Frases de Clive James

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Clive James

Data de nascimento: 7. Outubro 1939

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Clive James, AO, CBE, FRSL is an Australian author, critic, broadcaster, poet, translator and memoirist, best known for his autobiographical series Unreliable Memoirs, for his chat shows and documentaries on British television and for his prolific journalism.

James has lived and worked in the United Kingdom since 1962. He is famously a bon vivant, noted for his warm, insightful humour and wry outlook.

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Citações Clive James

„Shakespeare, far from being careless about grammar, could depart from it in any direction only because he had first mastered it as a structure.“

—  Clive James
Context: There is a consoling mythology, constantly being added to, which would have us believe that genius operates beyond donkey work. Thus we are told reassuringly that Einstein was no better at arithmetic than we are; that Mozart gaily broke the rules of composition while jotting down a stream of black dots without even looking; and that Shakespeare didn't care about grammar. Superficially, there are facts to lend substance to these illusions. But illusions they remain. There is always some autistic child in India who can speak in prime numbers, but that doesn't mean Einstein couldn't add up; Mozart would not have been able to break the rules in an interesting way unless he was able to keep them if required; and Shakespeare, far from being careless about grammar, could depart from it in any direction only because he had first mastered it as a structure. Pedro Henríquez Ureña, p. 777

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„His poetry, so wonderful when it is really flying, isn’t trying to tell you how much he knows. It’s giving thanks for how much there is to be known.“

—  Clive James
Context: [H]e could never have played the hero, because for him it was creativity itself that had the heroic status, beyond politics, beyond patriotism, beyond even personal happiness. It’s the reason why his work is like that. His poetry, so wonderful when it is really flying, isn’t trying to tell you how much he knows. It’s giving thanks for how much there is to be known. On Peter Porter, 'Talking for Posterity' (Times Literary Supplement, May 14, 2010)

„In the Warsaw ghetto, the power of music, the will to live and the courage to stand against evil added up to very little, and The Pianist has the wherewithal to respect that sad fact and make sense of it. In the Warsaw ghetto, what counted was luck, and the luck had to be very good.“

—  Clive James
Context: Roman Polanski's new film The Pianist is a work of genius on every level, except, alas, for the press-pack promotional slogan attributed to the director himself. "The Pianist is a testimony to the power of music, the will to live, and the courage to stand against evil." If he actually said it, he flew in the face of his own masterpiece, which is a testimony to none of those things. In the Warsaw ghetto, the power of music, the will to live and the courage to stand against evil added up to very little, and The Pianist has the wherewithal to respect that sad fact and make sense of it. In the Warsaw ghetto, what counted was luck, and the luck had to be very good. On Polanski's The Pianist

„After Mao, not even Pol Pot came as a surprise. Sadly, he was a cliché.“

—  Clive James
Context: The full facts about Nazi Germany came out quite quickly, and were more than enough to induce despair. The full facts about the Soviet Union were slower to become generally appreciated, but when they at last were, the despair was compounded. The full facts about Mao's China left that compounded despair looking like an inadequate response. After Mao, not even Pol Pot came as a surprise. Sadly, he was a cliché.

„Beyond a certain point - and that point is reached early - precision is what expressiveness depends on.“

—  Clive James
Context: ... by now some of the editors and subeditors [on Fleet Street] are themselves products of the anti-educational orthodoxy by which expressiveness counts above precision. It would, if the two terms were separable. But they aren't. Beyond a certain point - and that point is reached early - precision is what expressiveness depends on. 'The Continuing Insult to the English Language' (The Monthly, May 2006)

„Pulsing like a beacon through the days and nights, the birthplace of the fortunate sends out its invisible waves of recollection. It always has and it always will, until even the last of us come home.“

—  Clive James
Context: As I begin this last paragraph, outside my window a misty afternoon drizzle gently but inexorably soaks the City of London. Down there in the street I can see umbrellas commiserating with each other. In Sydney Harbour, twelve thousand miles away and ten hours from now, the yachts will be racing on the crushed diamond water under a sky the texture of powdered sapphires. It would be churlish not to concede that the same abundance of natural blessings which gave us the energy to leave has every right to call us back. All in, the whippy's taken. Pulsing like a beacon through the days and nights, the birthplace of the fortunate sends out its invisible waves of recollection. It always has and it always will, until even the last of us come home. Closing lines, p. 174

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