Julian Barnes vinner Bookerprisen
Bookerprisen 2011 ble igår vunnet av Julian Barnes. Det er en av Storbrittanias mest oppskattede forfattere som endelig fikk prisen. Han har vært nominert 3 ganger før, med Flaubert’s Parrot i 1984, med England, England i 1998 , og med Arthur and George i 2005. Alle tre bøkene var blant de seks finalistene på Shortlist, men det skulle altså gå 27 år fra han ble nominert første gang til han endelig gikk hjem med seieren.
Barnes har skrevet mange andre bøker og også utgitt novelle samlinger. Begge foreldrene var fransklærere, og Barnes er naturlig nok utpreget frankofil. Flaubert’s Parrot gjorde ham almen kjent i Frankrike, og han har både skrevet om Frankrike, og brukt referanser i mange av bøkene. I 1995 ble han tildelt utmerkelsen Officier de l’’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Årets kontoversielle Bookerkomité brukte kun 31 minutter på å bestemme seg for Barnes, og bragte dermed alt oppstyret om prisen til en lykkelig slutt. Julian Barnes er en vidunderlig forfatter og skriver variert, interessant og ikke mint vakkert. Personlig syns jeg ikke The Sense of an Ending er hans beste bok, men det er fortjent at Bookerprisen går til ham i år. Strålende vinner.
Nedenfor snakker den kjente forfatteren selv om arbeidet sitt. Sitatene er tatt fra en artikkel som står på trykk i The Daily Telegraph idag:
“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)
“The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously.” (Flaubert’s Parrot)
“The writer must be universal in sympathy and an outcast by nature: only then can he see clearly.” (Flaubert’s Parrot)
“The first draft is fraught with difficulty. It’s like giving birth, very painful, but after that taking care of and playing with the baby is full of joy.” (Interview, Paris Review)
“(Literature is) a process of producing grand, beautiful, well-ordered lies that tell more truth than any assemblage of facts. Beyond that, literature is many things, such as delight in, and play with, language; also, a curiously intimate way of communicating with people whom you will never meet.»
“And being a writer gives you a sense of historical community, which I feel rather weakly as a normal social being living in early twenty-first-century Britain. For example, I don’t feel any particular ties with the world of Queen Victoria, or the participants of the Civil War or the Wars of the Roses, but I do feel a very particular tie to various writers and artists who are contemporaneous with those periods and events.” (Interview, Paris Review)
“What can’t be escaped from, and runs all through the collection of stories, is memory. The escapee must always return, mentally or physically, if not both.” “Well, I’m not going to tell people why they should read me. That sort of thing is for politicians.” “One of the great examples of literary advice-giving took place in the summer of 1878. Guy de Maupassant was on the verge of becoming famous.” (On We Sail in the London Review of Books)
“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)
“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 fasr 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)