If there is such a thing as a reader of genius, then Clive James is it. . . . after being diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, he wondered if it was worth the effort of going on reading; the cure for this was an invigorating plunge into Boswell's Life of Johnson. The great pleasure he derived from that great work, which he had not read in its entirety until then, showed him what he would be missing, in even the short span he believed was left to him, if he gave up on books.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
"If you don't know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do."
Clive James in the Introduction to Latest readings (Yale University Press, 2015), as quoted by John Banville in "A quest for clarity," The New York review of books 52, no. 14 (September 24, 2015), 79 (77-79):