Flaubert's Parrot MP3 CD – 5 Aug 2014
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'Julian Barnes's wry and graceful book, part novel, part stealthy literary criticism, traces the marks Flaubert made on a forgetting world. The writing is unfailingly sharp and often very funny, and among the best prose I have read in years' SUNDAY TIMES --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'A wry and graceful book ... Unfailingly sharp and often very funny.' (The Sunday Times)
'Endless food for thought, beautifully written ... A tour de force.' (Germaine Greer) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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But it seems that this Braithwaite character must be a kind of mouthpiece for Barnes himself, otherwise what is the point of it all? How much can we learn about a real writer, Flaubert, when the information and opinions are sifted through three filters, as it were, the author, his narrator and whatever the original source might have been. How much is fact and how much is fiction?
But it does seem as if Barnes has been careful to give us the truth about Flaubert, where possible, so the book is actually interesting and manages to be quite entertaining too, though hardly a great novel.
Yet, despite this analytical emphasis on Flaubert's works, it is really the French writer's personality that is analysed and interpreted here. It is this suggestive, fictive element that I found most fascinating - the way that Barnes tries to work out the essence of this complicated, brilliant man through his own character. It is as if, despite all the facts that one can gain from his books and letters, the truth is that all efforts to work out a writer's life is just like creating a work of fiction.
And that is exactly what Barnes does in this novel. A clever, witty, really enjoyable read.
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