Close
Close

Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 89 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

Diary

Julian Barnes: Burning Letters, 7 July 1988

... reader. The other day, for instance, I turned up the following harmless statement about myself: Barnes, Julian 1946- Julian Barnes intends to keep his manuscripts and typescripts in his own possession for the foreseeable future [information supplied by the author, March 1987]. I ...

The Pouncer

Julian Barnes, 3 March 1983

The Mystery of Georges Simenon 
by Fenton Bresler.
Heinemann, 259 pp., £8.95, February 1983, 0 434 98033 1
Show More
Show More
... forensic solecism in the Maigret books, he tends to rely for criticism on the judgments of Julian Symons and Maurice Richardson. This is probably wise – Mr Bresler arouses little confidence in his own literary footing. When, for instance, he quotes Simenon’s dictum about style – ‘If it rains, I write: “It rains” ’ – he seems unaware ...

Diary

Julian Barnes: On the Booker, 12 November 1987

... a large dining-room where a dozen literati were all well into their lunch. C’est Monsieur Barnes, she announced, but not a single fork paused on its way to a single mouth. Oh dear, I thought, I was obviously some terrible compromise candidate; I shall be the Keri Hulme of the Prix Médicis. But no, we’d disturbed the jurors of the Prix Fémina by ...

Cobbery

Julian Barnes, 2 May 1985

A Classical Education 
by Richard Cobb.
Chatto, 156 pp., £9.95, April 1985, 0 7011 2936 0
Show More
Still Life: Sketches from a Tunbridge Wells Childhood 
by Richard Cobb.
Chatto, 161 pp., £3.95, April 1985, 0 7012 1920 3
Show More
Show More
... On a damp October evening last year this man robbed me of £15,000. The sum was tax free, so you could round it up to £20,000. Wineglass in hand, black tie at the throat, he also robbed four other novelists of the same sum – four others also musing, no doubt, on kitchen extensions, snooker tables, deep freezes and pulsing foreign holidays (though what we piously say to the press, of course, is ‘We need the money to make the time to write the next book in ...

Dear Mole

Julian Barnes, 23 January 1986

Flaubert and Turgenev: A Friendship in Letters 
translated by Barbara Beaumont.
Athlone, 197 pp., £18, October 1985, 0 485 11277 9
Show More
Show More
... Flaubert’s Correspondence (which Gide kept at his bedside for five years in place of the Bible, and which hoisted even Sartre into grudging admiration) is one of the great documents of French literature: so it’s surprising how much of it isn’t there. The novelist made letter-burning pacts with his two longest-serving male friends, Maxime Du Camp and Louis Bouilhet, who with an irritating rectitude kept their side of the bargain: Du Camp burnt all but 24 out of a ‘considerable’ number of letters, which he had already annotated for posterity, and Bouilhet all but 81; while Flaubert himself, perhaps signalling unease about the agreements, kept 141 of Du Camp’s replies in existence, and 498 of Bouilhet’s ...

At the Fondation Custodia

Julian Barnes: Wilhelm Eckersberg, 27 July 2016

... This​ has been a rich time to explore 19th-century Scandinavian painting. Six years ago London and Edinburgh shared a revelatory show of Christen Købke (1810-48); while in 2014-15 the National Gallery showcased the less well-known but more extraordinary Peder Balke (1804-87): one of those rare artists whose pictures became smaller as he got older, and whose scraped, scratched grey-and-black oil-on-board images of the Northern Lights are among the most surprising pictures I’ve seen in the last few years ...

Badger Claws

Julian Barnes: Poil de Carotte, 30 June 2011

Nature Stories 
by Jules Renard, translated by Douglas Parmée.
NYRB, 165 pp., £8.99, March 2011, 978 1 59017 364 0
Show More
Show More
... I remember a French peasant-priest telling me, many years ago: ‘It’s strange, Monsieur Barnes, I love animals, but I kill them.’ He said it as if it were a paradox only God could resolve. Renard, though pretty much agnostic (‘I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t’), was similarly poised between ...

