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Julian Barnes: The Sense of an Ending

A collection about the 2011 winner of the Man Booker Prize, "The Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes.
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[Don't Mind the Mess Blog] Have you finished the book? Need to hear others discuss what the end of the book means? There's a good discussion on this blog.

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The Inevitable Death of Julian Barnes & Everyone Else (PopMatters): What Barnes is frightened of is death’s nothingness, which he thinks of at least once each waking day. Taking his cue from a phrase, la réveil mortel, he describes a night attack akin to “being in an unfamiliar hotel room, where the alarm clock has been left on the previous occupant’s setting, and at some ungodly hour you are suddenly pitched from sleep into darkness, panic, and a vicious awareness that this is a rented…

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"Author statement" on the British Council website: 'Writers should have the highest ambition: not just for themselves, but for the form they work in. Flaubert once rebuked Louise Colet for having the love of art yet lacking 'the religion of art': she fancied its rituals, the vestments and the incense, but did not finally believe in its revealed truths. I am a writer for an accumulation of lesser reasons (love of words, fear of death, hope of fame, delight in creation, distaste for office…

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PopMatters / Robert Alford: "We are all the authors of our own lives. Not necessarily as they are lived, but rather as they are remembered, and in the end that’s all we have. We know ourselves through narratives that we construct, and for most there is little other evidence to corroborate the truth of our lives beyond these stories that we tell to ourselves and those who care to listen. The question that is posed by Julian Barnes’ piercing and often devastating novel The Sense of and Ending…

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from PBS NewsHour

Conversation: Julian Barnes, Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize

PBS Art Beat / Jeffrey Brown: A conversation with Julian Barnes. "I wanted to write a book about time and memory, about what time does to memory, how it changes it, and what memory does to time. It's also a book about discovering at a certain point in your life that some key things that you've always believed were wrong. This is something that I started thinking about a few years ago, and it's probably one of the preoccupations that you have as you age. You have your own memories of life…

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from NPR.org

Julian Barnes Searches For 'Sense' In A Hazy 'Ending'

NPR (Heller McAlpin): "Barnes' interest lies in the unreliable juncture of memory, time and history. At school, clever Adrian dazzles his classmates and teacher by declaring, "History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation." Tony, in struggling to determine the extent of his responsibility for the aftermath of his first romance, wonders whether history consists of the lies of the victors, the self-delusions of the…

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from NPR.org

Report From England: Happy 'Ending' To Man Booker Prize Controversies

From Ellah Allfrey / NPR: "Barnes is a master craftsman, a writer focused on language, rewardingly obsessed with meaning and nuance, with character and the complexities of emotion. In The Sense of an Ending, his measured prose and the deliberate, elegant pacing as the protagonist unpeels layers of memory, make for an intricate, absorbing narrative. The book is an intense exploration of an individual's place in the world, of the stories we tell ourselves in order to live with the people we…

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from NPR.org

Speak, Memory: 'An Ending' That Uncovers The Past

From NPR's Weekend Edition story on "The Sense of an Ending": "If we can't even reconcile our individual pasts, what does it say about our ability to settle on national narratives? As Tony ruminates in the book, "The history that happens underneath our noses ought to be the clearest. And yet, it's the most deliquescent."

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Speak, Memory: 'An Ending' That Uncovers The Past

npr.org

from Telegraph.co.uk

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes: review

Anita Brookner's take: "Memory...accounts for who we are and what we have become. And early memory is particularly valuable, though it can be misconstrued. Its influence can persist throughout adult life, though what is cause and what effect may be difficult to judge. In this short but compelling novel Julian Barnes tracks the origin of one particular memory through a long and apparently uneventful life towards an explanation that leaves traces of unease that are difficult to dismiss."

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The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes: review - Telegraph

telegraph.co.uk

from nytimes.com

Julian Barnes’s ‘Sense of an Ending’ — Review

Michiko Kakutani's NY Times review: "If there is a single theme running throughout Julian Barnes’s work . . . it’s the elusiveness of truth, the subjectivity of memory, the relativity of all knowledge. . . . “The Sense of an Ending” looks at the ways in which people distort or tailor the past in an effort to mythologize their own lives."

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