Cultural Amnesia

Cultural Amnesia : Notes in the Margin of My Time

4.11 (1,396 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Description

In this book can be heard the merest edge of an enormous conversation. As they never were in life, we can imagine the speakers all gathered in some vast room, wearing name tags in case they don't recognize each other (although some recognize each other all too well, and avoid contact). My heroes and heroines are here.

An almanac combining a comprehensive survey of modern culture with an annotated index of who-was-who and what-was-what, Cultural Amnesia is Clive James's unique take on the places and the faces that shaped the twentieth-century. From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, via Charles de Gaulle, Hitler, Thomas Mann and Wittgenstein, this varied and unfailingly absorbing book is both story and history, both public memoir and personal record - and provides an essential field-guide to the vast movements of taste, intellect, politics and delusion that helped to prepare the times we live in now.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 912 pages
  • 132 x 198 x 58mm | 579g
  • PICADOR
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • ports.
  • 0330481754
  • 9780330481755
  • 7,803

Review quote

An eclectic journey through the 20th century, as Clive James explores the careers of luminaries such as Charles de Gaulle and Charlie Chaplin. * Daily Express * Over the past forty years James has been scribbling notes in the margins of the books he has read . . . and this is the result. Clever, contentious and funny. * Guardian * Witty, insightful and unashamedly erudite, the book is a superb miscellany of 20th-century cultural and political subjects. * The Sunday Times * This is a beautiful book. James proves himself not only to be in possession of a towering intellect, but a singular ability to communicate his passions. * Observer * Aphoristic and acutely provocative: a crash course in civilization. -- J. M. Coetzee One stupendous starburst of wild brilliance. -- Simon Schama [A] fabulously gifted, enviably well-read, generously inclusive, and always commonsensical writer -- John Banville * New York Review of Books *
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About Clive James

Clive James was the multi-million-copy bestselling author of more than forty books. As well as his memoirs, he has published essays, literary and television criticism, travel writing, verse and novels. As a television performer he has appeared regularly for both the BBC and ITV, most notably as writer and presenter of the Postcard series of travel documentaries. His poetry collection Sentenced to Life and his translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy were both Sunday Times top ten bestsellers, and his collections of verse were shortlisted for many prizes. In 2012 he was appointed CBE and in 2013 an Officer of the Order of Australia. He died in 2019.
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Rating details

1,396 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 44% (609)
4 32% (451)
3 17% (239)
2 5% (75)
1 2% (22)
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