Nothing to Be Frightened ofBook - 2008
The grace with which Barnes weaves together all of these threads makes the experience of reading the book nothing less than exhilarating. Although he cautions us that "this is not my autobiography," the book nonetheless reveals much about Barnes the man and the novelist: how he thinks and how he writes and how he lives. At once deadly serious and dazzlingly playful, Nothing to Be Frightened Of is a wise, funny and constantly surprising tour of the human condition.
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"For Montaigne, the death of youth, which often takes place unnoticed, is the harder death; what we habitually refer to as 'death' is no more than the death of old age ... The leap from the attenuated survival of senescence into non-existence is much easier than the sly transition from heedless youth to crabbed and regretful age." (p. 41-2)
"We may allow Death, like God, to be [occasionally ironic] ... The essential difference remains: God might be dead, but Death is well alive. ... 'Death is sweet; it delivers us from the fear of death.' Is this not a comfort?" (p. 205, 209)
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