Books About Julian Barnes
Excellent resources for those wishing to study the works of Julian Barnes.
Stunned into Uncertainty: Essays on Julian Barnes’s Fiction
Edited by Eszter Tory and Janina Vesztergom
Budapest, 2014. Pp. 174
From the Publisher: The essays in this volume were written on Julian Barnes’s works by PhD students from Hungary and a guest contributor from Poland, all specializing in Modern English and American literature. Their contextualisations of Barnes’s novels within literary theory, narratology, Lacanian subject formation, the human quest for meaning or human-animal encounters, as well as their more playful attempts at defining the Barnesian text, are a tribute to Julian Barnes’s oeuvre and the inspiration his works provide. The essays are arranged around the key concepts of Abstraction, Anxiety and Ascendance, and they prove that students will respond to literature with a developing maturity and with an enthusiasm for the creative spark, whether it comes from their readings of literature, their readings in theory or their discussions of all of the above.
Introduction: Selenelion in October
- "Supernormal Simulacra": The Relation of the Human Psyche and the Theme Park Phenomenon in Julian Barnes’s England, England / Dorottya Jászay
- With His Watch on the Inside of the Wrist: Time in Julian Barnes’sThe Sense of an Ending / Dóra Vecsernyés
- "The Voice Above": Manacles of Responsibility in Julian Barnes’s Arthur & George / Janina Vesztergom
- "Your Species": The Rupture Between Man and Animal in Julian Barnes’s A History of the World in 10½ Chapters / Eszter Szép
- Lacanian Subject Formation and Liberal Ideology in Julian Barnes’s The Porcupine / Ágnes Harasztos
- "If I Were a Dictator of Fiction": Readerly and Writerly Anxiety of Influence in Julian Barnes's Flaubert’s Parrot / Péter Tamás
- Thwarted Quests for Meaning: Religion, Art and Love in the Early Novels of Julian Barnes / Wojciech Drąg
- The Courage to Believe: Mediocrity and Faith in Julian Barnes’s Staring at the Sun / Eszter Tory
- Personal as National/National as Personal: Interactions between Narrative Strands in Julian Barnes’s England, England / Miklós Mikecz
Epilogue: The Barnesian Text 145
References to Julian Barnes’s Works 167
References to Critical Works on Julian Barnes’s Fiction 169
Julian Barnes (Contemporary Critical Perspectives)
Edited by Sebastian Groes and Peter Childs
Continuum, 2011. Pp. 192
From the Publisher: Julian Barnes is one of the most admired British writers of his generation. Although known primarily as a novelist and essayist, the ‘chameleon of British letters’ has written with distinction across the widest range of literary genres. Both he and his diverse and distinguished body of work have been awarded numerous literary prizes both in the UK and abroad. This critical guide provides a wide range of current critical perspectives on Barnes's work from best-selling novels of the 1980s, Flaubert’s Parrot and A History of the World in 10½ Chapters, up to his recent memoir Nothing to be Frightened of. Including contributions by some of the finest critics working in the contemporary field, it reflects the richness and diversity of one of Britain's greatest living writers.
Chronology of Julian Barnes's Life
Introduction: Julian Barnes and the Wisdom of Uncertainity / Sebastian Groes and Peter Childs
- The Flâneur and the Freeholder: Paris and London in Metroland / Matthew Taunton
- Inventing a Way to the Truth: Life and Fiction in Flaubert's Parrot / Ryan Roberts
- 'A preference for things Gallic': Julian Barnes and the French Connection / Vanessa Guignery
- 'An Ordinary Piece of Magic': Religion in the Work of Julian Barnes / Andrew Tate
- Crossing the Channel: Europe and the Three Uses of France in Julian Barnes's Talking It Over / Merritt Moseley
- 'Stranger Than Fiction': an epistolary essay on The Porcupine / Dimitrina Kondeva
- England, England and Englishness / Richard Bradford
- Matters of Life and Death: The Short Stories of Julian Barnes / Peter Childs
- 'All Letters Quoted are Authentic': The Past after Postmodern Fabulation in Julian Barnes's Arthur & George / Christine Berberich
Afterword / Andrew Lycett
Julian Barnes (Contemporary British Novelists)
Manchester University Press, 2011. Pp. 166
From the Publisher: Peter Childs's Julian Barnes is a comprehensive introductory overview of the novels that situates Barnes's work in terms of fabulation and memory, irony and comedy.
