Julian Barnes

Author of The Only Story and 10+ Books

Julian Barnes

1074 Quotes

Julian Patrick Barnes is an English contemporary literary writer of postmodernism. He was three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize--Flauberts Parrot (1984), England, England (1998), and Arthur & George (2005) and won the prize for The Sense of an Ending (2011). He has written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh. He worked as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary after an education at the City of London School and Me... rton College, Oxford. He later worked as a literary editor, as well as a film critic. He's writing full time now. His brother, Jonathan Barnes, is a philosopher who specializes in Ancient Philosophy. He and his wife, the literary agent Pat Kavanagh, lived in London until their death on October 20, 2008.READ MORE

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This was another of our fears: that Life wouldn't turn out to be like Literature.

How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, butmainlyto ourselves.

History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.

What you end up remembering isn't always the same as what you have witnessed.

Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't. I'm not surprised some people prefer books. Books make sense of life. The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other people's lives, never your own.

It strikes me that this may be one of the differences between youth and age: when we are young, we invent different futures for ourselves; when we are old, we invent different pasts for others.

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