Jonathan Meades

Box of Delights

The Art of Invective: Selected Non-Fiction 1953–94

By

Oberon Books 397pp £24.99 order from our bookshop

In his preface to Visions Before Midnight, Clive James recalls a conversation with the stage-door Johnny, Kenneth Tynan: ‘When, he asked, would I be turning my critical gaze away from television and towards its proper object, the theatre? Never, was my reply … Tynan was thunderstruck.’ On the back cover of this marvellously energetic collection, Trevor Griffiths observes, ‘It remains a scandal that because you worked in television, you are somehow downgraded. You don’t belong in the category of high art. Well, Dennis does if anybody does.’ [1pass]

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