Clive James … made it to 80!

Clive James

A great all -rounder. Multi-tasker: author, critic, broadcaster, poet, translator and memoirist. He died peacefully surrounded by ‘his family and books.’ I like that. Many of my generation, with a broad interest in life, ‘grew-up’ with him on our TV sets.

His wife Prue is a celebrated Dante scholar. Clive, fascinated with the latter, spent a good portion of his life translating ‘The Divine Comedy’ (1308 -1320) which was finally published in 2013. I treasure my copy and love its dedication to Prue: “To Prue Shaw without whom this book, like all my other books, would never have existed.”

This review is well worth a read: Conveying the true spirit of genius: Clive James’s translation of The … https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/books/conveying-the-true-spirit-of-genius-clive-jamess-translation-of-the-divine-comedy-8702437.html

From his last epic poem ‘The River in the Sky’ (2018)

Yet everything began in these few thousand
Pages of print and plates. Books are the anchors
Left by the ships that rot away. The mud
The anchors lie in is one’s recollection
Of what life was, and never, late or soon,
Will be again.

Many echoed these words when this epic was published – they certainly ring true today: ‘ Thank you for all the many years of humour, enlightenment and wonderful humanity’. Hear. Hear.

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