Saturday, May 06, 2006

Julian Barnes on Flaubert

at the New York Review of Books (it's a superb piece, Barnes at his very best--only a bit scathing to Flaubert's latest biographer--a little too long to read comfortably online, but print it out & read it if you're at all interested).

The two major writers I have scarcely revisited since reading them when I was a Young Person & who I am burning to read seriously & all the way through again properly & to really engage with are Beckett and Flaubert. I'm not sure if I'm going to have the mental space for it this summer, I'm definitely going to reread some of those great nineteenth-century Russian novels in the good new translations but that's more compatible with what I really need to concentrate on, which is meeting a Sept. 15 deadline for my academic book manuscript. I think Beckett and Flaubert might have to wait till after that. But I'm really, really yearning for them....


  1. I'm always delighted when reading Beckett -- even stage directions -- what a humorous old coot he was. I think he fought off that angst with a well-placed bottle, but there's enormous self-amusement there as well.

  2. Thank you for leading the way to this lovely piece. I have been a Barnes fan for a long time -- and had the pleasure (in hindsight it seems a pleasure, at the time it seemed more a chore) to study Flaubert in detail in english & french, both text & film (Madame Bovary specifically). Barnes' Flabuert's Parrot has always been a delight to me for the many connections he made while I was a young student and I'm always eager to get a look at his writings.

    You made my afternoon. Cheers!