By Merritt Moseley

ISBN-10: 1570031401

ISBN-13: 9781570031403

Knowing Julian Barnes surveys the profession of an cutting edge British novelist who has been shortlisted for the guy Booker Prize on 3 events. during this research of Barnes's distinct traits and of his position within the British literary institution, Merritt Moseley means that Barnes's maximum success is his skill to withstand precis and categorization by way of imagining every one booklet in a dramatically unique manner.

In comparing Barnes's fiction, Moseley discusses the novelist's admiration for Gustave Flaubert, identifies his technical and thematic matters, and explores the intrigue surrounding his divided occupation as a author of significant novels, released lower than his personal identify, and of detective thrillers, released lower than the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh. Moseley presents shut readings of Barnes's book-length works, protecting the author opposed to the cost that a few of these volumes shouldn't be thought of novels in any respect and studying his dedication to writing books wealthy within the exploration of significant ideas.

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Extra info for Understanding Julian Barnes

Sample text

The protagonist not only goes to France in 1968 but even earlier, as an ordinary teenager living in Metroland, habitually uses French culture as an index of the shortcomings of suburban London. '' The tripartite structure seems particularly congenial to Barnes, as well as particularly shapely, and will recur in Staring at the Sun and Talking It Over. Here the three sections are of unequal dimensions, the first being almost as long as the other two combined. There is considerable structural similarity among the three parts.

Perhaps a bit more. Their inspiration was openly acknowledged in the title, but it wasn't a question of imitation or parody, I explained to myself; it was more a question of trading on resonances, that most twentieth-century of techniques. (126) His title Spleenters is indicative. No matter how he might wish to be, Christopher Lloyd is no melancholiac; he knows little or nothing about spleen. This is a novel, then, that presents in all its potential interestingness the growth of a would-be homme revolté, or rebel, to an homme moyen sensual, an average sensual man; but this change is accompanied by very little of the disgust or acerbity which, in the modern novel, usually accompany that accommodation.

Like A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man or The Red and the Black, it is the story of a bright and witty young man, at odds with his environment and rebelling through art, and his coming to maturity. That this maturing process involves a shrinking of horizons and an acceptance of the ordinary is part of the realism of this book. Looking back on Metroland from the vantage of Barnes's later novels, it is possible to see how it announces concerns that will be repeated. There is, for instance, France, as both a place and a psychological influence on the English.

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Understanding Julian Barnes by Merritt Moseley


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