Clive James Watch #10

Reviews of Opal Sunset: Selected Poems, 1958-2008

Abigail Deutsch reviews the collection for "The Village Voice": "James's artistry lies in his ability to seem both casual and careful: He observes an imperfect world with acerbic off-handedness, often setting his informal voice within formal verse. His ambling iambics snap into regularity right when they should, just when they become, as James writes, 'Scared into neatness by the wild sublime'...For all the piercing confession that marks these pages, James's is a roving sympathy, landing on the handicapped child, the inspired vagabond, the fellow poet. And, being James, he's occasionally less than sympathetic."
David Orr in "The New York Times": "What James wants to do here, of course, is establish that one may be a full-fledged, divinely inspired Romantic poet without doing the things that full-fledged, divinely inspired Romantic poets supposedly do. (You know, striding across darkling moors, engaging in passionate and poisonous affairs, swooning, judging the Academy of American Poets' James Laughlin Award, etc.) This is both touching and unnecessary. As he rightly notes, the only thing that actually matters is the poetry itself, and while the politics of the literary world can sometimes obscure that fact in the short term, the truth will generally out -- if only because readers eventually stop caring who had coffee with Robert Lowell or slept with Lorine Niedecker."
In "Newsweek", Katie Baker takes a brief look: "Part anthology of his best, part showcase for his new verse, the book displays the same formidable erudition and giddy love of pop culture that infuses James's prose: in his stanzas, Hamlet and Plato get equal play with Elle Macpherson."

Articles by James

Interviewing Secrets - "The Australian broadcaster gets far better results webcasting in his own home than making television studio interviews".
Salman Rushdie talks to Clive James.
"A Point of View: The name's Bond, Clive James Bond".
James ponders elections, especially in the light of the recent US Presidential version.
James pays tribute to Pat Kavanagh, the UK literary agent, who died recently.

Video Interviews by James

James interviews Barry Humphries

Short Notices of Other Things

The "Christmas Reading List" weblog on Cultural Amnesia: " the heart of the book is something that I often brood over, the pursuit of knowledge and the way in which knowledge and talent are drained by death. Where do memories go when the vessel that carries them ceases to be? And perhaps, more importantly, is there a responsibility in reading. Is it increasingly a revolutionary act."
"The Guardian" looks at James's poem "The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered" in an essay about remaindered books.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 18, 2008 11:43 AM.

Australian Bookcovers #137 - Miss Peabody's Inheritance by Elizabeth Jolley was the previous entry in this blog.

2009 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Longlists is the next entry in this blog.

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