Andrew Fenton interviews Clive James for "The Adelaide Advertiser", mainly about his new book, Cultural Amnesia.
Unlike many critics, James is a great generalist. A quote from Jean Prevost in Cultural Amnesia sums him up: "My soul is a fire that suffers if it doesn't burn. I need three or four cubic feet of new ideas every day, as a steamboat needs coal."
That, says James, is a very attractive thing to say.
"If you're asking me whether I identify with him, I do, and with almost every other hero in the book," he says. "What I liked about him was that he was interested in everything and wrote about everything."
James will be in Adelaide on October 12 as part of his lecture series titled "Clive James Out On His Own".