The Porcupine

The Porcupine by Julian Barnes

One man stands for the old ideology, the other for the new ideal. But here the familiarity ends.

With the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, the deposed Party leader Stoyo Petkanov is standing trial for crimes against his country. Unrepentant, Petkanov faces his chief prosecutor, Peter Solinsky, questioning Solinsky's (and the country's) ideas of history and nationalism. Because Barnes takes us through the trail—and inside the thoughts of the two protagonists—we sense that the line drawn between the present and the past, between accuser and accused, may have already begun to fade…



The Porcupine by Julian Barnes
English Editions

The Porcupine. London: Jonathan Cape, 1992. £9.99

The Porcupine. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. $17.00

The Porcupine. Toronto: Random House, 1992. $19.50

'The Opening of The Porcupine'. 23.5 x 15.5 cm. Pp.32
[Pamphlet in stiff olive colored wrappers. Distributed by Knopf for promotional purposes in a box with three other similar pamphlets: 'Rattlesnake Farming', by Kathryn Krumer; 'The English Patient', by Michael Ondaatje; and 'City of Light' by Michael Doane.]

Translated Editions

Bulgarian - Bodlivo svinche. Sofia: Obsidian Press, 1992. Pp. 128. Translated by Dimitrina Kondeva. ISBN: 9548240017

German - Das Stachelschwein. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2006. Pp. 160. Translated by Stefan Howald and Ingrid Heinrich-Jost. ISBN: 9783462600025. Other editions: Zürich: Haffmans Verlag, 1992. Pp. 153. Translated by Stefan Howald and Ingrid Heinrich-Jost. München: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, 1993. Pp. 173.

Hebrew - Tel-Aviv: Zmora-Bitan, 1992. Pp. 143.

Danish - Pindsvinet. København: Tiderne Skifter, 1993. Pp. 137 [1]. Translated by Henning Juul Madsen.

Dutch - Het stekelvarken. Amsterdam/Antwerpen: Uitgeverij Atlas, 1993. Pp. 144. Translated by Frans van der Wiel.

French - Le porc-épic. Paris: Éditions Denoël, 1993. Pp. 203 [1]. Translated by Raymond Las Vergnas. Other edition: Denoël Folio, 1995. Pp. 203 [1].

Greek - Ho skantzochoiros. Athens: Ekdoseis Psichogios, 1993. Pp. 143. Translated by Demosthenes Kourtovik.

Finnish - Piikki-sika. Porvoo Helsinki Juva: WSOY, 1993. Pp. 155 [1]. Translated by Kristiina Drews.

Italian - Il porcospino. Milano: RCS Rizzoli Libri, 1993. Pp. 153 [1]. Translated by Riccardo Mainardi.

Swedish - Piggsvinet. Stockholm: Forum Publishers, 1993. Pp. 231 [1]. Translated by Ingvar Skogsberg.

Turkish - Oklukirpi. Istanbul: Ayrinti Yayinlari, 2006. Pp. 128. Translated by Serdar Rifat Kirkoglu. ISBN: 9789755392349. Other edition: Istanbul: Mitos, 1993. Pp. 151. Translated by Serdar Rifat Kiroglu.

Finnish - Pinnsrinet. WSOY, 1994. Pp. 103. Translated by Knut Ofstad.

Norwegian - Pinnsvinet. Oslo: Aschehoug, 1994. Pp. 103. Translated by Knut Ofstad.

Polish - Jezozwierz. Poznan: Dom Wydawniczy Rebis, 1994. Pp. 134 [1]. Translated by Tomasz Bieron.

Spanish - El puercoespín (The Porcupine). Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 1994. Pp. 174. Translated by Francisco Javier Calzadu. ISBN: 9788433906427.

Russian - Dikobraz, In Inostrannaia literatura. Moskva: "Izvestiia", 1995/96. ISSN: 0130-6545. p.36-95. Translated by E. Khramova.

Portuguese - O Porco-Espinho. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Rocco, 1996. Pp. 117. Translated by Roberto Grey.

Romanian - Porcul spinos. Bucuresti: Nemira, 2007. Pp. 192. Translated by Mihai Moroiu. ISBN: 9789735699581.


12/1997 - Into the Lion's Mouth: A Conversation with Julian Barnes - Michael March, The New Presence [Conversations with Julian Barnes]
[The conversation seems to center around Barnes's influences and his book The Porcupine.]

11/1993 - Julian Barnes: Un savoureux éclectisme - Claude Mourthé, Magazine littéraire (315) p.96-102 [French interview upon the publication of Le porc-épic.]

1993 - Conversar Con el Presente: Entrevista Con Julian Barnes - Miguel Ángel Quemain, Quimera (124) p.24-30 [Spanish interview upon the publication of El puercoespín.]


Fall 1997 - Michael R. Whealen, The College Quarterly

03/22/1995 - Sharp as a quill - Dave Riley, Green Left Weekly
[Alasdair Ward, The Marxist Review of Books. (Reproduced from Living Marxism issue 52, February 1993.)]

12/17/1992 - Time of Indifference - John Bayley, New York Review of Books p.30-32

11/13/1992 - The Big Match - Julian Duplain, New Statesman & Society p.34-35

11/07/1992 - Not Deep, but Crisp and Even - Francis King, Spectator p.55-56

11/1992 - Courtroom Drama - James Atlas, Vogue p.188, 190

11/1992 - Full of Prickles - Robert Harris, Literary Review p.26

10/30/1992 - Show Trial, New Style - Peter Kemp, Times Literary Supplement p.19

French Translation

12/18/1993 - Leçon de relativité - Denis Gennart, Libre Belgique p.5

12/04/1993 - Julian Barnes: le sourire du diable - Manuel Carcassonne, Le Point p.120

11/18/1993 - Julian Barnes: héros et truands - Renaud Matignon, Figaro Littéraire p.1

11/17/1993 - Le sourire du vieil homme - Dominique Durand, Canard Enchaîné p.7

11/1993 - Julian Barnes: un savoureux éclectisme - Claude Mourthé, Magazine Littéraire (315) p.96-102

10/07/1993 - Le temps des ganaches - Frédéric Vitoux, Le Nouvel Observateur p.124

Italian Translation

10/30/1993 - Il Porcospino di Barnes processa il comunismo - D'Amico Masolino, La Stampa p.2

1993 - Cani neri e porcospini: il bestiario politico della nuova narrativa inglese - Silvia Albertazzi, Problemi (97) p.140-150