%AD-dhuibhne-reviews-latest-readings-by-clive-james-1.2332344)

Kevin Cryan


Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 31.08.15 at 09:36
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The Washington Free Beacon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Washington_Free_Beacon) Wikipedia

Reading to the End (http://freebeacon.com/culture/reading-to-the-end/)


Quote:
http://s1.freebeacon.com/up/2015/08/Clive-James.jpg
[bgcolor=Black]Clive James at his home in Cambridge /AP[/bgcolor]

BY: Micah Mattix
August 29, 2015 5:00 am
Leukemia hasn’t slowed Clive James down a bit. The prolific critic, poet, and broadcaster continues to put out books at an impressive rate since being diagnosed in 2010. He wrapped up his translation of The Divine Comedy in 2013, published a collection of poetry criticism in 2014, and followed it with a book of his own poems earlier this year. Now we have Latest Readings, a collection of short essays on newly discovered books and those he’s been reflecting on his whole life.

The title is just right. These aren’t last readings—at least, I’m sure, James hopes not. Death may be waiting around the corner, but until James meets him, he will keep as busy as possible, it seems, reading and writing or browsing the local bookstalls for some forgotten first edition, almost as if he is trying to postpone the inevitable. This doesn’t mean he ignores death. The book is dedicated to the staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where James has been receiving treatment, and he is open about his increasing frailty. But there is little morbidity or self-pity. These essays are about the life of good books.
Bad critics lecture, good ones share. James makes you feel as if you are sitting in his kitchen (with adjacent library) talking about his day, which just happens to be filled with reading.

What are the best novels-in-series (which, by the way, James thinks Americans are not very good at for some reason)? There’s Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy. James remembers being unimpressed when he first read it. Waugh’s prose “is designed to go down like a glass of water,” he remarks with the aversion of a formerly heavy drinker. On re-reading the series, however, he is struck by its “broadness” and “narrative drive”—no small accomplishment for a novelist with a gift for comic portraiture. There’s also Powell’s twelve-volume The Music of Time and Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet.
But what captures his imagination most is Olivia Manning’s Balkan and Levant trilogies—two series he had never read before. He is thunderstruck. “Few women, and indeed few men,” James writes, have written fiction that “took in the sweep of modern history. Olivia Manning did it.” The only apt comparison is to that of Proust. The Frenchman’s insight was “how the high society he loved was being riddled with an anti-Semitism that was bound to have long-term consequences.” For Manning, it was “how Europe’s mission civilisatrice in the countries to the south and east was bound to fail, partly because Europe itself was less civilized than it liked to believe.”

There are other recommendations, which James shares with unpretentious passion. Osbert Lancaster’s Drayneflete Revealed is still “one of the great British comic achievements,” he writes. The point of Lancaster’s parody is that the distinctiveness of English architecture is its “agglomeration of mediocrity.” Amanda Vail’s 1988 book on Sara and Gerald Murphy—American expatriates who entertained Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Picasso, and many other artists on the French Riviera—“is a disarming treatment of a subject that you have to treat disarmingly or get nowhere.” W.G. Sebald’s thin Luftkrieg und Literatur (translated as On the Natural History of Destruction) is “exquisite.”

James also muses on the accomplishments and shortcomings of a handful of the 20th century’s greatest writers. Kipling could have been one of the finest poets of the English language, James argues, if had only learned to rein in his interest in dialect and weakness for “flashy wordplay.” Hemingway’s “pose of masculinity” ruined his prose, and Conrad’s accomplishment (in the boring Lord Jim and enthralling Under Western Eyes) is in identifying the 20th century’s struggle between “the imbecility of autocracy and the imbecility of revolution.”

One of my favorite pieces is on V.S. Naipaul’s “nastiness.” Naipaul may have written against the caste system in India, but he behaved “like an autocrat” to the women in his life. When a workman at his house once asked him to help open a window, James tells us, Naipaul apparently called his wife at work to complain about being disturbed and told her to come home because there was domestic work to be done. His writing can be equally derisive—but this is all part of his appeal, James writes. We read Naipaul “for his fastidious scorn, not his large heart.”

