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The Moe Green Poetry Poetry Discussion hosted Rafael F J Alvarado & Brett-Candace

  • Broadcast in Poetry
World Wide Word

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Join Rafael And Brett-Candace as they talk to Clive James Clive James has a new collection of Poetry Opal Sunset Clive James was born in Sydney, Australia, in 1939 and educated at Sydney Technical High School and Sydney University, where he was literary editor of the student newspaper Honi Soit and also directed the annual Union Revue. After a year spent as assistant editor of the magazine page of the Sydney Morning Herald he sailed in late 1961 for England. Three years of would-be bohemian existence in London were succeeded by his entry into Cambridge University, where he read for a further degree while contributing to all the undergraduate periodicals and rising to the Presidency of Footlights. His prominence in extracurricular activities having attracted the attention of the London literary editors, the by-line “Clive James” was soon appearing in the Listener, the New Statesman, the Review and several other periodicals, all of them keen to tap into the erudite verve which had been showing up so unexpectedly in Varsity and the Cambridge Review. Yet the article that made his name was unsigned. At the invitation of Ian Hamilton, who as well as editing the Review was assistant editor of the Times Literary Supplement — which was still holding at the time to its traditional policy of strict anonymity — the new man in town was given several pages of the paper for a long, valedictory article about Edmund Wilson. Called “The Metropolitan Critic” in honour of its subject, the piece aroused wide-spread speculation as to its authorship: Graham Greene was only one of the many subscribers who wrote to the editor asking for their congratulations to be passed on, and it became a point of honour in the literary world to know the masked man’s real identity.

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