At the Pillars of Hercules

3.67 based on 10 ratings & 0 reviews on Goodreads.com

First published to great acclaim in 1979, At the Pillars of Hercules (a title taken from a certain Soho pub) confirmed Clive James’s place as a writer of immense talent. This new paperback edition is as entertaining and elegant as ever. His main topics are contemporary poetry, aesthetics and the theory and practice of criticism, the popular novel, and the literature of modern history and politics. His discussions range from the legacy of Auden and Larkin to Gore Vidal and Lord Longford. His inimitable wit and candour are ever present.

‘The opportunity offered me by the London literary editors – overqualified, confident, and mischievous to a man, especially the women – was too good to miss. Anything I felt like throwing into the review, they would print. Over the top was exactly the way they wanted me to go. As long as they understood it themselves, no reference could be too obscure or allusion too fleeting. In those days the reader, if he encountered something on the page that he could not immediately understand, was still trusted to renew his subscription . . . All you have to remember is that you’re not the whole show. I sometimes still had trouble remembering that, but I like to think, looking back, that solipsism made my admiration for others seem the more selfless – with the concomitant benefit that I could do a better hatchet job without being thought of as having laid claim to a monopoly of objective truth’ Clive James, from the new introduction

About Clive James

Clive James is the author of more than forty books. As well as essays, he has published collections of literary and television criticism, travel writing, verse and novels, plus five volumes of autobiography, Unreliable Memoirs, Falling Towards England, May Week Was In June, North Face of Soho and The Blaze of Obscurity. As a television performer he appeared regularly for both the BBC and ITV, most notably as writer and presenter of the 'Postcard' series of travel documentaries. He helped to found the independent television production company Watchmaker and the multimedia personal website www.clivejames.com. His book Cultural Amnesia was widely noticed in all the English-speaking countries and is currently being translated into Chinese. His popular Radio 4 series A Point of View has been published in volume form. In 1992 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2003 he was awarded the Philip Hodgins memorial medal for literature. He holds honorary doctorates from Sydney University and the University of East Anglia. In 2012 he was appointed CBE and in 2013 an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Read More

Books by Clive James

The Book of My Enemy
The Book of My Enemy
Brrm! Brrm!
Brrm! Brrm!
Flying Visits
Flying Visits
Glued To The Box
Glued To The Box
Other Passports
Other Passports
Clive James On Television
Clive James On Television
Visions Before Midnight
Visions Before Midnight
Sentenced to Life
Sentenced to Life
Poetry Notebook
Poetry Notebook
Collected Poems
Collected Poems
Gate of Lilacs
Gate of Lilacs
Opal Sunset
Opal Sunset
The Divine Comedy
The Divine Comedy
Unreliable Memoirs
Unreliable Memoirs
The Dreaming Swimmer
The Dreaming Swimmer
From the Land of Shadows
From the Land of Shadows
The Metropolitan Critic
The Metropolitan Critic
The Remake
The Remake
Brilliant Creatures
Brilliant Creatures
Snakecharmers In Texas
Snakecharmers In Texas
The Meaning of Recognition
The Meaning of Recognition
Even As We Speak
Even As We Speak
A Point of View
A Point of View
Nefertiti in the Flak Tower
Nefertiti in the Flak Tower
Cultural Amnesia
Cultural Amnesia
Angels Over Elsinore
Angels Over Elsinore
The Revolt of the Pendulum
The Revolt of the Pendulum
The Blaze of Obscurity
The Blaze of Obscurity
Reliable Essays: The Best of Clive James
Reliable Essays: The Best of Clive James
Falling Towards England
Falling Towards England
May Week Was In June
May Week Was In June
North Face of Soho
North Face of Soho
Always Unreliable
Always Unreliable
The Crystal Bucket
The Crystal Bucket