There are a few topical essays. On wit, James writes that the “underlining of a single word is the stroke of wit.” This is a play on Polonius’s remark in Hamlet as well as a gloss on it. On the topic of good artists behaving badly, James remarks with characteristic good sense that the two factors often having nothing to do with each other. “The provenance of art can never be as morally elementary as we wish it.”
The first task of the critic is to know what needs to be ignored, a requirement that only becomes clear after many years of wide reading. James certainly knows, and his punchy, entertaining recommendations here makes one hope that his latest readings are only that.




Micah Mattix  
Micah Mattix is an assistant professor of literature at Houston Baptist University and a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and many other publications.


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 03.09.15 at 13:20
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The Washington Post


Clive James’s ‘Last Readings’ review: A critic’s final homage to literature, life (http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/clive-jamess-last-readings-review-a-critics-final-homage-to-literature-life/2015/09/02/1152f6b6-50b2-11e5-933e-7d06c647a395_story.html)


By Michael Dirda (http://www.washingtonpost.com/people/michael-dirda) September 2 at 5:14 PM




Quote:
….............
Comparing his work to some of the more leisurely essay-writing of the past, he notes, “I have always assumed that the readers have no time at all, and need their attention snared from moment to moment. ” In a stinging apercu about critics, he points out that “after an initial period of relative sanity, they tend to think that nothing — not even the career of, say, Horace — ever happened without their interest in it. At its worst, the madness reaches the point where the critic behaves as if his new book about Shakespeare will save Shakespeare from oblivion.”...................



full article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/clive-jamess-last-readings-review-a-critics-final-homage-to-literature-life/2015/09/02/1152f6b6-50b2-11e5-933e-7d06c647a395_story.html)

Dirda is a regular book reviewer for Style and the author of the just-published “Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1605988448?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1605988448&linkCode=xm2&tag=thewaspos09-20)

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 06.09.15 at 10:45
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HUSTON*CHRONICLE (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/)   (Houston Chronicle -- SJB)

Two authors, writing toward their endings (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/books/article/Two-authors-writing-toward-their-endings-6485734.php?t=1dddc316d8438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium#photo-8583544)
By Joseph Campana | September 4, 2015 | Updated: September 4, 2015 4:15pm


Quote:
http://ww3.hdnux.com/photos/40/57/45/8583542/5/460x460.jpg

Late summer's literary harvest also includes "Latest Readings," destined to be among the last writings of the heralded poet, novelist, critic and memoirist Clive James, who announced five years ago his diagnosis of terminal leukemia.

But does the end mean the same thing to everyone?

James is a critic inimitably and undeniably himself. Every sentence echoes with the confidence and calm of decades of thoughtful, attentive reading. A watchword for James at his best is "intensity." His recent and rather marvelous "Poetry Notebook" subtitles itself "Reflections on the Intensity of Language." "Latest Readings" affirms this priority, that "culture is a matter not of credentials, but only of intensity."

James has managed, super-heroically, to do everything from translating Dante to writing about Hollywood. In "Latest Readings" his newest superpowers render him the "Re-reader."
There's something beautiful about the way illness returns him to former loves: Ernest Hemingway and Joseph Conrad, Philip Larkin and V.S. Naipaul. The anticipation of death ultimately clarifies life. As he puts it: "If you don't know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do."

So should we all.

Yet this is a memoir of reading, not illness. Waning health encourages reflection on what it is to read at a time when the heft of books seems less important than the resolution of screens.

The most stirring essays consider Hemingway and Conrad, yielding insight in moments of seemingly casual description. Of "The Sun Also Rises," James says "scarcely anybody is old enough to have a past. They live in the present moment because they are young, and have to."

At times, "Latest Readings" requires too much familiarity with James' past work, making "Poetry Notebook" a better choice for first-time readers. But what a wonder to witness a fearless critic face down death and affirm that the history of reading is not a "necropolis" but "an Arcadian pavilion with an infinite set of glittering, mirrored doorways to the unknown: which seems dark to us only because we will not be in it."

For James, death is a spur to life, an occasion to affirm the value of reading.





 


More Information

'Latest Readings'

By Clive James.

Yale University Press, 192 pp., $25.

