The Meaning of Recognition: New Essays 2001-2005

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Although he survived the prisoner of war camp , he died when the aeroplane returning him to Australia crashed in Manila Bay ; he was buried at Sai Wan War Cemetery in Hong Kong. James, who was an only child, was brought up by his mother, a factory worker, [4] in the Sydney suburbs of Kogarah and Jannali , living some years with his English maternal grandfather. At the university, he edited the student newspaper, Honi Soit , and directed the annual Union Revue.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English in In early , James moved to England, where he made his home.

Clive James - Wikipedia

During his first three years in London, he shared a flat with the Australian film director Bruce Beresford disguised as "Dave Dalziel" in the first three volumes of James' memoirs , was a neighbour of Australian artist Brett Whiteley , became acquainted with Barry Humphries disguised as "Bruce Jennings" and had a variety of occasionally disastrous short term jobs - sheet metal worker, library assistant, photo archivist and market researcher.

James later gained a place at Pembroke College , Cambridge , to read English literature. While there, he contributed to all the undergraduate periodicals, was a member and later President of the Cambridge Footlights , and appeared on University Challenge as captain of the Pembroke team, beating St Hilda's , Oxford but losing to Balliol on the last question in a tied game. During one summer vacation, he worked as a circus roustabout to save enough money to travel to Italy.

Having, he claims, scrupulously avoided reading any of the course material but having read widely otherwise in English and foreign literature , James graduated with a —better than he had expected—and began a Ph.

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James became the television critic for The Observer in , [4] remaining in the job until The Metropolitan Critic , his first collection of literary criticism, was followed by At the Pillars of Hercules , From the Land of Shadows , Snakecharmers in Texas , The Dreaming Swimmer , Even As We Speak , The Meaning of Recognition and Cultural Amnesia , a collection of miniature intellectual biographies of over significant figures in modern culture, history and politics.

A defence of humanism , liberal democracy and literary clarity , the book was listed among the best of by The Village Voice. He has also published Flying Visits , a collection of travel writing for The Observer. For many years, until mid, he wrote the weekly television critique page in the "Review" section of the Saturday edition of The Daily Telegraph.

During the s he also collaborated on six albums of songs with Pete Atkin :.

A revival of interest in the songs in the late s, triggered largely by the creation by Steve Birkill of an Internet mailing list "Midnight Voices" in , led to the reissue of the six albums on CD between and , as well as live performances by the pair. A double album of previously unrecorded songs written in the seventies and entitled The Lakeside Sessions: Volumes 1 and 2 was released in and "Winter Spring", an album of new material written by James and Atkin was released in James acknowledged the importance of the "Midnight Voices" group in bringing to wider attention the lyric-writing aspect of his career.

He wrote in November , "That one of the midnight voices of my own fate should be the music of Pete Atkin continues to rank high among the blessings of my life". In , he issued his translation of Dante 's Divine Comedy. The work, adopting quatrains to translate the original's terza rima , was well received by Australian critics. In James published his first book of autobiography, Unreliable Memoirs , which recounted his early life in Australia and extended to over a hundred reprintings. It was followed by four other volumes of autobiography: Falling Towards England , which covered his London years; May Week Was in June , which dealt with his time at Cambridge ; North Face of Soho , and The Blaze of Obscurity , concerning his subsequent career as a television presenter.

An omnibus edition of the first three volumes was published under the generic title of Always Unreliable. John Carey chose Unreliable Memoirs as one of the fifty most enjoyable books of the twentieth century in his book Pure Pleasure James developed his television career as a guest commentator on various shows, including as an occasional co-presenter with Tony Wilson on the first series of So It Goes , the Granada Television pop music show. On the show when the Sex Pistols made their TV debut, James commented: "During the recording, the task of keeping the little bastards under control was given to me.

With the aid of a radio microphone, I was able to shout them down, but it was a near thing James subsequently hosted the ITV show Clive James on Television , in which he showcased unusual or often unintentionally amusing television programmes from around the world, notably the Japanese TV show Endurance.

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After his defection to the BBC in , he hosted a similarly-formatted programme called Saturday Night Clive — which initially screened on Saturday evening, returning as Saturday Night Clive on Sunday in its second series when it changed screening day and then Sunday Night Clive in its third and final series. James hosted one of the early chat shows on Channel 4 and fronted the BBC's Review of the Year programmes in the late s Clive James on the '80s and s Clive James on the '90s , which formed part of the channel's New Year's Eve celebrations.

In the mids, James featured in a travel programme called Clive James in This series dealt with the concept of "fame" in the 20th century, following over a course of eight episodes each one chronologically and roughly devoted to one decade of the century, from the s to the s discussions about world-famous people of the 20th century. Through the use of film footage, James presented a history of "fame" which explored its growth to today's global proportions.

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In his closing monologue he remarked, "Achievement without fame can be a rewarding life, while fame without achievement is no life at all. A well known fan of motor racing , James presented the , and official Formula One season review videos produced by the Formula One Constructors Association , more commonly known as FOCA. James, who attended most F1 races during the s and is a friend of former FOCA boss Bernie Ecclestone , added his own humour to the reviews which became popular with fans of the sport.

Summing up the medium, he has said: "Anyone afraid of what he thinks television does to the world is probably just afraid of the world". In this programme James discussed various issues with a slightly humorous slant. Topics covered included media portrayal of torture, [14] young black role models [15] and corporate rebranding.

James, Clive / The Meaning of Recognition : New Essays 2001-2005

In addition to the poetry and prose of James himself, the site features the works of other literary figures such as Les Murray and Michael Frayn , as well as the works of painters, sculptors and photographers such as John Olsen and Jeffrey Smart. He took the latter show on a limited tour of the UK in He famously described Arnold Schwarzenegger , in his bodybuilding days, as looking like "a brown condom full of walnuts". He has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sydney and East Anglia.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in In , he was awarded the President's Medal by the British Academy. In , at Cambridge, [25] James married Prudence A. James and Shaw have two daughters.

In April , the Australian Channel Nine programme A Current Affair ran an item in which the former model Leanne Edelsten admitted to an eight-year affair with James beginning in He maintained a general policy of not talking publicly about his family although he has made occasional self-deprecating comments in his various memoirs about some of his experiences of living in a house with three women. James' political views have been prominent in much of his later writing.

While critical of communism for its tendency towards totalitarianism , he still identifies with the left. In a interview in The Sunday Times , [29] James said of himself: "I was brought up on the proletarian left, and I remain there. The fair go for the workers is fundamental, and I don't believe the free market has a mind.

But for some reason people did have difficulty in realising that it was economically illiterate too. Overall, James identifies as a liberal social democrat.

Clive James

James has been noted for expressing views sympathetic to climate change scepticism. Describing religions as "advertising agencies for a product that doesn't exist", James is an atheist and sees this as the default and obvious position. For much of his early life, James was a heavy drinker and smoker. He recorded in May Week Was in June his habit of filling a hubcap ashtray daily.

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