Clive james

Alasdair Gray gives us a vivid new Paradiso

As every Italian schoolchild knows, The Divine Comedy opens in a supernatural dark wood just before sunrise on Good Friday 1300. Dante Alighieri, a figure in his own work, has lost his way in middle age and is alone and frightened in the darkness. The ghost of the Roman poet Virgil is about to show him Hell: Midway in the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, for the right path was lost. Begun in the early 14th century, Dante’s poem is, for many, the greatest single work of western literature. With its dramatic chiaroscuro of hellish fuming mists and paradisal stellar regions, the poem is

I regret my bust-up with the Bee Gees: Clive Anderson interviewed

‘The really tricky thing,’ says Clive Anderson as we discuss the topic of being recognised in public, ‘is when they say, “I love your programmes —that thing you did with Margarita Pracatan…” Do I say now that that wasn’t me? Because if you let them carry on about how they loved your Postcards From…, and the Japanese game show, and then you tell them, they get very indignant and say, “Well, why did you let me give you all that praise?”’ It’s easy to understand the mistake in the abstract — indeed The Spectator’s arts editor made it himself in his email to me: ‘Could you interview Clive James for