Author: Profiles |
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Clive James on Profiles:

“The best blog profiles are worth putting with the print profiles, but the average blog profile soon reveals why print pays a writer money and a blog doesn’t. Without the weight and responsibility of an institution behind it, a profile can easily degenerate into a work of fiction reflecting no thought, judgement or even literacy.  On this list of profiles I have tried to keep to the rule by which if the writer can’t write he or she shouldn’t be writing about writing. So you may take it for granted that I approve of the style, at least. Sometimes I would have to be a fool to endorse the opinions, but the really nasty opinions aren’t here. Since they are almost invariably expressed in pre-mental language, I feel only a tinge of guilt at leaving them out. But there is no doubt about the great thrill of being mentioned by an enthusiastic young blogger. There can be no commercial motive, so it must come from genuine interest; and one is always interested in being thought interesting.”

Archive Editor's Note

Clive's selected list of blog and print profiles appears in the menu at left. Many of these are links to external Web pages which have been taken down by their publishers following Clive's death. I have deactivated their links (the greyed-out ones towards the end of the list), but the names remain for reference. The remaining 32 active links are well worth pursuing; I suggest starting with with David Free's excellent May 2011 profile for the Australian Literary Review. Further down the menu, below the “Profiles”, is a bunch of links to “Obituaries, Tributes and Reminiscences” published since Clive's death. David Free's piece, this time for Quadrant, and Adam Gopnik's eulogy in the New Yorker are the standouts.

— S J Birkill, September 2020