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Cultural Amnesia

Necessary Memories from History and the Arts
Lu par : Clive James
Durée : 6 h et 16 min

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"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 20th century.

From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, via Charles de Gaulle, Hitler, Thomas Mann and Charlie Chaplin, 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.

©2008 Clive James (P)2008 Macmillan Digital Audio


"Clever, and funny....a wonderful book for a long afternoon in a left-bank cafe, or a transatlantic plane ride." ( The Observer)
"On virtually every page, there is an arresting sentence, witty or profound." ( Mail on Sunday)

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Larbi
  • 18/05/2008

Very enjoyable and well narrated

I'm usually not a big fan of authors' narration of their own work-I usually prefer more professional readings- but Clive James' reading of his own work was excellent and very enjoyable. I found the book fascinating from the preface right through the last essay. I only wish the version were unabridged.

The essays were both thought-provoking and insightful. They have already sent me back to many of the texts discussed with enhanced understanding and appetite.

This was a fascinating addition to my audio library and so engaging I never missed a beat though driving for hours at a time on a long commute.

16 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan B.
  • 11/02/2015

A great treasure

This book is a wonderful, entertaining collection of descriptions of a collection. I didn't know all the people described. Along the way I enjoyed learning a hell of a lot even about the ones I thought I did know. Clive James is the master narrator. He connects stories, intertwines histories and has an amazing insight into the abundance of literary styles and influences.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michele P.
  • 06/02/2009

I wish it were unabridged

I don't usually listen to unabridged texts, so this was a happy accident. Clive James is an excellent reader of his own work. His thought provoking commentary has broadened my literary and cultural horizons. I wish I could have heard all of it.

7 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S F Broomhead
  • 02/02/2019

Thank you Clive

I was given this book as a paperback and failed to find time to read it. However Audible gave me a second chance. First impression is this is a collection of tales about famous cultural artists. It is not. It is a corridor, and each chapter is a door, which will encourage you to remember to go home and watch the film or read the book. I will buy Alan Moreheads "African Trilogy" and I will watch Gillo Pontecorvo's "The battle for Algiers" and will be slightly better for it.

Thank you Clive

The only downside is the Audible book is not every chapter of the paperback - so I guess I will have to read them!

2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 31/05/2017

Don't buy this audio book

Would you try another book from Clive James and/or Clive James?

The book , writer and story is amazing but this audio book doesn't have all the chapters. Its so frustrating and time taking to find one person's story
This id not categorized by name but buy chapters 1, 2 ,12 ans so on who knows what in chapter 1

What do you think your next listen will be?

nope I would rather buy a book

Any additional comments?

It confuses me and I have wasted hell lot of time finding just about Octavio Paz and couldn't find it. It just doesn't cover the book... It sucks

4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile