Tell me yours: <i>Talking It Over</i> and <i>Love, etc</i>

Peter Childs

in Julian Barnes

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780719081064
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700020 | DOI:
Tell me yours: Talking It Over and Love, etc

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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Barnes's love-triangle novels Talking It Over (1991) and Love, etc (2001) delineate three undistinguished interlinked lives, once more adhering to a fictional preoccupation with the ordinary over, for example, journalism's almost exclusive focus on the extraordinary. Stuart, Gillian and Oliver are the principal narrators and take turns to tell aspects of the story from their own point of view. In the first novel, Stuart and Gillian marry and the unfolding story follows the loquacious and erudite Oliver's growing obsession with Gillian, who eventually leaves Stuart for his best friend. The sequel throws this process into reverse as the practical and dogmatic Stuart tries to win Gillian back; it concludes with Gillian still married to Oliver, but pregnant by Stuart. An open ending underscores Barnes's own resistance to conclusions, certainties and categorizations that distort the particularities of life and art in the search for grand narratives.

Keywords: Julian Barnes; love triangle; Talking It Over; Love, etc; open ending

Chapter.  5956 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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