A retrospection on history, love, memory, and mortality.Novelist Julian Barnes, winner of some of the world’s most prestigious literary prizes, including the Booker Prize
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The Musings of a Novelist
“What Makes a Novelist” on GREAT MINDS takes us into the mind of Julian Barnes, one of the greatest English writers of the last 100 years. This is a four-part lecture series reconstructed from a 90-minute-long interview with him.
The first lecture looks at how Julian Barnes, who started off just writing novel reviews and editing literary journals, debuted and grew as a novelist. We get insights from the novelist's virtues and knowledge he has developed as a writer for the past forty years.
In lecture two, “How to Talk About Death with a Smile,” Barnes explores some of the core themes of his novels: “vague memory” and “mortality.” Barnes conveys the uneasiness of human existence and the terror of uncertainty through his fascinating use of dark humor.
With his third lecture, “Love Doesn't End That Way,” we delve into his philosophy and thoughts on love as we listen to the impact that the death of his wife had on him. In the final lecture, Barnes talks about the essence of the novel as he sees it. This “hybrid writer” discusses the limitless possibilities of novels and the proper attitudes a novelist should have.
Somerset Maugham Award (1981) Prix Medicis Essai (1986) Prix Femina Etranger (1992) Austrian State Prize for European Literature (2004) Booker Prize (2011)
Julian Barnes is an English novelist whose debut work, Metroland, took home the coveted Somerset Maugham Award in 1981. He was the first English writer to take home the Prix Medicis, one of France’s three major literary prizes, with Flaubert’s Parrot in 1986. In 1992, he also won the Prix Femina Etranger, another of France's top three literary prizes. He received the Shakespeare Prize in Germany in 1993 and captured the 2004 Austrian State Prize for European Literature. He won the Booker Prize in 2011 with The Sense of an Ending after being shortlisted three times with Flaubert's Parrot, England, England, and Arthur & George.
Julian Barnes's works revolve around the main themes of history, vague memory, love, and truth. Critics have called him “an uncannily intellectual writer” and “a novelist with the most profound inquiries into memory, love, and human existence.”
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