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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Julian Barnes - Nothing to be Frightened Of

Novelist Julian Barnes spoke on radio yesterday about his new novel dealing with death. He said we think of life as a narrative - 'we pretend life is a story progressing towards meaningful conclusions' - but this is a confabulation, he said; 'what is useful conflicts with what is true'
 (now there's a claim to ponder for the day!) and also that life is not a narrative because it has no composition (in the sense that a construction fiction, say, is composed. Furthermore, he described life as 'just one damn thing after another, of fixing broken pipes and so on...'How odd we are - to rail against the ordinary, humdrum tedious business of everyday life. We all want more of those 'peak experiences' perhaps? After the book show came a rural segment, ironically and topically, about plumbing!
I've been thinking maybe it's not such a bad thing to lose some of my self-importance. : )


  1. And the connection with job hunting is...
    In the course of the interview Julian Barnes stated that doing such publicity interviews was not his favourite part of the job of being a writer. (He apologised - 'don't get me wrong'... but it was out there!)

  2. Here's a good self-promo site with list of reviews (and links) included:
    I'll post this also to the Writers' links section in this blog.


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