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Be the first to ask a question about A History of the World in 10½ Chapters A loosely connected series of 10 1/2 short stories, art reviews, re-imagined.
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Can appreciate that some ideas are well crafted, and much of the writing flows, but the topics covered are dull and uninteresting and , in my case, rarely capture the attention or the sympathy of the reader. So I wondered , are the following ideas fair commentary , or accurate, or mere attention grabbing: Along the stern rail there is a line of telescopes; each brings the shore into focus at a given distance. If the boat is becalmed, one of the telescopes will be in continual use; it will seem to tell the whole, the unchanging truth.

But this is an illusion; and as the boat sets off again, we return to our normal activity: And when the blur does clear, we imagine that we have made it do so all by ourselves. Apr 02, Moira Fogarty rated it it was ok. I've had 'A History of the World in 10 Chapters' on my "to read" list for almost 15 years, but kept putting it off. Now I know why I was dithering. Despite the glowing commendations of university professors and English literature elitists, I simply could not warm to the text, clever though it was. Eclectic and unorthodox, this will not suit every taste.

Settings include Mount Ararat where the Ark made landfall , the moon, heaven, a jungle, a monastery, and a French courthouse. My main obstacles to enjoyment were the arrogant, foolish and misogynistic male narrators complemented by the delusional, judgmental female narrators and the author's struggles with religious belief and Biblical history.

A History Of The World In 10 1/2 Chapters

The voices are mostly male, including: The story about the egotistical academic and the psychology of self-interest made me cringe and nearly put down the book altogether. In a similar way, the stories told from Barnes' own point of view felt highly self-indulgent, like intellectual masturbation. I did like the piece on Gericault's "Scene of Shipwreck" which looked at the wreck of the Medusa and told the story of the boat, the survivors, the artist and the process.

Nice bit of art analysis. I also thought the concluding story about the difficulties of making Heaven satisfactory was a fun little thought-experiment. Putting on my feminist glasses, I have to suggest that the women in the book - an insane cat-lady obsessed with her ex-boyfriend, a religious fanatic obsessed with her dead father, a deceitful and narcissistic astronaut's wife - are all utterly despicable and essentially defined by their relationship to significant men in their lives.

If you want something similar, only better, try the following View all 4 comments. Jul 31, Matt rated it it was amazing. Turns out the history of the world revolves around fabulation, woodworms, and love. Hard to argue with that. Witty, educational, philosophical, self-deprecating, all things I was really in the mood for while riding a bike across Quebec.

Favorite lines, and there were many, so just a few now so I can harken back with fondness: We must remember nerves and emotions. The painter isn't carried fluently downstream towards the sunlit pool of that finished image, but is trying to hold a course in an open sea of contrary tides.

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Myth will become reality, however sceptical we might be. The terror of a lost shoe or a missed train are as great here as those of guerrilla attack or nuclear war. For a start, they own that flexible 'I' when I say 'I' you will want to know within a paragraph or two whether I mean Julian Barnes or someone invented; a poet can shimmy between the two, getting credit for both deep feeling and objectivity.

Then again, poets seem able to turn bad love - selfish, shitty love - into good love poetry. Prose writers lack this power of admirable, dishonest transformation. We can only turn bad love into prose about bad love. So we are envious and slightly distrustful when poets talk to us about love. I had forgotten how great this book is.

A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters

It's better than I remember. I think Barnes is best with short pieces that interact with each other. This is probably the best of the things of his that I've read; I also really enjoyed Pulse, and I think in the same way. It was also interesting reading this in conjunction with Not Wanted on the Voyage, which I suspect Barnes had read there's an all-caps use of the phrase which I think is a reference.

This treatment is still in the realm of critique, but I had forgotten how great this book is. This treatment is still in the realm of critique, but the critique is different, and it seems both kinder and also broader and less specific. I think I agree more with Findley, but find Barnes a better read, even the chapter on shipwreck. Anyway, this goes up a star, Arthur and George goes down one.

