On James (II)


(1) Clive James is holding a volume of Catullus in the Latin, and mentions in passing he's about to go on a beach holiday. He leaves and Martin Amis says, 'Poor Clive, he'll spend all his time on the beach worrying about when it looks plausible to turn the page.'

(2) Clive James, at a dinner party, discourses on the literature of Russia, making much of the fact he can read it without translation. Amis, knowing that Craig Raine's family speak Russian at home, asks Craig to say to Clive a simple phrase. He does, and it sounds a little like 'daddy'. 'Oh yes well then that will have something to do with a father', says James. It doesn't. It means, 'Where is your house?'

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