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Kevin Cryan
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"The River in the Sky" by Clive James
« : 31.08.18 at 16:59 »
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The River in the Sky by Clive James
 
Published by Picador on 6 September 2018.
 
Extract from New Statesman interview
 
Warning: This may only be available to subscribers  

 
Dancing in the endzone: a rare interview with Clive James

The author talks about Federer, Dante, Trump and his long struggle with leukaemia.
 
Christopher Jackson: Your new book-length poem, The River in the Sky, seems to me a summation of all the things youíve been interested in. When did you begin writing it?

Clive James: Really Iíve been writing this poem for ages, in the sense I would get visited by fragments that didnít fit together but seemed to be asking for a framework in which they might. Eventually, the year before last, it occurred to me what the missing context was, and that I already knew something about it. It was the journey into oblivion.
 
Your late poems might be taken as a kind of poetic equivalent of the Rembrandt self-portraits Ė and now I read the wonderful Rembrandt passage in this new book. Which pictures would you most like to stand in front of again?  

Once I might have said that there were hundreds of them that I would like to revisit and stand in front of, but today I can just dial them up and they can look at me while Iím sitting down. We have this universal gallery at our fingertips. I do count that as a great new blessing: these infinite galaxies of images. Only this morning I was looking again at Leonid Pasternakís gorgeous blue pastel sketch of Mrs Levin, and I was thinking, well, there she is, and sheís there for ever now. The Nazis couldnít destroy her and now nothing can, except the dying of the sun. ......
     
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Kevin Cryan

 
NB: Amazon The River in the Sky: A Poem Hardcover Ė 16 Oct 2018
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Kevin Cryan
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Posts: 1118
Re: "The River in the Sky" by Clive James
« Reply #1: 01.09.18 at 09:50 »
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The Guardian
Sat 1 Sep 2018
 
Clive James on his epic new poem: ĎThe story of a mind heading into oblivioní
 
Quote:
Ö..  
Beautiful title, isnít it? I can ask that rhetorical question in all modesty because I didnít think of it. Itís what the Japanese call the Milky Way and nobody in the west has ever heard the phrase without immediately starting to write a book.
 
I started writing my book the year before last, or I started to write a poem with that title. More precisely, I finally admitted to myself that a sheaf of unfinished poems belonged together. Itís conceivable that they belonged together in the wastepaper basket, and there might soon be critics who say so; but it seemed to me that a small stack of would-be poetic fragments were adding up to the same story, the story of a mind heading into oblivion.
Ö................................


 
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Kevin Cryan
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S J Birkill
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"The River in the Sky": Launch Party
« Reply #2: 04.10.18 at 01:30 »
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New Statesman's Tom Gatti covers the launch party for Clive's latest epic poem, at his Cambridge home three Fridays back.
 

 
Among other notables present were Julian Barnes, Tom Stoppard and Pete Atkin, plus Ian Shircore whose "Loose Canon" is out in paperback tomorrow.  
 
Steve
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