Clive James, master of the exemplary sentence

Sentence DiagramIt’s always a thrill when someone I’ve just discovered, and therefore think must be obscure, turns out to be well known. This happened recently with Clive James, a poet, critic, and essayist whose latest book on DVD collections was recently reviewed in the NY Times.

I’ve been enjoying his Poetry Notebook 2006-2014. It’s full of lines like this in any essay about the strange idea that art should be somehow completely spontaneous, without any rigorous training in the craft of it:

“Even though nobody can expect to master, without years of practice, a performing art such as playing the piano, there will still be the wish that music itself might be composed by an ignoramous.”

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