Clive James Watch #18

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Nefertiti in the Flak Tower

Clive James has recently released a new collection of poetry titled Nefertiti in the Flak Tower

He spoke to Mark Colvin on the "Friday Late" program on ABC News.
Derwent May reviewed the collection for Standpoint magazine and titled his piece "Never a Dull Verse".

Daily Telegraph

James is the current, or possibly recent, television reviewer for "The Daily Telegraph" in the UK.  His most recent columns are as follows:
April 12 - on The Syndicate
April 5 - Why British TV drama has lost the plot.
March 30 - They didn't see the iceberg? Neither did we

The Telegraph doesn't mention that James is on leave or why the most recent review is April 12.

Book Review

James reviews Masscult and Midcult by Dwight Macdonald for "The Atlantic":

"As with all great essayists, his writing had a poetic component, but it was a poetry cleansed of poeticism. No modern American prose writer of consequence ever postured less: compared with him, Mary McCarthy is on stilts, Gore Vidal grasps a pouncet-box, and Norman Mailer is from Mars in a silver suit. At his best, Macdonald made modern American English seem like the ideal prose medium: transparent in its meaning, fun when colloquial, commanding when dignified, and always suavely rhythmic even when most committed to the demotic.

"In fact, he seemed to get his rhythm from ordinary conversation: the hardest trick for a prose writer to pull off, because vulgarity always threatens. Macdonald, however, was poised even when he joked. His wonderful book Parodies--wonderful because the choosing is done with an ear for true wit--was constantly in print up until 1985, so he could never have quite been forgotten, but people did forget that his prose was interesting no matter what he talked about. Right through the war, he railed against the Allied bombing campaign. His humane articles never had a chance of affecting anything, because the Allied effort was dictated by the necessity to win, not by ethics; but the articles are still interesting. A dull paragraph wasn't in him."


A comment forum which started in January 2008, in The Fortean Times, about an article that James wrote for The Monthly, is still going strong.

Bill Moyers interviews James on the publication of his book Cultural Amnesia.  The video upload is dated 4 May 2012, but the book was released in 2007.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 21, 2012 7:27 AM.

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