Clive James



Review Short: Clive James’s Sentenced to Life: Poems 2011-2014

Clive James’s Sentenced to Life is a poetic autopathography outlining his years living with emphysema and leukemia. While illness biographies ‘present information about diagnosis, treatment and outcome trajectories’, more importantly, they ‘share how the illness has affected the sufferer’s wider life course, social network and views of health care institutions.’, as Rachel Hall-Clifford puts it in her Autopathographies: How ‘Sick Lit’ Shapes Knowledge of the Illness Experience. However, James’s poetry is most often centred on his personal discomfort, regrets and ultimately his quest for reassurance that his writing and memory will survive his death.

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Dead Man Modified: A Letter from Vienna

Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth, 1936. Imagno/Hulton Archive/Getty Images The words of a dead man Are modified in the guts of the living. W.H. Auden, in Memory of W.B. Yeats Just around the block from Vienna’s State Opera, on the …

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