Julian Barnes has been declared winner of the Man Booker Prize 2011 with his novel The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape - Random House).
Barnes has claimed that the Man Booker process "usually produces some psychosomatic malady - a throbbing boil, a burning wire of neuralgia, the prod of gout" in the writer. Abeg get me one big dictionary ;) This should encourage one to keep going! This is the fourth time Barnes work would appear on the long list.
“It’s easy to read the book innocently, trusting the narrator, believing his account of things, and letting yourself be carried along as by an unthreatening breeze. Maupassant is often called ‘a natural storyteller’: that’s to say, a professional, practised, unnatural storyteller.” (On We Sail in the London Review of Books)
"And sometimes the nature of the writer's oeuvre creates a problem of choice ... Should you choose one of those previously unopened? Or go for one you suspect you misread, or undervalued, at the time? Or one, like Couples, which you might have read for somewhat non-literary reasons?" (The Guardian)
“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.” (Flaubert’s Parrot)
“He talked about the myth of the writer and how it was not just the reader who became trapped in the myth but sometimes the writer as well – in which case we should feel pity rather than blame. He thought about what hating a writer might mean. How fast and how long do we punish thought-crime? He quoted Auden on time pardoning Kipling for his views – “And will pardon Paul Claudel / Pardon him for writing well.” (Homage to Hemingway, New Yorker)
“It's easy, after all, not to be a writer. Most people aren't writers, and very little harm comes to them.” (Flaubert’s Parrot)
“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, but - mainly - to ourselves.” (The Sense of an Ending)