Interview with Clive James

You could be forgiven for being a little tired of Clive James entries here. There have been quite a few mentions of him over the past few weeks. But, let's face it, he's a major figure on the Australian literary landscape and the latest volume of his memoirs has been reviewed all over the place. There has been the odd interview, though few, I suspect, which garner as much about James's future plans as the recent one in "The Sunday Times" by Bryan Appleyard. Nor about his political leanings: "He is, like his friend and compatriot Robert Hughes, culturally conservative and politically left-wing. 'I was brought up on the proletarian left, and I remain there. The fair go for the workers is fundamental, and I don't believe the free market has a mind.' He sees, rightly, the failure to understand the importance of cultural transmission as one of the great failings of the left. And, of course, he intends to write a book about where the left went wrong."

I saw James on a lecture tour of Australia in the late 1990s, and, if you'd asked me then, I would never have picked him as left-wing - centre-right more likely. Extolling the virtues of the monarchy in the middle of the debate on the republic referendum might have been the main cause for that thought.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 15, 2006 11:25 AM.

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