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Hitler and History

Hans Keller, 5 February 1981

Hitler 
by Norman Stone.
Hodder, 195 pp., £6.95, August 1980, 0 340 24980 3
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Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ in Britain and America: A Publishing History 1930-39 
by James Barnes and Patience Barnes.
Cambridge, 158 pp., £8.50, September 1980, 0 521 22691 0
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The Berlin Secession: Modernism and Its Enemies in Imperial Germany 
by Peter Paret.
Harvard, 262 pp., £10.50, December 1980, 0 674 06773 8
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German Romantic Painting 
by William Vaughan.
Yale, 260 pp., £19.95, October 1980, 0 300 02387 1
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... his The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. has been reviewed in these pages, nor are Norman Stone, James J. Barnes and Patience P. Barnes always less fanciful. And if Hitler’s personality remains an unanswered question, so too, does the history of National Socialism – which a ...

Stowaway Woodworm

Frank Kermode, 22 June 1989

A History of the World in 10½ Chapters 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 320 pp., £10.95, June 1989, 0 224 02669 0
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... About a century ago Henry James remarked sadly that, unlike the French, the English novel was not discutable. It had no theory behind it. Its practitioners were largely unaware that ‘there is no limit’ to what the novelist ‘may attempt as an executant – no limit to his possible experiments, efforts, discoveries, successes ...

Dr Love or Dr God?

Luc Sante: ‘The Man in the Red Coat’, 5 March 2020

The Man in the Red Coat 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 280 pp., £20, November 2019, 978 1 78733 216 4
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... The man​  in the title of Julian Barnes’s eighth work of non-fiction is the Parisian physician Samuel Pozzi. The red coat, or perhaps it’s a dressing-gown, is what he is wearing in the 1881 portrait by John Singer Sargent, Dr Pozzi at Home. It is a swashbuckling, very theatrical portrait, one that would make anyone curious about its subject ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Howard Hodgkin, 6 July 2006

... at Tate Britain (until 17 September) there are writings, culled from various sources, by Julian Barnes, James Fenton, Susan Sontag, William Boyd, Bruce Chatwin, Bruce Bernard and Colm Tóibín (Barnes has also made a loan to the exhibition). Some are affectionately ...

Twinkly

Theo Tait: Beyond the Barnes persona, 1 September 2005

Arthur & George 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 360 pp., £17.99, July 2005, 0 224 07703 1
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... everywhere and visible nowhere.’ For most of his career, the celebrated Flaubertian Julian Barnes has occupied the opposite end of the spectrum: less a transcendent creator than a garrulous master of ceremonies, unwilling or unable to prevent himself interrupting the proceedings. As John Bayley put it a few years back, one primary object of a ...
Djuna Barnes 
by Philip Herring.
Viking, 416 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 670 84969 3
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... lukewarm, intelligent face. She might be an actress, a spy, a photographer. The woman is Djuna Barnes. What I am looking for, and can’t see, is the grotesque, the decadent, the rotten; the slop, the left-over, the bilious. Where did she store it all? Where did that live? Djuna Barnes was born in 1892 in a ...

Half-Timbering, Homosexuality and Whingeing

Ian Sansom: Julian Barnes, 1 October 1998

England, England 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 272 pp., £15.99, September 1998, 0 224 05275 6
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... authenticity, but is itself something of a poser. This is, I’m sure, entirely by design: Julian Barnes is a writer who knows how to spot a fake. Last year, on 15 September, for example, in the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana, the New Yorker ran a series of articles in praise of the Princess. Clive James put on ...

Like choosing between bacon and egg and bacon and tomato

Christopher Tayler: The Wryness of Julian Barnes, 15 April 2004

The Lemon Table 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 213 pp., £16.99, March 2004, 9780224071987
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... Julian Barnes’s new book of short stories is concerned with old age and death. Barnes – who was born in 1946 – should have a few years to go before he experiences either condition, but his fiction has always been precociously interested in both. He visited the afterlife, in the person of a cartoon suburbanite, in A History of the World in 10½ Chapters (1989 ...

Stupidly English

Michael Wood: Julian Barnes, 22 September 2011

The Sense of an Ending 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 150 pp., £12.99, July 2011, 978 0 224 09415 3
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... Julian Barnes specialises in Englishness the way some doctors specialise in broken bones or damaged nerves. Like many actual English people, he’s not a chronic sufferer from the complaint, which in any case is a matter more of temperament than passport. But he is endlessly fascinated by it, and no one knows the dark, quiet corners of its pathology better than he does ...

Short Cuts

James Francken: The big book prizes, 3 January 2002

... to the shortlisted writers who have to sweat through the evening’s preliminaries; Julian Barnes has had prize-night disappointment in spades and reports a ‘painful experience’ for ‘fretting shortlistees’. But the Whitbread at least spreads the load: there are awards for poetry, for children’s books, for biography as well as for novels. In ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: 10,860 novels, 23 August 2001

... Stephen Moss, that paper’s former literary editor, has asked: ‘Why do Rushdie, McEwan, Barnes and Amis still dominate Britain’s literary scene?’ Without so much as a flutter of irony, Moss quotes an anonymous ‘leading critic’ denouncing ‘the media’s obsession’ with Rushdie etc for ‘blocking the emergence of new writers’. The ...

Sausages and Higher Things

Patrick Parrinder, 11 February 1993

The Porcupine 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 138 pp., £9.99, November 1992, 0 224 03618 1
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... the natives. There are no English characters in The Porcupine, thank goodness. Julian Barnes’s seventh novel is a brief but wholly serious example of political fiction, and, if I had to choose an epigraph for it, it would come from Arthur Koestler rather than Bram Stoker. A soberly realistic account of the trial of the ex-President of a former ...

The Browse Function

John Sutherland, 27 November 1997

Webonomics: Nine Essential Principles for Growing Your Business on the World Wide Web 
by Evan Schwartz.
Penguin, 244 pp., £11.99, October 1997, 9780140264067
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... that two book-retailers can legally trademark the ‘earth’s biggest’ claim. One is the Barnes and Noble octopus, with 25,000 employees, franchised outlets in every mall in North America and a $3 billion annual turnover. The other, Amazon.com (‘Amazon-dot-com’), is a bookless high-tech office in Seattle, with a mere five hundred employees, and ...

At the Courtauld

John-Paul Stonard: Chaïm Soutine, 30 November 2017

... made his name – and his fortune – after one caught the eye of the American collector Albert Barnes, who went on to amass a large body of Soutine’s work. ‘Butcher Boy’ (1919) More than half of Soutine’s uniformed portraits have been brought together for the first time for Soutine’s Portraits: Cooks, Waiters and Bellboys, at the Courtauld ...

Irishtown

D.A.N. Jones, 1 November 1984

Ironweed 
by William Kennedy.
Viking, 227 pp., £7.95, September 1984, 0 670 40176 5
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In Custody 
by Anita Desai.
Heinemann, 204 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 9780434186358
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Flaubert’s Parrot 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 190 pp., £8.50, October 1984, 0 241 11374 1
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... William Kennedy’s Ironweed is about Albany, capital of the State of New York. Julian Barnes writes about the France of Gustave Flaubert, as discussed in an irrational, pedantic manner by a British admirer of Flaubert’s work. Anita Desai, daughter of a German mother and a Bengali father, writes about the world of Indian poets, a very male (not ...

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