Review of Julian Barnes' "A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters"

Mar 08, Angie rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Julian Barnes became one of my favs after reading this book. Each chapter reads as a sperate story but connected by a religious theme in each, albeit a skewed and revisionist view of various religions. Chapter one starts the book with a hilarious re-telling of Noah's ark by a stowaway Apparently the unicorn was tossed overboard because Noah became jealous of it's um Chapter 3 revisits the woodworms as they are being tried for heresey after infesting the Bishop's throne, caus Julian Barnes became one of my favs after reading this book.

Chapter 3 revisits the woodworms as they are being tried for heresey after infesting the Bishop's throne, causing the leg to fall off, hence throwing the poor man to the floor and causing him to fall into a "state of imbecility. Nov 24, Haje rated it it was amazing. The book is basically what it says on the cover: Ten-and-a-half short chapters, which together cover a lot of ground.

It is not, as you may be led to believe, a book about history, however. Rather, it is one of those books that somewhat reminds me of those Official Soundtrack albums they keep releasing: The stories are, in fact, all fiction. But rather than being history, they cleverly become part of history. Or they will do — for anyone who reads the boo The book is basically what it says on the cover: Or they will do — for anyone who reads the book. It is also obviously inspired by history, in a way that no other book I have ever read is.

It uses very distinct narrative structures from chapter to chapter, and each chapter can be read as a short story — as it stands very well on itself. The clever bit is how the stories actually intertwine and play off each other. Then, in rapid succession, Barnes covers some seriously deep issues.

A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes | efycymepodor.tk

Throughout this eclectic mixture of profoundness, Julian Barnes manages to keep his readers on the edge of their chairs: Without getting overly pretentious and without ever getting heavy-handed, he illustrates several points: Proficiency in a handful of distinct styles, different narratives, inspiring and fresh thoughts on a handful of topics, a few giggles both through content and through the cheekiness inherent in some of the writing styles. All in all, A History of the world in The fact that it is not the history of the world in I would have loved to read more stories.

Follow the author through more explorations, and hear more of his ideas. And if you have any sense — move Trust me, it is worth it. May 03, Ferda Nihat Koksoy rated it really liked it Shelves: Melunasi utang ripiu Terus terang buku ini sepertinya akan menjadi buku terahir yang dibaca bareng oleh "Durjana Book Club" setelah meronggeng bareng dalam buku Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk dan dan beromantis ria sekaligus curcol habis2an dibuku The Wednesday Letters dan setelah berkonferens sambil tereak2, sikut sana sikut sini, ledek sana ledek sini dengan diiringi puisi dengan daya setrum volt dari sang Malaikat Berbulu ahirnya diputuskan baca buku ini.

Oh, how I miss the moment ketika kaum durja Melunasi utang ripiu Terus terang buku ini sepertinya akan menjadi buku terahir yang dibaca bareng oleh "Durjana Book Club" setelah meronggeng bareng dalam buku Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk dan dan beromantis ria sekaligus curcol habis2an dibuku The Wednesday Letters dan setelah berkonferens sambil tereak2, sikut sana sikut sini, ledek sana ledek sini dengan diiringi puisi dengan daya setrum volt dari sang Malaikat Berbulu ahirnya diputuskan baca buku ini.

Oh, how I miss the moment ketika kaum durjana saling mendurjanai sesamanya, huhuhu Satu lagi alasan buat ngeberesin ripyunya yaitu ketika sedang ngalor ngidul lewat tengah malam dirumah Tinkerbell tiba2 topiknya nyampe ke buku ini dan langsung membuat seorang sekretaris club curhat melongo ketika disuruh membaca sebuah Bab dibuku ini. Nah karena bacanya udah lumayan lama plus bukuna minjem jadi rada2 sedikit lupa.

