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Banality and Anxiety

Michael Mason, 19 March 1981

Thirty Seconds 
by Michael Arlen.
Farrar, Straus/Faber, 211 pp., £5.50, February 1981, 0 374 27576 9
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The Crystal Bucket 
by Clive James.
Cape, 238 pp., £6.95, February 1981, 0 224 01890 6
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The Message of Television 
by Roger Silverstone.
Heinemann, 248 pp., £14.50, March 1981, 0 435 82825 8
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... literary utterances in our culture, some of them directly ancestral to the books under review (Roger Silverstone, for example, frequently acknowledges Roland Barthes on fashion). It is striking nonetheless that only one of them, Michael Arlen’s Thirty Seconds, shows an inclination to regret the fact that intellectual and artistic adventurousness is ...

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