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Reading the Archives: the Construction of Character in Julian Barnes’s Talking It Over and Love, etc.

Abstract : The aim of this article is to examine the meticulous way in which Julian Barnes created his characters in the diptych Talking It Over (1991) and Love, etc. (2000) through an exploration of his archives, more specifically his preliminary notes, sketches and drafts. These archival documents shed light on the protagonists’ main characteristics and functions which Barnes sketched from the start. They also reveal the writer’s great care in devising idiosyncratic languages for each character, which are reflective of their personalities. The paper comments in particular on the linguistic choices made by Barnes to ensure that each voice was singular. The writer was also attentive to the balance of power between the characters and the genetic dossier for the two novels reveals that he devised the female character in the trio as the “prime mover”. By casting light on the living process of literary creation, this article uncovers the intricate palimpsest of Barnes’s work and helps understand the writer’s unique approach to characterisation.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03045786
Contributor : Vanessa Guignery <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 10:42:33 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 3:32:54 AM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-03045786, version 1

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Vanessa Guignery. Reading the Archives: the Construction of Character in Julian Barnes’s Talking It Over and Love, etc.. Çankaya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, Çankaya University, 2020, 14 (2), pp.141-157. ⟨halshs-03045786⟩

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