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Pete Atkin >> Words >> A Tribute to Clive James (LARB)
(Message started by: Kevin Cryan on Today at 20:48)

Title: A Tribute to Clive James (LARB)
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 20:48
RB[/bgcolor]Los Angeles Review of Books

The Lightning Before Death: A Tribute to Clive James by Morten Høi Jensen (https://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/the-lightning-before-death-a-tribute-to-clive-james/)

November 28th, 2015

......To his readers, James always sounds as if he is writing from the back of a dust-strewn bookstore somewhere, making an impassioned case for a forgotten poet or little-read critic. One of the many joys of reading him as a young writer is feeling the textures of life in his prose. He doesn’t just tell you about a book he’s read — he tells you where he bought it, what year it was published, and what condition it was in. Despite now being in his late 70s, he still has the air of the student about him, and often happily evokes his undergraduate days in Sydney or early years as a book reviewer on Grub Street in London. He is in perpetual harangue with these younger selves, sometimes modifying their opinions or even challenging them. But the true lover’s protective instinct has never waned, and the student in James can be mercilessly (and sometimes wearily) impatient with his more dutiful elders (usually literary academics and theorists). “You can’t help wondering why it is thought to be good that the study of literature should so tax the patience,” he once wrote in an essay on the literary scholar Wayne C. Booth. “After all, literature doesn’t. Boring you rigid is just what literature sets out not to do.”

read on (https://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/the-lightning-before-death-a-tribute-to-clive-james/)

Kevin Cryan

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