So, this is volume four of Proust’s epic, and it marks the point of no return, or at least where the presence of the sunk cost fallacy begins to make itself felt.
(I must admit that it was at this point I began to question whether I’d actually finish the text. But having cut through the first couple of volumes, I figured the only way out was through, so ONWARDS.)
Do you like parties? I don’t mean goon-in-the-backyard, sausage sandwich kind of parties. I mean the sort of parties which involve military officers, pomp and pecking order. You know, society wankfests that lumber on intolerably despite the apparent desire of everyone else to be anywhere else?
Well, here we are. This is the final volume in Clive James’s Unreliable Memoirs series. It’s the fifth book wherein the éminence grise (or should that be éminence chauve?) describes his continued ascent through the land of the crystal bucket. With The Blaze of Obscurity, the Australian writer moves from being about the box to being mostly on it. It’s where shows began to be prefaced with his name, not just his image.
From now on, in this book, I will try to leave my name out of the title of the shows, thus to circumvent the twin fears of wasting space and sounding more than necessarily like a self-glorifying pantaloon.
This is one of those books – like Infinite Jest or Manufacturing Consent that I would’ve been much better off reading when it came out, or when I was in my 20s. (Whichever was earlier.)
Reading it today, I can only think that my mind would’ve been blown a lot more comprehensively if I’d encountered the ideas within before precision-strike ads and ‘unbranded’ clothing were such a part of daily life.
If you’ve read any Junji Ito before, you’ll be pretty aware of the sort of things you’re going to get in Shiver, a collection of his best work, gathered together and presented with brief commentary from the creepmaster himself.
If you’ve not read any Ito before, you might well want a stiff drink or a change of undies. ‘Cause shit’s going to get weird.