“Dream is a second life. I have never been able to cross through those gates of ivory or horn which separate us from the invisible world without a sense of dread. The first few instants of sleep are the image of death; a drowsy numbness steals over our thoughts, and it becomes impossible to determine the precise point at which the self, in some other form, continues to carry on the work of existence.”
On Gérard de Nerval and lobster-walking.
“When you are old, I want you to recall those few hours [with me], I want your dry bones to quiver with joy when you think of them.” Gustave Flaubert in a letter to Louise Colet.
Through the Window, Julian Barnes’s sparkling new collection of essays, is a veritable treasure house of letters on novels and their authors…due to the personal nature of the format, Barnes’s examinations of these authors can’t help but say a little something about the essayist. In both Kipling and Ford, he strives to unearth the ties and sentiments which he holds most dear, which most impact upon his novels, those of an Anglo inexorably bound to France.