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Benang merahnya pokoknya nanti ujungnya nyambung lagi ke si ulat sotoy, perahu ama aer. Beda dengan kudanil, dihalaman satu aja kudanil disebut sebagai hewan yang harus diselamatkan. Tapi mengabaikan hal2 buruk membuat kalian akhirnya percaya bahwa hal-hal buruk tak pernah terjadi. Bab 2 Kalo tidak salah tentang catatan pengadilan antara masyarakat melawan ulat. D bab 4 gak ngerti.. Suatu kondisi dimana seseorang mengarang cerita untuk menutupi fakta-fakta yang tidak diketahuinya atau tidak tidak ingin diterima kebenarannya. Dia pertahankan sedikit fakta nyata dan merajut cerita baru disekelilingnya.

Awalnya ada awak yang ada di rakit darurat yang dibuat sesaat setelah kapal tenggelam, namun setelah terkatung2 selama 13 hari nyaris tanpa makanan dan minuman hanya 15 dari mereka yang selamat setelah melewati hari2 yang mengerikan dilautan dengan saling membunuh untuk mendapatkan makanan dan minuman. Mitos akan menjadi realita, betapapun skeptisnya kita.

Frasa yang agung dan kita harus memastikan kita layak mengucapkannya. Subyeknya adalah satu kata pendek. Kata kerjanya lebih panjang tapi tak kabur. Obyeknya, seperti subyeknya, tak punya konsonan dan dicapai dengan mendorong bibir kedepan seperti hendak mencium. D konon kabarnya ada beberapa paragraf di bab ini yang dibacakan didepan altar sebagai "janji setia" sebuah perkawinan. Mohon maap kalo ada yang bingung baca ripyu yang awut2an yang gak jelas juntrungannya ini Catatan: Ada pola, rencana, gerakan, ekspansi, barisan demokrasi; sejarah adalah sulaman, aliran kejadian, narasi rumit, berkaitan, terjelaskan.

Kita berusaha menutupinya, tapi sejarah tidak melupakannya. Waktu berpihak kepada sejarah; waktu dan ilmu. Betapapun kerasnya kita hapus pikiran semula, sejarah selalu menemukan cara untuk membacanya. View all 5 comments. Aug 05, Kristen rated it really liked it Shelves: Noah's Ark, animal trials, nuclear disaster, shipwrecks, moon landings, and much more. A history of the world, you might say. The connections between the stories are largely thematic boats, apocalypse, decay, pairs, sorting , and it's a really well executed example of this format.

Surely David Mitchell has read this, yes? A History is usually classed as a comic novel, and while it wasn't farcical or zany, it had an nice understated wit. I p These I particularly enjoyed the "Shipwreck" chapter, which recounted the story of the real wreck of the Medusa, followed by a discussion of a famous French painting based on that event.


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I ironically seem to enjoy reading about paintings more than I enjoy looking at them, but I appreciated that the book included a foldout color reproduction of the painting so you could follow along with the analysis. This chapter is where Barnes offers some of his most moving reflections on life, as seen through art: Jan 02, Beka Adamashvili rated it it was amazing. Apr 28, Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it Shelves: This book is a mixed bag and hard to categorize. Then two Irish women go on an expedition to a village on Mt. And an astronaut who walked on the moon abandons science for religion and searches the mo This book is a mixed bag and hard to categorize.

And an astronaut who walked on the moon abandons science for religion and searches the mountain for the Ark. A story based on the true saga of James Irwin. There are spin-offs of the Ark story such as that of a woman who has just suffered a break up, ends up in a psych ward, and imagines herself in a boat with two paired animals cats. References to wormwood, a stow-away on the Ark keep cropping up. Another theme is ships. There are true stories of the ship the St. Louis, loaded with Jewish refugees, turned away from Cuba in And a true story of a Titanic survivor.

Another theme is God and the reality or not of divine intervention symbolized by the ship on the horizon that may or may not see you lost at sea. We even get into art criticism in a story about a shipwreck and the resulting painting: The Raft of the Medusa by Gericault. Good stuff in an odd package. View all 12 comments. Jun 08, Paul Wright rated it liked it. An uneven work, although the second and first half of the fifth chapters are brilliant.

