Julian Barnes is an interesting and award-winning novelist. In recent years he has fought against the closure of public libraries in Britain – a hugely important campaign. I loved his novels Flaubert’s Parrot and Arthur and George. But for all of you who love art, I can highly recommend his 2015 book of essays, Keeping an Eye Open. It gives his personal response to various paintings, from Géricault’s ‘The Raft of the Medusa’, Cézanne’s apples, to works by Magritte and Freud. I loved the way he so often linked artists to literature and was fascinated by his commentary on the paintings. Barnes goes into small details which the average viewer might well miss, shows a deep background knowledge of the lives of the artists and a great love of art.
I did not know until recently that Barnes also writes mystery novels, under the name of Dan Kavanagh. I must give those a try soon.
Have you read Keeping an Eye Open or any of Julian Barnes’ books? Tell me your thoughts in a comment.