'Dome of the Hidden Pavilion: New Poems'

By James Tate.

Ecco, 160 pp., $24.99.

Joseph Campana is a poet and Rice University professor.


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 07.09.15 at 21:36
The Sydney Morning Herald

Latest Readings review: The ongoing brilliance of a fading Clive James (http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/latest-readings-review-the-ongoing-brilliance-of-a-fading-clive-james-20150828-gj96m6.html)

Date September 5, 2015


Peter Craven

Essays

Latest Readings

CLIVE JAMES

Yale University Press, $29.95




Quote:
This is an odd little book but it's a book by a master. We all know that Clive James is not only crook but on the way out. He was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010 and has made it clear that he does not have long to live, which is a distressing fact, not only in human terms, but because he is one of the great interviewers of the age, a poet of real distinction and the author of a childhood memoir that is some kind of masterpiece.

And he is a staggering essayist and a critic of the highest distinction. Latest Readings is a book about the books James is reading now he knows time is limited.

But it's also, with exceptional geniality and restraint, the story of a man reading his way to the last exit and the recurrent half-light of personal reference makes the book very moving and fine because it's such a quiet, oblique, unselfconscious self-portrait.

James says that his daughter stopped him from just lying on his bed and reading the Bible. She got him to read Patrick O'Brian's​ Jack Aubrey novels, he made himself read Boswell's Life of Johnson and a tremendous urge to read seems to have arisen.

Latest Readings is preoccupied with Hemingway and Conrad, two great masters of big-canvas narrative who also had claims to be men of action and they loom like giants. It's also full of James' passion for World War II, his critique of W.G. Sebald's book about the bombing of Dresden, the virtues of William Shirer and Hugh Trevor-Roper on the Nazis, the glamour of Jack and the culture of Jackie Kennedy, the whole bloody cavalcade.




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Kevin Cryan


Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 10.09.15 at 13:28

on 08/28/15 at 16:33:50, Kevin Cryan wrote :
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FT Magazine

Interview: Clive James (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a6393156-4c33-11e5-9b5d-89a026fda5c9.html)

August 27, 2015 4.58 pm

Caroline Daniel

The prolific writer, who was diagnosed with leukaemia five years ago, says the idea of death inspires him, especially not knowing exactly when it will happen



Sign in or subscribe (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a6393156-4c33-11e5-9b5d-89a026fda5c9.html)


Caroline Daniel is editor of FT Weekend. Clive James’s ‘Latest Readings is published by Yale University Press

Kevin Cryan


This is the Mexican edit:

[bgcolor=Red]MILENIO.COM [/bgcolor]

Clive James: No sabes si tu obra perdurará (http://www.milenio.com/financial_times/ftmercados-Clive_James-Latest_Readings-negocios_0_585541614.html)


Desde que le diagnosticaron leucemia, la muerte ha sido un tema recurrente para el escritor australiano. Sin embargo, mientras el tiempo pasa, el tono en el que escribe es el que cambia

http://www.milenio.com/financial_times/ftmercados-Clive_James-Latest_Readings-negocios_MILIMA20150904_0175_8.jpg
“Remordimiento es cuando no haces nada”. (Foto: Cortesía Editorial)

Caroline Daniel 07/09/2015 06:00 AM


Quote:
Clive James surgió como un talentoso y prolífico escritor de poesía, ensayos y una autobiografía, pero hace cinco años, al ex crítico y personalidad de la televisión le diagnosticaron leucemia. La idea de convertirse en polvo, lo inspira, especialmente al no saber cuándo va a suceder...

Espiando a través de la ventana clara en su puerta principal, se puede ver a James en una habitación en la parte posterior, escribe en su laptop: “el autor está trabajando”. Es una pena interrumpir su concentración, sin embargo no muestra señales de molestia mientras nos saluda amablemente al fotógrafo y a mí en sus gruesos calcetines negros. Sólo usa calcetines negros flojos estos días ya, que sus pies están hinchados, me dice.