Noah in this telling is a little like the Mel Brooks Moses who was given fifteen. Here Noah loses most of his flotilla and a good part of the animal kingdom: Guilt, immaturity, the constant struggle to hold down a job b An uneven work, although the second and first half of the fifth chapters are brilliant. Guilt, immaturity, the constant struggle to hold down a job beyond your capabilities--it makes a powerful combination, one which would have had the same ruinous effect on most [men: It may be an ark, but one on which anthropophagy is rife; an ark skippered by some crazy graybeard who beats you round the head with his gopher-wood stave, and might pitch you overboard at any moment.

Jun 18, Karen rated it liked it. I love the story about his wife's neck and hair; very romantic. I believe the same wife was Martin Amis's agent and when he got a new agent J. Hence the three stars; I'm more interested in his dust-up with Martin Amis than his writing. I suppose that's a personal problem. Aug 30, Oon rated it liked it Shelves: What the book excels at the individual chapters each is eerily distinctive and holds a treasure trove of philosophical discourses and insights , it equally lacks in coherence and unity.

It is as if a peculiar curator decides to exhibit the Mona Lisa, Girl in a Pearl Earring, Guernica, and one of Monet's water lilies in a single room. One might marvel at each painting displayed, but can only speculate at the meaning of this all. May 23, John David rated it really liked it Shelves: It can feel more like a series of short stories than a traditional novel — however, one cannot avoid the interconnectedness they share.

Against whom do they file suit? The woodworms, of course. Even for fiction, this sounds twee and jokey, but it works in a most convincing way. I think it works so well because these pieces do hang together as something more than a series of stories, and many of them provide fascinating things to think about. For Oates, "Given the principle of repetition, of permutations and combinations, it is inevitable that some of Mr.

Barnes's prose pieces are more successful than others. If the reader does not come to the book with certain of the expectations of prose fiction - that ideas will be dramatized with such narrative momentum that one forgets they are 'ideas,' and that complete worlds will be evoked by way of prose, not merely discussed - this is a playful, witty and entertaining gathering of conjectures by a man to whom ideas are quite clearly crucial: It is sharp, funny and brilliant without suggesting that this sharpness, humour and brilliance is sufficient to carry through its purpose to any satisfactory conclusion.

Yet it is a significant novel, if only because it provides an inventory of the hoops through which the contemporary novelist has to jump if he wants to be taken seriously".


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He went on to claim that "there exists a whole pack of modern writers who delight in giving the game away, in telling you that they are making it up, in indulging in outrageous manipulations of character and plot. The result is that hardly anyone in these novels — brilliant novels, swimming with lively conceits — has that most necessary fictional quality, a life of their own" and that " A History is another of these newfangled romps, a series of neat, artfully stage-managed stories which combine to create a bizarre, off-centre view of world history".

In the end, he decided, "This is an entertaining book, containing any number of sparkling jokes, but to suggest, as one or two people have begun to suggest, that it pushes back some sort of fictional frontier would be a mistake. Tous les significations sont arbitraires, ["all significations are arbitrary"] as a French theorist once put it. Well, we knew that". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article relies too much on references to primary sources. Please improve this by adding secondary or tertiary sources. August Learn how and when to remove this template message.

Retrieved 11 May Retrieved 12 May Retrieved from " https: Articles lacking reliable references from August All articles lacking reliable references Pages to import images to Wikidata. Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 19 July , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. And this is where Barnes disappoints: I can't remember reading a novel which showed so little interest in the politics of everyday relationships - or one, at any rate, which isolated them so ruthlessly from the speculative realm of 'ideas'.

This bring us to the Parenthesis, or half-chapter, which begins as confessional - Barnes telling us how much he loves his wife - and then turns into a digression on love which manages, somehow, to be both too florid and too cool at the same time. This section wins top marks for courage, although quizzing readers on how we are to interpret the behavioural tics of the author's sleeping wife feels like an invitation to voyeurism which I think we are entitled to resist.

There's another problem with this authorial heart-on-sleeve stuff, too: As one perceptive critic put it in It is the Catch of fiction. Readers of this novel will feel awed, I'm sure, by the range of its concerns, the thoroughness of its research, and the agility with which it covers its ground.