Late Capote

Julian Barnes, 19 February 1981

Music for Chameleons 
by Truman Capote.
Hamish Hamilton, 262 pp., £7.95, February 1981, 0 241 10541 2
Show More
Show More
... Start at the back: with the photograph. Traditionally, author’s vanity and publisher’s lethargy combine to make a writer look much younger than he is. Truman Capote’s portrait does the opposite, and for a particular reason. Study recent press photographs of Mr Capote, or those published last year in Andy Warhol’s Exposures, and what do you see? A plump, jowly figure in the flush of vital middle age, capering into Studio 54 on the languid arm of a heavily beringed dress designer: a man, it appears, of active sensuality verging on self-indulgence ...

Hating dogs

Julian Barnes, 17 September 1981

Words on the Air 
by John Sparrow.
Collins, 163 pp., £7.95, August 1981, 0 00 216876 6
Show More
Show More
... In October 1971 the Italian Government made one of its ritual announcements that it had raised enough money to save Venice, by protecting it from pollution and installing a new sewage system. Simultaneously, John Sparrow was also turning his attention to the plight of the stricken city. In one of his major letters to the Times, the then Warden of All Souls addressed the urgent question of Venetian dogshit ...

Flaubert’s Bottle

Julian Barnes, 4 May 1989

Flaubert: A Biography 
by Herbert Lottman.
Methuen, 396 pp., £17.95, April 1989, 0 413 41770 0
Show More
Show More
... Alcoholism softens the flesh – or at least, the 19th-century French variety did. When Verlaine died, Mallarmé watched a cast being taken of the face of this staunchly self-destructive drinker. He reported to the poet Georges Rodenbach that he would never forget ‘the wet, soggy sound made by the removal of the death-mask from his face, an operation in which part of his beard and mouth had come away too ...

Theroux and Through

Julian Barnes, 21 June 1984

The Kingdom by the Sea: A Journey Around the Coast of Great Britain 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 303 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 241 11086 6
Show More
Doctor Slaughter 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 137 pp., £6.95, June 1984, 0 241 11255 9
Show More
Show More
... A couple of years ago there was one of those Barry Humphries TV specials in which the Australian entertainer teases an audience of notables to the edge of humiliation. The guests attend to the act warily, poised between the pleasure of being official celebrities and the fear of being publicly ridiculed. After tormenting various patsies in a way that must have made them wish there was an RSPCA for humans, Dame Edna (for it was she) suddenly spotted Melvyn Bragg ...

Selfie with ‘Sunflowers’

Julian Barnes, 29 July 2015

Ever Yours: The Essential Letters 
by Vincent van Gogh, edited by Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker.
Yale, 777 pp., £30, December 2014, 978 0 300 20947 1
Show More
Van Gogh: A Power Seething 
by Julian Bell.
Amazon, 171 pp., £6.99, January 2015, 978 1 4778 0129 1
Show More
Show More
... kept waiting weeks before he could safely post off his latest canvas to his dealer-brother Theo. Julian Bell, in his useful short biography and appraisal, aptly describes Starry Night over the Rhône as ‘closer to a sculptural relief than a reproducible flat image’. The life gets in the way as well. We have become over-familiar with the lineaments of the ...

One of a Kind – a story

Julian Barnes, 18 February 1982

... I always had this theory about Romania. Well, not a proper theory: more an observation, I suppose. Have you ever realised how, in various fields, Romania has managed to produce one – but only one – significant artist? It’s as if the race only has enough strength for one of anything, like those plants which channel all their energy into a single bloom ...

The Salinger Affair

Julian Barnes, 27 October 1988

In Search of J.D. Salinger 
by Ian Hamilton.
Heinemann, 222 pp., £12.95, September 1988, 0 434 31331 9
Show More
Show More
... Listen to Jeffrey Robinson, American biographer of figures such as Sheikh Yamani, describing how he goes to work: What I usually do is get two or three months’ research under my belt before I go to see the guy. He may say: ‘I don’t want this biography.’ I say to him: ‘That is not one of your options. This book is going to be written, I have a publisher and I’m getting near being able to write something ...

Philip Roth in Israel

Julian Barnes, 5 March 1987

The Counterlife 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 336 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 224 02871 5
Show More
Show More
... Philip Roth’s new novel is marvellously rich, boisterously serious, dense, fizzing and formally audacious. More than with most novels, to review it is to betray it. This isn’t inappropriate, since one of Roth’s abiding themes is fiction’s betrayal of life and the novelist’s treachery to those who surround him. But prudent readers may prefer not to discover The Counterlife’s intricate surprises in advance ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences