Kirsch reviews Clive James' new book, Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts, in the NY Sun. A quote:
Mr. James is one of those rare writers who convinces you that criticism is not necessarily a handmaiden in the palace of the arts — that it can be transformed, Cinderella-style, from drudge to princess, given the energy and style of a first-rate fairy godmother (or godfather). In a time when criticism is dominated by the theory-sick monographs of academics, and when the future seems to belong to amateur and professional blurbists, it is more than entertaining to read Mr. James's lucid, passionate, erudite essays. It is heartening, and seems to promise that the critical role once played by a Samuel Johnson or an Edmund Wilson is still possible in the 21st century.
Whole review here.