It pursues a broadly chronological line through Barnes's literary career, but along the way it also shows how certain key thematic preoccupations and obsessions seem to tie Barnes's oeuvre together (love, death, art, history, truth, and memory). Chapters provide detailed reading of each major publication in turn while treating the major concerns of Barnes’s fiction, including art, authorship, history, love and religion. The book is very lucidly written, and it is also satisfyingly comprehensive - alongside the 'canonical' Barnes texts, it includes brief but illuminating discussion of the crime fiction that Barnes has published under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh. This detailed study of fictions of Julian Barnes from Metroland to Arthur & George also benefits from archival research into his unpublished materials.
The book will be a useful resource for scholars, postgraduates and undergraduates working in the field of contemporary literature.
Series Editor's Foreword
List of Abbreviations
Introduction : Pleasure in Form
- About to be less deceived: Metroland
- Silly to Worry About: Before She Met Me
- What happened to the truth is not recorded: Flaubert's Parrot
- Intricate Rented World: Staring at the Sun
- Safe for Love: A History of the World in 10½ Chapters
- Tell me Yours: Talking it Over and Love, etc.
- We won't get fooled again: The Porcupine
- History doesn't relate: England, England
- Retrospectively Imagined Memorials: Cross Channel and The Lemon Table
- Conviction and Prejudice: Arthur & George
Vanessa Guignery and Ryan Roberts
University Press of Mississippi, April 2009. Pp. 212
Conversations with Julian Barnes collects eighteen interviews, conducted over nearly three decades, by journalists and correspondents throughout the world with the author of such highly praised novels as Flaubert's Parrot and Arthur & George. Read More
Julian Barnes (New British Fiction)
Frederick M. Holmes
Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Pp. 176
From the Publisher: "This book presents an accessible introduction to the work of Julian Barnes which places it in historical and theoretical context. It presents a comprehensive and accessible introduction to all of Barnes' publications to date. It includes a timeline of important dates to help place new British fiction in context. This guide explores his characteristic literary techniques, offers extensive readings of all ten novels and provides an overview of the varied critical reception his work has provoked."
The Fiction of Julian Barnes: A Reader's Guide to Essential Criticism
Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Pp. 240
Vanessa Guignery has written extensively about Julian Barnes. Her insightful and scholarly critiques of Barnes's works are complemented by accessible writing and a genuine understanding of the author. Covers all novels from Metroland through Arthur & George. This book should be read by anyone studying Barnes's work.
Julian Barnes: Writers and Their Work
Northcote House, 2002. Pp. 106
A terrific resource that examine the works of Julian Barnes from Metroland through Love, etc. Matthew Pateman offers straightforward commentary of the novels, while retaining a high level of scholarship and interpretation. A must-read for anyone studying Barnes's work.
Language, History, And Metanarrative In the Fiction of Julian Barnes (Studies In Twentieth-Century British Literature, Vol. 3)
Peter Lang, 2001. Pp. 136
Bruce Sesto's book offers moderate insight into Barnes's work. Covering Metroland through The Porcupine, the work is essentially Sesto's dissertation published in the mid-1990s. Contains a few errors, but otherwise a harmless examination of Barnes's work. Considering the price, try consulting other works before attempting this one.
Understanding Julian Barnes
Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1997. Pp. 198
Merritt Moseley's book represents perhaps the first book-length study of Barnes's work. Moseley covers Metroland through The Porcupine, including some short stories and Barnes's pseudonymous work as Dan Kavanagh. Written at a basic level, this book offers a nice introduction to Barnes's major works and themes.