Nos lleva a través de una caverna de libros en la habitación principal. Allí hay pilas de revistas New Yorker, notas de los médicos, y un cuaderno de notas rojo y negro. En su laptop, un largo poema en proceso se transcribe de una libreta escrita a mano, con garabatos y una estrofa tachada.
James, de 75 años, pasó por muchas “últimas” entrevistas, desde que le diagnosticaron con leucemia en 2010. Lo que llevó a nuestra reunión es su nuevo libro Latest Readings (“Últimas lecturas”), que dedica a los médicos y enfermeras en Addenbrooke, su hospital local en Cambridge.............
.


sigue leyendo (http://www.milenio.com/financial_times/ftmercados-Clive_James-Latest_Readings-negocios_0_585541614.html)


Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 13.09.15 at 11:10
Sunday Independent
https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/simgad/9005672114560761039



Books: A sign-off of substance... by Clive James (http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/books-a-signoff-of-substance-by-clive-james-31517478.html)


Essays: Latest Readings, Clive James, Orion, hbk, 192 pages, €20.55

James Kidd
Published 13/09/2015 | 02:30

http://cdn1.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/article31517477.ece/8cf16/ALTERNATES/h342/2015-09-12_ent_12665477_I2.JPG
Last reads: Clive James has compiled a literary bucket list of sorts

Terminally ill essayist Clive James takes an elegiac wander around cherished works.



Quote:
Latest Readings comprises 30 essays written, as the title suggests, in the saddest of circumstances. Diagnosed with terminal leukemia in 2010, Clive James does not seem to be raging against the dying of the light so much as reading until it finally goes out. Late, later, latest: these are almost last readings, undertaken with an affection fit for James's fantasised blue plaque: "I would like it to say: 'He loved the written word, and told the young'."
As literary bucket lists go, James' choice of reading is pleasingly scattershot. Heavyweight novelists (Proust, Powell, Conrad, two helpings of Hemingway) mingle with poets (Kipling, Larkin, Stephen Edgar, Richard Wilbur), who rub shoulders with odd sods like Hollywood, Villa America, John Howard and German flying saucers. There is not much recent writing, though Lucy Hughes-Hallett's biography of Gabriele D'Annunzio is one. But if I were in James's position right now, I might not have the time for Go Tell a Watchman either.......


read on (http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/books-a-signoff-of-substance-by-clive-james-31517478.html)

Kevin Cryan










Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 15.09.15 at 20:49
http://cdn.spectator.org/logo.png]
Calling All Readers (http://spectator.org/articles/63953/calling-all-readers)
A lifetime of reading from the great Clive James.
By Larry Thornberry (http://spectator.org/bios/larry-thornberry)– 9.2.15

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YouTube


Latest Readings (http://www.amazon.com/Latest-Readings-Clive-James/dp/0300213190)
By Clive James
(Yale University Press, 180 pages, $25)



Quote:
Poet, author, journalist, and TV personality Clive James has taken some of the last time available to him on this earth to produce a small but very readable book on reading, a lifetime passion for James, who describes himself as “book crazy.”

Even omnivorous readers might not be as cavalier as this comment from the 75-year-old James, who was diagnosed with terminal leukemia in 2010: “If you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do.” And so he continues to read, and here takes us along for the ride in a series of short essays that will repay the time of those for whom reading has been central in their lives.

James is a thoughtful and articulate man with wide intellectual interests, but he’s not a scholar. He’s far too lively and full of wry humor and good cheer to be a don. And like so many non-academic thinkers, his reading is wide and diverse. These essays touch on James’s recent travels with such literary heavyweights as Conrad, Proust, and Naipaul. He has even been able to read and re-read Hemingway with profit late into adulthood (something many others, myself included, have been unable to do). And there are the poets: Shakespeare, Kipling, Larkin, Stephen Edgar, Richard Wilbur. He even re-strapped-on Boswell’s Life of Johnson.

James’ scattershot reading includes as well some lesser known volumes on Hollywood and various precincts of show biz, in which James has been involved and which he finds fascinating. But as he ages he fully understands the difference between the intellectually serious and literary empty calories, consumed for immediate pleasure and no more. “Finally you get to an age when a book’s power to make you think becomes the first thing you notice about it,” he writes.

