Not Entitled: A Memoir by Frank Kermode - review by Anthony Holden

Anthony Holden

Elegant Pensées

Not Entitled: A Memoir

By

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In conversation at a recent literary do with two eminent Oxbridge professors of Eng Lit, past and present, I felt moved for some reason to drop the name of Frank Kermode. ‘Ah,’ said one of the profs, ‘writing a memoir, I gather.’ ‘Really?’ mused the other. A memoir?’ The word was held in the air between thumbnail and index finger, then dropped on the passing canapé tray like a used cocktail-stick.

Well, yes, Sir Frank has indeed stepped out from the deep cover behind which literary critics tend to lurk, and boldly poked his head above the academic parapet with an account of some episodes from a seventy-six-year life lived to the hilt and still (to the enrichment of us all) going

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