Clive James Watch #8

Short Notices

Steve in Brisbane writes about Unreliable Memoirs (the first volume) on his weblog "Opinion Dominion", and finds it to be "laugh out loud funny".

Five Years Ago

James reviews Aldous Huxley by Nicholas Murray in "The New Yorker".

Shining a light in [Huxley's] eyes is a good way to start, because his eyesight, or lack of it, ruled his life more than he was willing to let on. He could talk about a wall-size Veronese as if he could see it in a single glance. Actually, he had to look at it a few square inches at a time. Chief among the many merits of Nicholas Murray's new biography, "Aldous Huxley" (St. Martin's; $29.95), is that it appreciates the full weight of his early tragedies without overdoing the retroactive prediction of their effects on his future behavior. But underdoing it would have been a grievous fault. One of the tragedies was the early loss of his beloved mother, another was the loss of a beloved brother; but those were merely devastating. What happened to his eyes changed the way he saw the world. Later on, as a grown man, he had to read about the discovery of antibiotics by holding his face very close to the page. Had they arrived earlier, his disease, an inflammation of the cornea, would have been cured instantly. As things were, he was left at the age of sixteen with only one eye functioning, and that only partly. He was one of Eton's star pupils, but from then on nothing was effortless.

Clive James on YouTube

James was interviewed leading up to the announcement of the Orwell prize earlier this year. Part 1 runs for 10 minutes, and part 2 for a touch over 7. And James's acceptance speech is also available.


Clive James's book Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time has been shortlisted for the non-fiction category of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 1, 2008 1:37 PM.

2008 Ned Kelly Awards Winners was the previous entry in this blog.

2008 Australian Romantic Book of the Year is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en