He calls his rereading of Conrad, than whom there can hardly be anyone more serious, a rediscovery. “My Reconquista of his works is spread throughout this book because that was the way it happened. I didn’t revisit his major novels in a bunch. I tried to space them out, mainly because I was trying to stop. Time felt precious and I would have preferred to spend less of it with him, but he wouldn’t let me go.” (Conradians will understand.)

While James calls Conrad’s Nostromo one of “the greatest books I have every read,” he also whoops up Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey sea operas, to which James became addicted after his daughter gave him a copy of Master and Commander. James says he doesn’t read V.S. Naipaul for his (Naipaul’s) heart, there being various opinions on whether or not he has one, but for “his fastidious scorn.” Just so.

James’s audience for his literary criticism is the general reader, not the academic specialist. He celebrates literature.....................


read on (http://spectator.org/articles/63953/calling-all-readers)



Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 04.10.15 at 14:03
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Book Review: "Latest Readings," by Clive James
(http://www.denverpost.com/theater-shooting-trial/ci_28908363/clive-james-reflects-literary-life)

Clive James reflects on a literary life

By John Broening
Special to The Denver Post
Posted:   10/04/2015 12:01:00 AM MDT


Quote:
Like his late friend Christopher Hitchens, Clive James has chosen not only to live but to die in public. Say what you will about Hitchens, but he died as he lived — polysyllabically merciless in his pursuit of his bêtes noires, unceasingly productive (he was composing an article on Chesterton on his last day on Earth), pugnaciously refusing any deathbed sentimentality or any tempering of his famous atheism.

James has been a different case. Ever since the Anglo-Australian writer and television presenter announced his incurable leukemia, then his emphysema, an insistent self-pitying valedictory note has crept into the endless rounds of farewell interviews he has given on screen and page, just as a dutiful note has crept into the many public tributes he has received. And like Hitchens, it's hard to tell if James can distinguish between obscurity and oblivion.

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site36/2015/1001/20151001__20151004_E10_BK04REVIEWLATEST~p1_200.jpg
"Latest Readings" by Clive James, shown here in 1976, is a loosely written chronicle of a life still devoted to bibliomania.
(Evening Standard, Getty Images file)


read on (http://www.denverpost.com/theater-shooting-trial/ci_28908363/clive-james-reflects-literary-life)

Kevin Cryan



Title: Latest Readings (London Magazine)
Post by Tiny_Montgomery on 05.10.15 at 11:10
A review of Latest Readings, incorporating a career overview of Clive James, including reference to Pete Atkin and his fans, appears in the latest issue of The London Magazine.
http://www.thelondonmagazine.org/tlm-current-issue/?issue=october-november-2015

Link activated, but subscription required, apparently. Thanks Terry -- SJB

Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 19.01.16 at 13:51
http://www.thehindu.com/template/1-0-1/gfx/logo.jpg


Opinion
January 17, 2016

WORD COUNTS


Reading until the lights go out (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/why-clive-jamess-new-book-is-a-perfect-recommendation-writes-mini-kapoor/article8114386.ece)

Mini Kapoor

http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/02698/books_2698709g.jpg
"A variant of book guilt is also about the lifelong struggle to find space for books.”

Why Clive James’s new collection of essays is a perfect mid-January recommendation
_______________________________________________________________________

Quote:
To be a reader is to be acquainted with so many forms of book guilt — and to anyone wracked by such episodes, may I point you to Clive James’s latest collection of essays, Latest Readings. And if, like me, you treasure that rare gem of a reader’s diary that nudges you to reassemble and perhaps supplement books on your shelf to be reread in a suggested sequence, this is an absolutely perfect mid-January read.

When James, the great and flamboyant poet-memoirist-critic who was born in Australia but has made his home in Britain, found out in 2010 that he had leukaemia (“to go with my wrecked lungs”), he threw himself into a planned book of poems, and into reading as much as he wanted. “If you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out,” he writes, “you might as well read until they do.”

