Something to Declare: Essays on France and French Culture
Barnes' long and passionate relationship with La Belle France began 40 years ago, and in these essays on the country and its culture, he combines a lively appreciation, a seemingly infinite sphere of reference, and prose as stylish as classic haute couture.
From the front Cover Anyone who loves France (or just feels strongly about it), or has succumbed to the spell of Julian Barnes's previous books, will be enraptured by this collection of essays on the country and its culture. Barnes's appreciation extends from France's vanishing peasantry to its hyper-literate pop singers, from the gleeful iconoclasm of nouvelle vague cinema to the orgy of drugs and suffering that is the Tour de France. Above all, Barnes is an unparalleled connoisseur of French writing and writers. Here are the prolific and priapic Simenon, Baudelaire, Sand and Sartre, and several dazzling excursions on the prickly genius of Flaubert. Lively yet discriminating in its enthusiasm, seemingly infinite in its range of reference, and written in prose as stylish as haute couture, Something to Declare is an unadulterated joy.