Talk:Clive James

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Value judgements[edit]

this article is full of subjective value judgments about his art. Some criticism referenced would be welcome. - Trick 21:13, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

If you feel a change is needed, feel free to make it yourself! Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone — including you — can edit any article by clicking the edit this page tab at the top of the page. You don't even need to log in, although there are several reasons why you might want to. Wikipedia convention is to be bold and not be afraid of making mistakes. If you're not sure how editing works, have a look at How to edit a page, or try out the Sandbox to test your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. --fvw* 21:13, 2004 Dec 20 (UTC)

I don't have the basic knowledge need on this guy needed for a good edit - never heard of him. I landed here from another page and noticed the problem. - Trick 21:35, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

As subjective material has now been removed I am removing Not Good Enough For Wikipedia box. Arthur Holland


I think the claim that James "eschews the free market" is barely supported by the quotes given. His statements show a rejection of the view that markets are necessarily benign or that privatisation is good for the artistic quality of broadcasting, but that still places him a long way from a complete rejection of the market and/or state ownership of all industry (for example). (talk) 14:13, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Strange statements[edit]

A couple of statements have recently been added to this page which, frankly, don't make a lot of sense or add anything to the essay.

The new section "In Popular Culture" has no references and, while it may be true, is hardly useful. Just about every major public figure has been satirised by someone at some time.

The sentence in the first paragraph regarding James's late-night porn research may also be true but as it comes from just one essay in a continuing series appears here competely out of context. It's presence in the first paragraph is aimed at convincing readers that this is all he does. If it needs to be stated then it should be as a part of a section on this new essay series.

I'm deleting both. --Perry Middlemiss (talk) 05:35, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Award/criticism balance[edit]

I'm not sure it's reasonable to balance the neutral-fact "James has received these awards and doctorates" with "but here are two quotes from people who don't like him", per this edit. It'd be okay to balance quotes against quotes, or awards against awards, but "two journalists don't like him" seems an uneven approach for an article that, although a little overblown, does not appear to contain any positive "here are some people saying that Clive James is great" quotes. --McGeddon (talk) 09:23, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

All it is is some criticism of him, in the uk there are a lot of people that think he is a fool, it balances the acclaim.After all he is a tv critic, and a critic of other people so there shoulld be a comment from his critics. Off2riorob (talk) 09:27, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
We should at least balance that with some direct quotes from people who have personal, positive opinions about his work, though. As it stands, this is unbalanced - personal criticism is not the opposite of academic or literary acclaim. --McGeddon (talk) 09:51, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't look unbalanced to me, he is actually often quite nasty about other people without any qualification to comment apart from he is a tv critic. Add a bit of personal acclaim to balance if it seems a bit negative. Off2riorob (talk) 10:00, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Coming back to this, and looking at the sources, both of them are actually book reviews. It's misleading to quote them as if both writers were commenting on James as a person, rather than the way he has written a specific couple of books. (The first quote is actually "Clive James blows his own trumpet so incessantly in The Revolt of the Pendulum", but is quoted in this article as "Clive James blows his own trumpet so incessantly".) I'm cutting both quotes. --McGeddon (talk) 22:54, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
What kind of discussion is that? Off2riorob (talk) 23:01, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd just read the sources for the first time and realised they were both book reviews, rather than articles or interviews about James. It's misleading to take a review quote where someone says "person blows his own trumpet incessantly in this book" and present it just as "person blows his own trumpet", with the implied context of "all the time". --McGeddon (talk) 23:13, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
edit conflict. I don't really think that there is excessive misrepresentation of these comments, I have had a quick look it is there more or less, I am logging off for today but I suggest a little alteration in preference to total deletion, tomorrow I will have another look at it, best regards. Off2riorob (talk) 23:14, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
There's a great deal of misrepresentation in taking quotes that were made about a particular book (or a particular line in a particular book) and presenting them as if the reviewer made them in a general context about the author as a person.
When Delingpole critiques a line from one of James' books saying that "What James is actually asking here in his false modest way", it's inappropriate to summarise that as a standalone "Delingpole thinks James is falsely modest". When a subeditor (!) summarises Lynn Barber's review as having the opinion that James "blows his own trumpet so incessantly in The Revolt of the Pendulum", it's a very different thing to imply that James "blows his own trumpet so incessantly" as a day-to-day human being. --McGeddon (talk) 23:28, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I've now cleaned this up a bit, cutting the inappropriate subeditor quote, and also Delingpole's "smug", which was a description of James's face, not his writing. And I've put all the book awards and reviews, positive and negative, into the "novelist" section, leaving just awards and doctorates. --McGeddon (talk) 17:01, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
He is a smug git though. Off2riorob (talk) 17:06, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Climate Change[edit]

