Cultural Amnesia

Notes in the Margin of My Time

4.11 based on 928 ratings & 148 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 14.02.2012
ISBN: 9780330481755
Number of pages: 912

Synopsis

‘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. The reader will recognize some of their names, while other names will be more obscure. My intellectual betes noires are here too, and the same division might apply.’

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’ 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.

In the media

[A] fabulously gifted, enviably well-read, generously inclusive, and always commonsensical writer
New York Review of Books
Witty, insightful and unashamedly erudite, the book is a superb miscellany of 20th-century cultural and political subjects.
The Sunday Times
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