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THE REVOLT OF THE PENDULUM: ESSAYS 2005-2008
by Clive James
Picador, 15.99 [pounds sterling], pp. 324, ISBN 9780330457385
[phone] 12.79 [pounds sterling] (plus 2.45 [pounds sterling] p&p) 0870 429 6655
Pendulum, eh? Well, there's certainly something swinging back and forth here. Two years ago, lest we forget, Cultural Amnesia came out--all 900-odd pages of it. Now here's Clive with another fat wedge of 'essays', some of which are essays, and some of which are more recognisable as old book reviews and feature pieces for newspapers. In the section marked 'Handbills' he reproduces pieces he's written to promote his stage shows; in 'Absent Friends', addenda to obituaries.
It seems rather a monumental way of presenting ephemera, but it emerges piecemeal in this book that James is starting to hear the guy with the scythe and the persistent cough. He's thinking about how he'll be remembered. He's building …