The Sense Of An Ending

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0120110808Julian Barnes' new novel challenges the stories we tell about our own lives and the interpretations we put on events in order to construct a version we can live with.

Tony Webster met Adrian Finn in the 6th form of a boys school in London, it was the early sixties and the future glowed bright for the small group of friends, especially for Adrian who was the bright young academic star of the year.

It was Adrian who quoted the crucial definition of history, and skewered it with an example of the death of a fellow student who had got his girlfriend pregnant:

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

'Is it, indeed? Where did you find that?'

'Lagrange, sir.

Patrick Lagrange.

He's French.'

'So one might have guessed.

Would you care to give us an example?'

'Robson's suicide, sir.'

Memories of their classroom debates and student friendship are triggered by an unexpected legacy forty years after Adrian's death.

It is only then that the now retired Tony begins to look back and re-examine events in the light of new evidence.

Read by Julian Barnes

Producer: Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

Our narrator looks back on where it all began: the arrival of Adrian Finn at his school.

Tony Webster met Adrian Finn in the 6th form of a boys school in London, it was the early sixties and the future glowed bright for the small group of friends, especially for Adrian who was the bright young academic star of the year. It was Adrian who quoted the crucial definition of history, and skewered it with an example of the death of a fellow student who had got his girlfriend pregnant:

'Lagrange, sir. Patrick Lagrange. He's French.'

'So one might have guessed. Would you care to give us an example?'

Memories of their classroom debates and student friendship are triggered by an unexpected legacy forty years after Adrian's death. It is only then that the now retired Tony begins to look back and re-examine events in the light of new evidence.

0220110809Julian Barnes' new novel challenges the stories we tell about our own lives and the interpretations we put on events in order to construct a version we can live with.

The friends have dispersed to university where Tony finally acquires a girlfriend, Veronica.

He is invited to spend a weekend at her family's home in Chiselhurst.

Read by Julian Barnes

Producer: Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

The friends have dispersed to university where Tony finally acquires a girlfriend.

The friends have dispersed to university where Tony finally acquires a girlfriend, Veronica. He is invited to spend a weekend at her family's home in Chiselhurst.

0320110810Julian Barnes' new novel challenges the stories we tell about our own lives and the interpretations we put on events in order to construct a version we can live with.

After the end of his relationship with Veronica the narrator, Tony, receives a surprising letter from his old schoolfriend, and is not impressed.

Read by Julian Barnes

Producer: Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

After the end of his relationship with Veronica, Tony receives a surprising letter.

0420110811Julian Barnes' new novel challenges the stories we tell about our own lives and the interpretations we put on events in order to construct a version we can live with.

Forty years on: baffled by the legacy left to him by Veronica's mother, Tony manages to get in touch with his former girlfriend to ask for an explanation.

Read by Julian Barnes

Producer: Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

05 LAST20110812Julian Barnes' new novel challenges the stories we tell about our own lives and the interpretations we put on events in order to construct a version we can live with.

Veronica decides she needs to show Tony some historical evidence.

Read by Julian Barnes

Producer: Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.