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Nothing to Be Frightened Of (2008)

de Julian Barnes

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1,0903913,704 (3.78)36
Julian Barnes new book is, among many things, a family memoir, an exchange with his brother (a philosopher), a meditation on mortality and the fear of death, a celebration of art, an argument with and about God, and a homage to the French writer Jules Renard.
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> "RIEN À CRAINDRE" par Julian Barnes. — Comment parler de la mort , sans pour autant perdre le sens de l'humour ? Doit-on la redouter, s'en moquer, lui tourner le dos, l'inviter prudemment à sa table pour négocier avec elle ?
Dans cet essai atypique et vagabond, le très flegmatique Barnes nous offre un savoureux cocktail de souvenirs intimes, une conversation à bâtons rompus où il fait semblant de badiner avant d'affronter la question qui l'obsède : celle de la mort. Comment faut-il en parler, sans pour autant perdre le sens de l'humour ? Doit-on la redouter, s'en moquer, lui tourner le dos, l'inviter prudemment à sa table pour négocier avec elle ? Et Dieu, dans tout ça, à quoi sert-il ? Autant d'interrogations à la fois graves et narquoises, sous la plume d'un "philosophe amateur" qui signe une sorte de traité de sagesse provisoire, avec l'ironie de son maître Jules Renard. --L'Express

> Babelio : https://www.babelio.com/livres/Barnes-Rien-a-craindre/187840
  Joop-le-philosophe | Feb 10, 2021 |
Yawn.

I need a new shelf. Started but discarded.

This is the first Barnes I've read (and that is more or less all of them) and haven't liked. It may not be autobiographical, but it is horribly close and he just isn't interesting. He isn't, his brother isn't. Nor are his parents or grandparents. Even worse, it is wordily pompous, which I gather is why the French like him so much.

Death itself may be an interesting subject (or may not) but what isn't interesting is other people's obsessions, including Barnes' with death. It's sort of like having to sit through other people talking about their dreams when you know even your own would have been best missed, if only you had a choice in the matter.

Well, this time, I did.
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Yawn.

I need a new shelf. Started but discarded.

This is the first Barnes I've read (and that is more or less all of them) and haven't liked. It may not be autobiographical, but it is horribly close and he just isn't interesting. He isn't, his brother isn't. Nor are his parents or grandparents. Even worse, it is wordily pompous, which I gather is why the French like him so much.

Death itself may be an interesting subject (or may not) but what isn't interesting is other people's obsessions, including Barnes' with death. It's sort of like having to sit through other people talking about their dreams when you know even your own would have been best missed, if only you had a choice in the matter.

Well, this time, I did.
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Yawn.

I need a new shelf. Started but discarded.

This is the first Barnes I've read (and that is more or less all of them) and haven't liked. It may not be autobiographical, but it is horribly close and he just isn't interesting. He isn't, his brother isn't. Nor are his parents or grandparents. Even worse, it is wordily pompous, which I gather is why the French like him so much.

Death itself may be an interesting subject (or may not) but what isn't interesting is other people's obsessions, including Barnes' with death. It's sort of like having to sit through other people talking about their dreams when you know even your own would have been best missed, if only you had a choice in the matter.

Well, this time, I did.
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Whew, time to take a shower. After having read six books by Julian Barnes I was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately this is not as as the others. It rambles. It reads like several articles crammed together to make a book. Seriously needed better editing. Very repetitious. He clearly thinks we should know about what several French authors thought about dieing and how being an agnostic or athiest could change your perspective. I found myself often saying "too much information!" Why did we need to know all those biographical details? Fortunately there were some gems that made me think. He pointed out a similarity being fiction and religion - one requires suspension of disbelief the other requires faith. Never thought of it that way. ( )
  Ed_Schneider | May 29, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 39 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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This is not, by the way, "my autobiography." Nor am I "in search of my parents." . . . Part of what I'm doing -- which may seem unnecessary -- is trying to work out how dead they are. My father died in 1992, my mother in 1997. (pp. 35-6)

Perhaps I should warn you (especially if you are a philosopher, theologian, or biologist) that some of this book will strike you as amateur, do-it-yourself stuff. But then we are all amateurs in and of our own lives. . . . I should also warn you that there are going to be a lot of writers in this book. Most of them are dead, and quite a few of them French. (p. 39)
...perhaps a sense of death is like a sense of humour. We all think the one we've got - or haven't got - is just about right, and appropriate to the proper understanding of life. It's everyone else who's out of step.
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Julian Barnes new book is, among many things, a family memoir, an exchange with his brother (a philosopher), a meditation on mortality and the fear of death, a celebration of art, an argument with and about God, and a homage to the French writer Jules Renard.

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