Even As We Speak: New Essays 1993 - 2001

Even As We Speak: New Essays 1993 - 2001

Clive James

Language: English

Pages: 400


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Effervescent, energetic and eclectic, this is one of the late Twentieth Century's finest minds (and bellies) on show. In this compelling collection of essays Clive James focusses on Australian poetry; on television today; on the rise and fall of various icons; on the question of the culpability of the ordinary German in the holocaust; and there is a compellingly provocative and much-talked about piece on the death of Diana.

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tragic. The foundations have been laid by Geoffrey Dutton’s excellent biography, but we need an analysis that traces the line of destruction from the personality into the poetry. Alcohol had something to do with it; and alcoholism in turn had something to do with Slessor’s disappointment in the culture that had grown up, or failed to grow up, around him: a disappointment which had somehow been prepared for, within his estimation of himself, by his comparative failure as a war correspondent

imagination, he inherits his kingdom in eternity, even if Fortinbras inherits it on earth. Boris Pasternak, who translated Hamlet into Russian, also wrote a famous poem in which Hamlet faces something even worse than his own doubts – a world in which his doubts are not permitted. Yet the order of the acts is planned, And there is no way back from the end. I am alone. Pasternak wasn’t the first, and probably won’t be the last, to see Hamlet as the supreme symbol of liberty. As the doomed

stealing them. The same applies to the old Czech master Sudek, who was born in 1896 and is apparently still alive. Not much of his work has been seen outside Czechoslovakia until now. Sonja Bullaty and Anna Farova have compiled and introduced their monograph in a manner befitting his unarguable stature. The amber haze of the early prints proclaims his affinity with Steichen, whose symbolist nudes in Steichen: The Master Prints 1895–1914 might have been signed by Sudek. The wily Czech’s still

mostly anti-Semitic and that their rebellion against the Nazi regime was not motivated chiefly by its treatment of the Jews. But from Joachim Fest’s 1994 Staatsstreich (Coup d’État) we know that Axel von dem Bussche-Streithorst, who was twenty-four at the time of the plot, turned against Hitler after witnessing a mass shooting of thousands of Jews at the Dubno airfield, in the Ukraine, and that Ulrich-Wilhelm Graf Schwerin von Schwanenfeld was turned towards resistance after seeing what the

theorists are wiser than the authors. And finally scholasticism, as always, has reduced itself to absurdity, with the discovery by the theorists that there were no authors. There weren’t even any books, only texts, and there wasn’t any history for the texts to emerge from, because history was just a set of signs, too. Well, here are the books, with not a text in sight except as a reasoned agreement on what the author actually wrote. Every volume in the Library has a chronology to help you follow

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