Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Clive James . . . Undead?

I learned in the NYT, courtesy of Sarah Lyall, "A Writer With Wit and Bite Proves He's Not Dead Yet" (October 7, 2012), that the writer, poet, critic, broadcaster, and memoirist Clive James is not dead . . . he's apparently, so far as I can judge, undead:
A few months ago the writer and broadcaster Clive James read with some alarm that he was about to die.
That would disturb my equilibrium as well! But still more uncanny:
While reports of Mr. James's imminent demise were dispiriting to him, they also gave him a rare opportunity that many dream of but few get to enjoy: the chance to read his own eulogies.
Eulogies, eh? If he read his own eulogies, he must really have died. And then un-died, else how could he have read them? Moreover, as Ms. Lyall points out, "few get to enjoy" their own eulogies, even if they've dreamed of doing so, perhaps because so many eulogies touch upon memories best forgotten, memories that might even be dispiriting enough to disturb the undead! That could spell trouble as "v-e-n-g-e-a-n-c-e" if those eulogies are more in the form of dyslogies:
And what eulogies they were. Admiring articles, blog posts and tweets poured out, celebrating the elegance and wit of Mr. James's cultural criticism, the restless, erudite breadth of his interests and ideas, and his uncanny knack for funny, deadly descriptions, such as the time he thrillingly compared Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Pumping Iron" to "a brown condom full of walnuts."
Whew! Thank goodness! Those'd put the undead himself in a good mood . . . I hope, given that even his humor has uncanny bite!

The article has more on Mr. Clive's un-demise, but I'll leave that occultated, a mystery for readers to delve into . . .



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