I totally don't even care that I'm blurry in this picture. Before this I asked him to autograph my copy of England, England that I used for my A Level Literature exam and somehow I managed to produce words that sounded coherent - you're my favourite writer, I read this for A Level literature, blah blah; the usual crap - and he kindly signed my book and after that I felt myself shaking. Then I hung around the lecture theatre and he was still standing around talking to people and I decided that I had to have a picture. I almost asked him to sign The Sense of an Ending but alas, I wasn't thick skinned enough to approach him for the third time.
I didn't really care for the topic of the discussion since I avoid translations like the plague; in fact, one of the speakers - a famous translator - talked about how subjective the whole process is, which only reinforced my hostility towards reading translated novels (you're not really reading the novel as the writer had intended, but someone else's interpretation of what the writer had intended, including his choice of words and writing style, which are some of the most important elements of a novel to me). I really just wanted to see Julian Barnes in person. I was a bit surprised that he had a little lisp (probably 'cause he's old) but other than that, he was very much as witty in person and sardonically funny as he is in his writing. The chair of the event asked him his thoughts on translating Flaubert's Madame Bovary as 'Mrs Bovary', and he looked at the guy with this look of 'what the fuck is he on about' on his face, and then replied, "It's just daft."
I can't believe I finally saw him in person. I've met two of my favourite famous people in the world in London - first Roger, and now Julian Barnes. How can I leave this city? How? HOW?
Fuck, I really need a damn job.
Off on my road trip with Arnaud soon. Can't wait!