The art of words is a mysterious one to learn. The art of words is an even mysterious one to understand; given certain recent events of the past. However, lives up to this mysterious expectation, a masterpiece of art and words – The Sense of an ending – by Julian Barnes, an author who can complete an entire life cycle in just few statements while retaining all the beauties and disparities that life throws at one.

No Spoilers ahead. Here are a few lines that I find intriguing, mind boggling and makes me respect the author’s creativity.

On History:

“History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.”

On Remembrance:

“What you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed.”

On History again:

“History isn’t the lies of the victors, as I once glibly assured Old Joe Hunt; I know that now. It’s more the memories of the survivors, most of whom are neither victorious or defeated.”

On life one more time (especially those waiting for the extra push):

“We thought we were being mature when we were only being safe. We imagined we were being responsible but were only being cowardly. What we called realism turned out to be a way of avoiding things rather than facing them.”

Finally the most intriguing of all (read slowly and absorb as much as you can)

“I certainly believe we all suffer damage, one way or another. How could we not,except in a world of perfect parents, siblings, neighbours, companions? And then there is the question on which so much depends, of how we react to the damage: whether we admit it or repress it,and how this affects our dealings with others.Some admit the damage, and try to mitigate it;some spend their lives trying to help others who are damaged; and there are those whose main concern is to avoid further damage to themselves, at whatever cost. And those are the ones who are ruthless, and the ones to be careful of.”

A wonderful and short read (just 150 quarter A4 size pages) , this book made Julian Barnes win the Man Booker prize 2011.

Find it here

Hope you enjoy it!