23 December 2013

The Late Sublime

Andrew Marr engages Clive James in a wonderful conversation this week. Here's an excerpt.

Andrew Marr: You use this phrase, "the late sublime," in a poem. What is the late sublime?

Clive James: I wouldn’t want to sound too pious or too much as if I were Saul or Paul who fell off his horse and his life changed. But I must say that in this late phase since I’ve grown ill and really have to realize I’ve grown old, I do see things with a clearness, almost a radiance, that I never did before. Unless you’re very, very careful, you begin to call it religious. It’s a bit pretentious to call it that.

Andrew Marr: Well if it is not religious, what is it?

Clive James: Well, that’s a good question. It’s a revelation. You get to the stage where everything looks like a revelation. Perhaps it should always have done, but one was simply too obtuse to have seen it.

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