I notice there is nothing in here on Clive James's recent statements in support of climate change "scepticism" (a.k.a. denialism) HairyDan (talk) 13:51, 6 November 2009 (UTC). Surprise surprise - if James is anti climate change that goes hand in hand with being a misogynist On ABC News24 today (23 August) he stated that women will "never be 50 per cent of top chess players" , even if they can be 50 per cent of politicians. James says women are too dumb to play chess well. If the reference comes up in a durable way via the ABC website I'll be posting it. Lindella Lee

Studies at Sydney University[edit]

According to Unreliable memoirs James studied "Arts" at Sydney Uni, and that this consisted of Modern History, Anthropology, Psychology and English. Of these he says that he gave up Psychology and Anthropology at the end of the second year. Therefore to only say that he studied psychology seems misleading.

Anyone have any thoughts? Arthur Holland (talk) 13:28, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

I've got, or at least I had six house moves ago, a copy of Unreliable Memoirs. I'm going through a Pete Atkin jag at the moment so Clive's beautiful lyrics are haunting me day and night. He may have studied psychology, but English was and is his love. The Parramatta Kid. --TS 00:42, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Personal life[edit]

Currently it says he 'generally' has a 'strict' policy of not talking about his family. It can't be both. Does anyone know which? Spicemix (talk) 10:24, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Only way you could tell is by asking him. Normally, he says nothing at all. (talk) 18:17, 20 February 2012 (UTC)drlofthouse212.139.106.204 (talk) 18:17, 20 February 2012 (UTC) Australian tabloid television ( have just run a hurtful - but apparently truthful - item about James's eight-year affair with a celebrity divorcee. If James has been cheating on his wife for eight years (and apparently she has kicked him out of the family home) is that something that should not be published? If appropriate please add the reference, as I haven't been able to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by LyndellaLee (talkcontribs) 09:29, 23 April 2012 (UTC) The Daily Mail has just pulled the article completely - maybe someone has applied for a gagging order or injunction thingy? The link you've posted here is to an Australian TV show, so I guess it wouldnt be covered? (talk) 23:24, 24 April 2012 (UTC)twl212.139.96.55 (talk) 23:24, 24 April 2012 (UTC) Someone changed Leanne Edelsten's name to Nesbitt. That is her maiden name. She goes by the name "Edelsten" as she is perfectly entitled to under Australian law, and she has gone by that name regarding her apparent affair with Clive James. If that seems exploitative on Leanne Edelsten's part - too bad, sorry! Dr Edelsten was very happy about PR surrounding his marriage at the time - e.g. purchasing a pink Porsche for Leanne and publicising the delivery! : 0 — Preceding unsigned comment added by LyndellaLee (talkcontribs) 07:51, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Clive James disambiguation[edit]

There's another Clive James. He's Welsh and he founded ISAAA. Can we add a "disambiguation" to this page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:23, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

No problems. Could you please supply the Wikipedia article name of the other Clive James so I can add the disambiguation information? GFHandel   07:17, 14 November 2011 (UTC)


How can this article fail to mention that Clive is in very poor health, i.e. terminally ill? It's no secret he has openly talked about it on mutliple occasions, inlcuding publishing a farewell poem.--Hontogaichiban (talk) 16:02, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

It doesn't fail to mention it, it's in the "Personal life" section. --McGeddon (talk) 16:16, 16 September 2014 (UTC) He said three years ago that he had weeks to live. Very chipper on ABC24 today, tellling the world women are too dumb to play chess. He also stated that he isn't a very nice person. Well, yeah. Lindella Lee

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