Clive James Watch #11

Reviews of Opal Sunset: Selected Poems, 1958-2008

Benjamin Lytal in "The LA Times": "Opal Sunset contains poems of compact grace and steady, modest emotion. James' lines, anchored by memorable phrases and obviously the production of a serious verbal talent, more than fulfill James' meager definition of poetry, that it be sayable."

Articles by James

What we need is thinking action heroes, but less swearing.
Under the title "Terror Chic", James looks at a film adaptation of the events surrounding the Baader Meinhof terrorists in Germany in the mid-late 70s. Trouble is, he hasn't seen the film. This is never a good idea. He also criticises Spielberg's film Schindler's List as it "left some of us wondering just how useful a contribution it was, to make a movie about how some of the Jews had survived, when the real story was about all the Jews who hadn't": thereby criticising a film for what it isn't, rather than commenting on what it is. Two major critical faults in the one essay, which is a bit disappointing. I'm afraid there might be more, but I had to stop there.
In "World famous. Within our borders" James concludes that there "is no Australian national identity crisis and never has been."
And, in an essay that I can relate to, he ponders "The brilliance of creative chaos". Though, in my case, it's not too brilliant and not very creative. I just make do with the chaos.

Poetry by James

"The Guardian" published the author's poem "Under the Jacarandas".
And "The New Yorker" has made "Signing Ceremony" available.


James picks his best books of the year for the "Times Literary Supplement".
"The New York Times" chose Opal Sunset as one of its best books of the year for 2008.
The blogger on the "Nigel Beale Nota Bene Books" weblog, posts six fun things about Clive James.
Lastly, be aware that Revolt of the Pendulum, the next instalment in James's multi-volume autobiography, will be out in July 2009.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 12, 2009 3:10 PM.

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