In his new book (a memoir really) Nothing to be Frightened of Julian Barnes reveals, as a literary performance, the full extent of his fear of death (or thanatophobia)- why, the poor poppet wakes up at night screaming and chewing his pillow at the prospect of eternal extinction. No more book awards! No more cool reviews from John Walsh in the Indy! Oh woe, cruel world! Fashionably, he is a devout member of the Literary Godless Religion (Christopher Hitchens is its current Archbish; M Amis one of the vicars) - "I don’t believe in God, but I miss him," Barnes writes, largely because the divinely-inspired painted prettier pictures on church windows, so far as I can tell. He tells us he's a melancholic person.
Mr Barnes will be appalled to learn that he is very true to his horoscope - he's just an astro-puppet really. Born on January 19, 1946, in Leicester, he is a Capricorn - with quite a Cappy (serious, ambitious, doleful) chart. Saturn in his ninth house promises much anxiety, or to quote my source: "In a practical sense, your attitude to all higher intellectual functions is that of a studious, serious, and meditative person. You must, however, be attentive to the possible presence of several challenging elements in your intellectual make-up such as depression, fear, and severity." This placement indicates a preoccupation with the impermanence of all things. His fear of death could just mean he's a cosmic grasper.
Still, his Venus in the fourth house promises a happy old age so perhaps that'll cheer up misery-guts.
And a Happy Easter to one and all - enjoy this German pagan festival, scheduled to happen just a day after the Full Moon. V astrological.