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Journal: 1887-1910 Reviews

Journal: 1887-1910 by Jules Renard, Julian Barnes

Journal 1887-1910 (riverrun editions): an exclusive new selection of the astounding French classic

Jules Renard, Julian Barnes

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: riverrun
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Publication date: 1 Oct 2020
ISBN: 9781787475595

Julian Barnes' exclusive selection from the classic French work, newly translated by Theo Cuffe

4 stars out of 5
Laura Freeman
13 Nov 2020

"a journal full of witty observations by a pleasingly philistine literary figure"

Renard is pleasingly unpretentious (“I am of the uncouth sort who, at table, says thank you to servants and prefers a forkful of beetroot to a truffle”) and conspiringly philistine. Pseuds, philosophers and poets all come in for a pricking. The poet Paul Verlaine is “frightful”: “A dreary Socrates, a soiled Diogenes; part dog, part hyena.” Claude Monet’s Water Lilies are “too pretty”: “It is painting for women — who cannot argue with it.” The Swiss artist Félix Vallotton paints with “the petty dreariness of an upholsterer”.