Clive James

Clive James

Clive James (1939–2019) was a distinguished critic, poet, author, television performer, journalist, and lyricist. He was born and raised in Sydney, where he attended Sydney University. From 1961 he lived in England. Among his countless publications are nine poetry collections, four novels, a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, five volumes of memoirs (most famously Unreliable Memoirs), and many collections of literary and television criticism. He wrote for ABR twenty times between 2001 and 2015.

Clive James reviews 'The Best Australian Essays 2002' edited by Peter Craven

May 2003, no. 251 01 May 2003
Clive James reviews 'The Best Australian Essays 2002' edited by Peter Craven
After only four annual volumes, The Best Australian Essays has reached the point where the law of increasing expectations begins to kick in. By now the series has done so much that we want it to do everything. Speaking as an Australian who lives offshore, I would be well pleased if each volume could contain, on every major issue, a pair of essays best presenting the two most prominent opposing vie ... (read more)

'Special Needs' a poem by Clive James

April 2007, no. 290 01 April 2007
'Special Needs' a poem by Clive James
In the clear light of a cloudy summer morningThe idiot boy, holding his father’s hand,Comes by me on the Quay where I sit writing.His father spots me looking up, and I don’t wantTo look as if I wished I hadn’t, soInstead of turning straight back to my booksI look around, thus making it a general thingThat I do every so often –To watch the ferries, to check out the crowd. ... (read more)

'The Meaning of Recognition' by Clive James

September 2003, no. 254 01 September 2003
'The Meaning of Recognition' by Clive James
There is a difference between celebrity and recognition. Celebrities are recognised in the street, but usually because of who they are, or who they are supposed to be. To achieve recognition, however, is to be recognised in a different way. It is to be known for what you have done, and quite often the person who knows what you have done has no idea what you look like. When I say I’ve had enough ... (read more)

'Private Prayer at Yasukuni Shrine', a poem by Clive James

August 2005, no. 273 14 October 2019
'Private Prayer at Yasukuni Shrine', a poem by Clive James
An Oka kamikaze rocket bombSits in the vestibule, its rising sunAblaze with pride.Names of the fallen are on CD-ROM.The war might have been lost. The peace was won:A resurrection after suicide. For once I feel the urge to send my thoughtsYour way, as I suppose these people do.I see the tideCome in on Papua. Their troop transports,The beach, our hospital. Over to you:Why was one little miracle den ... (read more)