Customers peruse secondhand books in the market town of Hay-on-Wye in Wales. (Getty Images)

Things Worth Remembering: The Sweet Glee of Schadenfreude

Clive James describes the devilishly delightful feeling of seeing another author fail.

Welcome back to Douglas Murray’s Sunday column, Things Worth Remembering, where he presents passages from great poets he has committed to memory—and explains why you should, too. To listen to Douglas read Clive James’s “The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered,” click below:

I haven’t chosen many humorous poems in this series. One reason is I usually don’t find “funny” poems all that amusing. But we are living through a very dark chapter, and a comedic respite is perhaps called for.

Plus, there are some very funny poems. This week I want to push one such poem forward. It is by the great Australian polymath Clive James.

Clive was described in his lifetime as “a brilliant bunch of guys.” He was a literary critic, novelist, memoirist, television presenter, and television critic (the first to turn that into an art form). He was also—and I think this mattered to him most—a poet.

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