Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time – Clive James (@CliveJames5)
I have now finished reading this book. Significantly, the second half was very much easier to read than the first half (see Interim Review: Education, Erudition, Enlightenment by @chemistrypoet). This is because by the half way point I understood the book. I understood the form and I had the cultural capital of the first half to inform my reading of the second half. Mr James makes links between the people he is describing, so that people written about in the first half crop up as reference points in the second half. This makes it much easier to follow; a certain amount of automaticity is in place, and the linking threads can be more readily ascertained.
Highlights in the second half for me included Marcel Proust, Erik Satie, Tacitus and Wittgenstein (each essay prompting me to buy further reading material In Search of Lost Time, Annals and How to Read Wittgenstein, or, in the case of Erik Satie, to access music). Mr James is a searcher after the deeper things in life and culture, and I am grateful that he has shared some of his explorations with us in this book.