Julian Barnes: on a desert island I’d take “Uncle Vanya” by Chekhov

Джулиан Барнс: на необитаемый остров я бы взял "Дядю Ваню" Чехова

British writer Julian Barnes has described the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov and admitted that he would take on a desert island his play “Uncle Vanya”, this he said during a public interview at the fair of intellectual literature non/fiction.

Meeting with the British writer Julian Barnes, organized by the British Council and publishing house “Azbuka-Atticus” was held on Saturday in the Central House of artists (CHA). The UK was the fair guest of honor non/fiction this year, which became the cross Year of language and literature of the two countries.

Barnes known as the author of “England, England”, “Flaubert’s Parrot” and others. His last novel, “Noise of time” devoted to the life of the great Russian composer Dmitry Shostakovich.

“In Russian, I do not read anymore (in his youth he had studied Russian language — approx. ed.) but in high school I read “Asya” by Turgenev and I think “Childhood” Tolstoy, but with him I was in trouble. Also a bit read Chekhov, whom I consider the greatest playwright of all pre-except Shakespeare, of course. If I could take only one book on a desert island, it would be “Uncle Vanya”. Perhaps this play is even greater than Shakespeare. Don’t tell anyone about this in London,” admitted Barnes.

He said that in the morning we visited the Tretyakov gallery, where he saw many portraits of Russian writers — Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoevsky, which he admired.

“I like coming to visit old friends,” said Barnes.