As he goes on to write about what he read — mostly, reread — the effect is of staggering abundance. He opens a single book, and before you know it, a reference, a memory or even a random thought has taken him to a few dozen more books in no time. A few pages into Edward St. Aubyn’s novel Lost for Words, he knows he’ll have to go back and reread the Patrick Melrose series. But then, he wonders at the popularity of the Melrose books in America, where “it is as if novels have to be individual, like people”, with exceptions like Philip Roth’s Zuckerman books. And before you know it, he has reread Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy, finally read Olivia Manning’s Balkan and Levant trilogies, finding her “right up there” with Ford Madox Ford’s Tietjens tetralogy, Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet, and Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time — and far above Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet (but so what, for some of us Durrell must be reread too).

Predictably, as far as literary criticism goes, these essays are too slim to be lasting appraisals — though his essay “Naipaul’s Nastiness” catches the impossibility of definitively judging V.S. Naipaul, or of satisfyingly separating the man from his work, especially novels like A House for Mr Biswas. Criticism is found in more wholesome form in James’s earlier work, but here one ...........


read on (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/why-clive-jamess-new-book-is-a-perfect-recommendation-writes-mini-kapoor/article8114386.ece)

Kevin Cryan


Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 12.02.16 at 17:02
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQMbeMTvmiGb6wsMd8uVlN8zi3wOuNIIy0EwuB5QzN2jE2D0J-Dzw

Feather-ruffler at work (http://www.listener.co.nz/culture/books/feather-ruffler-at-work/)

Clive James still has plenty of wit and insight to share.


By  Mark Broatch In Books      

21st January, 2016


Quote:
Clive James, author, critic, poet, memoirist and translator, still has, at 76 and with a cluster of life-threatening ailments, writing skills to burn. He has the acuity of a man who has seen – and read – it all. And he has wit, broad and brainy. Combined, they have – in Cultural Amnesia, The Revolt of the Pendulum, and again here in Latest Readings – the uncanny effect of persuading you to read or revisit authors you might skim past in a second-hand bookshop: Conrad, Patrick O’Brian, Powell, Kipling, Sebald.

He laments more than once that his generation is the last that will have read, or want to read, some of these dusty names. But that’s just what he’s doing in the last months of his life – perhaps; even he admits he has been dying for a long time – rereading, checking his original views, filling in the odd space in his much-reduced library, from Hugh’s bookstall in Cambridge....
http://www.listener.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/LS0516_54_GI_144413639.jpg?9781ed
Clive James: disdain for literary theory and a know-thyself scepticism of all trumpet-blowers. Photo/Getty Images


read on (http://www.listener.co.nz/culture/books/feather-ruffler-at-work/)


Kevin Cryan


Title: Re: Latest Readings by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 25.03.16 at 23:09
http://www.publishersweekly.com/images/logo-trans.png
Publishers Weekly.
Staff Pick: 'Latest Readings' by Clive James (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/tip-sheet/article/69763-staff-pick-latest-readings-by-clive-james.html)

By Peter Cannon |   Mar 25, 2016



Quote:
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Clive James, the Australian memoirist, poet, translator, critic, and broadcaster, was diagnosed with terminal leukemia in 2010, but this collection of short literary essays (http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-300-21319-5), written under that death sentence, is full of life. As I read these pieces in the course of just a couple of hours, I felt as if I were in the same room with this convivial, erudite but never pretentious man as he talked about his favorite authors and books. Happily, I learned we shared many of the same enthusiasms. What a delight, for example, to hear him hold forth on Patrick O’Brian’s nautical adventure novels set during the Napoleonic wars. Much of what James had to say about English sea captain Jack Aubrey and his physician sidekick, Stephen Maturin, I agreed with, though at times I wish I could have asked him to elaborate or even questioned his judgment. Do you really think that C.S. Forester’s Hornblower books are in the same league as O’Brian’s series?

Most gratifying was to discover that James recognizes the genius of Anthony Powell’s twelve-volume novel cycle, A Dance to the Music of Time, which by chance I myself was rereading for maybe the third or fourth time. Again, I found myself intimately engaged with the author as he expressed his opinions on this masterpiece focusing on British society from the end of World War I to the 1960s. Well, yes, it does have some dull stretches, but come on, that comic country-house scene is all the more effective because Powell extends it over several pages.

I had never read Clive James before, but you can be sure I’ll be eagerly seeking out his other work.
.


Kevin Cryan



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