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Pete Atkin >> Words >> Point of View by Clive James
(Message started by: Kevin Cryan on Today at 10:22)

Title: Point of View by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 10:22
Hot to the pages of The Bookseller.com (http://www.thebookseller.com/) comes this announcement:

Picador buys new Clive James title
22.09.10 | Victoria Gallagher (http://www.thebookseller.com/Victoria+Gallagher)

Picador has acquired the rights to a new title by broadcaster Clive James. Senior editor Sam Humphreys bought UK and Commonweath rights to Point of View from Robert Kirby at United Agents.

The title will be made up of pieces originally aired on the BBC Radio 4 programme and will also include new introductions to each piece from James. It will be published in autumn 2011.

Humphreys said: "It's a fascinating glimpse into the key concerns, issues, obsessions and trivia that have kept us occupied in the first decade of the new millennium."

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Point of View by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 05.11.11 at 20:45

Now available from amazon.co.uk (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Point-View-Clive-James/dp/0330534386) and booksellers  elsewhere.  

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Point of View by Clive James
Post by dr_john on 08.11.11 at 09:57
Something to add to my list for Santa.   (I assume Clive has been too busy recently, what with one thing and another,  to vet the artwork.)

Title: Re: Point of View by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 08.11.11 at 14:45

on 11/08/11 at 09:57:13, dr_john wrote :
....I assume Clive has been too busy recently....)

I'd hope that this appreciation (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/12/the-rockford-style/8715/)  of actor James Gardner being published in the December issue of The Atlantic is of the outcomes of his more recent labours.

The piece, which is ostensibly a review of The Garner Files: A Memoir by Garner himself and and Jon Winokur (Simon & Schuster), allows him to repeat, at greater length and with the benifit of longer hindsight, things he has been saying about Garner's qualities as a screen actor from the beginning of his own career as a published critic.


Every sane person’s favorite modern male movie star, Garner might have done even better if he’d been less articulate. In his generation, three male TV stars made it big in the movies: Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, and Garner. All of them became stars in TV Westerns: McQueen in Wanted: Dead or Alive, Eastwood in Rawhide, and Garner in Maverick. The only one of them who looked and sounded as if he enjoyed communicating by means of the spoken word was Garner. McQueen never felt ready for a film role until he had figured out what the character should do with his hands: that scene-stealing bit in his breakout movie, The Magnificent Seven, in which he shakes the shotgun cartridges beside his ear, was McQueen’s equivalent of a Shakespearean soliloquy, or of a practice session for a postatomic future in which language had ceased to exist.

The fact that he gives the reader a neat summary of how he views Garner as an actor early on does not mean that the remainder of the essay can be skipped over. It should be read as a whole because it is so full insights about Garner himself, the world he moved in and abourhis contemporaries.

He observes along the way that in Hollywood "preferred way of writing is to bolt together clichés that have already been tested to near-destruction" and that  "one of the secrets of maintaining a long and fruitful career is not to mourn too much for the might-have-beens."  

He makes not bones about his belief that Garber is "far too generous when praising his buddy Marlon Brando" but concedes:


...there’s nothing wrong about praising Brando as long as you admit that the capacity for industrial sabotage that he brought to so many of his film sets was another form of robbery: somewhere, somebody was paying for every extra hour that Brando’s behavior cost. Still on the subject of Brando, a judgment like “best movie actor we’ve ever had” would mean more if Garner had taken room to say that Alan Arkin was a much better movie actor but didn’t look it.

Well, it's  a concession of sorts.

You do not have to agree whth this or anything else he says in this essay; his real value - and the real value of piece -  lies in the fact that much of what he does say is thought-provoking and pleasurably challenging to the reader.

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Point of View by Clive James
Post by Pete Atkin on 15.11.11 at 23:54
Well, my copy of A Point Of View arrived today from Amazon, and what a delight it is.  I think I've heard all of those pieces at least once each, and read most of them too, but even if I weren't delighted to read them again, each of them is hugely enhanced by a postscript - that device which Clive has used before in his essay collections and which is, if anything, even more effective here, given the topical prompting for most of these talks.  

The fact that they were written for speech/ear rather than the eye/brain means they have a directness and immediacy which, if I may make so bold, links them more closely to the songs in some ways, and makes the jokes even more solid.  Hugely enjoyable, I'd say, for anyone reading this, and for a much wider audience too.

(Oh, and the artwork in Kevin's 5.11 posting turns out to be a mockup, thank goodness.)

Title: Re: Point of View by Clive James
Post by Kevin Cryan on 16.02.15 at 14:34
Podcasts are now a vailable for downloading.


A Point of View: Clive James

Clive James presents reflections on topical issues ranging from politics to pop culture in this award-winning series of BBC Radio 4's A Point of View. These programmes were first broadcast between 2007 and 2009.

Podcasts & Downloads (http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/povcj/all)

Kevin Cryan

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