A lifetime in the making, Cultural Amnesia is one of the crowning achievements in Clive James's illustrious career. Containing over a hundred essays, this is a definitive guide to twentieth century culture, cataloguing and exploring the careers of many of its greatest thinkers, humanists, musicians, artists and philosophers. From Louis Armstrong to Ludwig Wittgenstein, via Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka and Marcel Proust, this is a a illuminating and fascinating work of remarkable erudition.
‘Clive James is one of the most ingeniously stimulating literary critics now writing in English. Cultural Amnesia, with its encyclopedic length and organization and the intense jostle of its ideas, is to be dipped into over weeks and months. If the dipper occasionally brings up exasperation, it brings up astonished delight far more often; and, best of all, exasperated astonished delight’ Boston Globe
[A] fabulously gifted, enviably well-read, generously inclusive, and always commonsensical writer
John Banville, New York Review of Books
One stupendous starburst of wild brilliance.
Aphoristic and acutely provocative: a crash course in civilization.
J. M. Coetzee