In 'Bark', Jeanne-Etiene Delacour takes pleasure in the avoidance of any threat to his longevity. Formerly a gourmand and a gambler but now an ascetic, his fastidious new lifestyle is the result of an investment in a public works project - one which holds the promise of considerable reward for the last investor to survive. As he draws black lines through the thirty-nine names in his pocket book, the human capacity to rationalise any indulgence is explored.
In 'The Silence', a composer attests that silence is the logical conclusion to music. He considers the silence that has been in effect throughout the interminable wait for his Eight Symphony, and how it will segue into the silence that will follow the end of his life - a life he claims to have sacrificed on the altar of his art.
Part of the Storycuts series, these two stories were previously published in the collection The Lemon Table.
No year is complete without a bit of reading reflection, and as we gaze at 2019's shelves, we're more than a bit pleased with the boldness and breadth of the last 12 months of VINTAGE books. From an insider's look at the realities of modern-day poverty to an acclaimed expose of the data bias towards men, and a long-awaited, Booker-winning dystopian smash hit, here are 10 of the biggest highlights.
An extract from the archive edition of Metroland
Man Booker Prize-winner Julian Barnes discusses the cover design of his new novel, The Noise of Time, with Suzanne Dean. Joined by Alex Clark, they recall key moments in their twenty-year working relationship, as well as the iconic covers that have been created.