A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes - review by Anne Smith

Anne Smith

Nothing To Touch It

A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters


Jonathan Cape 256pp £10.95 order from our bookshop

'I . . . feel that there is a positive value in prescnting world history to the general public. Even if we do not know it, the history of the world is part of our mental furniture.' (J M Roberts, The Pelican History of the World).

'We get scared by history; we allow ourselves to be bullied by dates. In fourteen hundred and ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
And then what? Everyone became wiser? People stopped building new ghettoes in which to practise the old persecutions? ' (Julian Barnes)

The only instructive history of the world is a history of love, the aspirations of love and its failures: 'those who get their satisfaction from other things,' Barnes asserts, 'are living empty lives, are posturing crabs who swagger the sea-bed in borrowed shells.' But 'If we are to oppose love

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