Silly to worry about
Before She Met Me
in Julian Barnes
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Before She Met Me (1982) is a study of uxoriousness just as much as jealousy in an otherwise unremarkable marriage. Barnes's second novel can be read on its own as a darkly comic story of paranoid love leading to violence and self-destruction. It is also an attack on the view that the sexual revolution of the 1960s was uniformly liberating. Its central characters constitute a triad of a kind that will be familiar in Barnes's novels: a woman and two men. The main themes of the novel concern the relationship between reason and passion at a particular point in social history, advocating how the 1960s changed sexual manners but not feelings, and emphasizing how difficult it can be to control primitive but unwanted emotions.

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