New Julian Barnes: With Boehm against Brexit

New Julian Barnes: With Boehm against Brexit

Julian Barnes is considered one of the most hostile opponents of Brexit in his country. He wrote his new book while the exit talks continued. The “man in red skirt”, hence the title, goes back to the time of Belle इpoque, but has much to do with the current relationship between the United Kingdom and Europe.

Julian Barnes said in a Guardian interview, “Extreme nationalism, anti-Semitism and great xenophobia prevailed at the end of the 19th century, so this time was as terrible as it is today.” Barnes, however, came across as a man who opposed nationalist currents.

Pozzi, a wise man in a crazy time…

… Julian Barnes writes about his Samuel Posey in “The Man in the Red Skirt”.

Journey of mind for Belle quepoque

Unlike his previous book “The Noise of Time” about composer Dmitry Shostakovich, this time Julian Barnes does not present a novel, but an essay that revolves over time.

Gertrude Kruger, who has been translating Barnes books into German for more than thirty years, says, “The longness of the subject and then the Barnes reflection on the subject of Barnes and this constant change of style bring great variety.”

Doctor heartbreaker

But who was this Samuel Pozzi? As a Frenchman of Italian descent, he made his career as a doctor in Paris and treated the celebrities of his time. Among them was Sarah Barnhart, the actress with ‘Divya Sara’, with whom she had an affair. One of Posey’s many cases was during his life. Which did not detract from his reputation as a doctor and scientist. His textbook on gynecology was recognized worldwide as a basic work. There, in the introduction, Julian Barnes found a sentence that won him the posy:

Chauvinism is an expression of ignorance.

With this attitude Samuel Pozzi was the perfect companion for Julian Barnes on his tour of Belle ोकpoque.

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What can we know

Barnes portrays a kaleidoscope-like image of a kaleidoscope, which grabs its way between the political and the private, between art and scandals, and in this way to an understanding of the thoughtful world of the time, which is precise in detail. And right for life.

Translator Gertrude Kruger states, “What can we know? A central question for Barnes, and where there are no sources, he says quite openly, and this sentence can be found several times in the book: We do not know.”


Dual epoch

Julian Barnes described political events, such as how the Dreyfus process divided France, or how England and France stood on the brink of war. In the same way, it enters the mindset of society and shows its violent and deranged side through the increasing number of couples. The future Secretary of War, George Klemenko, fought no less than twenty-two doubles in his life, we learn.

Bohemian life

The cultural life of that time is also very central to Barnes. Oscar Wilde or Marcel Proust appear and you read about the unending lust for the bohemian disguise, which staged itself in front of the camera in oriental, Japanese or Renaissance clothing. It was also Boehm that ensured a lively exchange between Paris and London, while conservative forces fanned the reservation.

“I have a strong sense that Barnes’ preoccupation with Barnes was the trigger in the events surrounding Brexit. Because he repeatedly emphasizes how important cultural relations between France and England were. And the rest of Europe,” Translator Gertrude Kruger says.

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Moving form

Along with Samuel Pozzi, Julian Barnes has found a fantastic linchpin, as Pozzi went hunting with the French president and went on an art shopping tour to London with his beau friends. Barnes and Pozzi can let their gaze wander in all directions, and this “The Man in the Red Skirt” makes an incredibly dazzling portrait of time.


Julian Barnes, “The Man in the Red Skirt”, Keppenhair and Witsch



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About the Author: Rusty Kemp

Tv ninja. Lifelong analyst. Award-winning music evangelist. Professional beer buff. Incurable zombie specialist.

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