Tuesday 28 March 2023

#Blogtour Elizabeth Finch by Julian Barnes

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Elizabeth Finch by Julian Barnes.

About the Author

Julian Barnes is the author of thirteen novels, including The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and Sunday Times bestsellers The Noise of Time and The Only Story. He has also written three books of short stories, four collections of essays and three books of non-fiction, including the Sunday Times number one bestseller Levels of Life and Nothing To Be Frightened Of, which won the 2021 Yasnaya Polyana Prize in Russia. In 2017 he was awarded the LĂ©gion d'honneur.

About the book

She will change the way you see the world . . .  Elizabeth Finch was a teacher, a thinker, an inspiration. Neil is just one of many who fell under her spell during his time in her class. Tasked with unpacking her notebooks after her death, Neil encounters once again Elizabeth's astonishing ideas on the past and on how to make sense of the present.

But Elizabeth was much more than a scholar. Her secrets are waiting to be revealed . . . and will change Neil's view of the world forever.


Isn't Finch the core of what Barnes purports to be the core of his supposition. Where does the character begin and end, and the idea that history is always merely an interpretation. A narrative filtered through privilege, frame of reference, and of course the winner writes the script for future readers.

Also implicitly suggesting that the people interpret and yet despite the knowledge are set in a loop that always end in destruction. - Probably explains why no civilisation ever learns from history. Let's turn that around though and go back to the interpretation, which is always written by the above and interpreted in a way that suits the narrative.

It would be easy to let this become a four page essay or word by word deconstruction of this novella length read - under 200 pages. I think perhaps I'll take a page from the ideas the author presents, the interpretation of the work through individual filters destined to arrive at similar destinations and results, but surely the logical fallacy there is the assumption that the repetition is reliant on a similar set of fixed constructs - over and over again - with same or similar results.

What I would like to draw out of the story, is the role Finch plays in the lives of those she teaches, in this case especially Neil. Any person capable of opening students up to the ability to examine, question and re-evaluate what we think we know and teach them to be independent thinkers - is someone worthy of a place in our own history.

It's a complex and compelling piece of literature.

Buy Elizabeth Finch at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Vintage Books; pub date 23 February 2023 - A Vintage paperback £9.99 | Hardback | ebook. Buy at Amazon com.

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