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Friday, January 8, 2016

Adding in memories, and dreams

“When I started writing, I was a great rationalist and believed I was absolutely in control. But the older one gets, the more confused, and for an artist I think that is quite a good thing: you allow in more of your instinctual self; your dreams, fantasies and memories. It's richer, in a way.” – John Banville

Recognised for his precise, cold, forensic prose style, and for the dark humor of his generally arch narrators, Banville is considered to be both a contender for the Nobel Prize and one of the most imaginative literary novelists writing today.

Born on this date in 1945, Banville, who makes his home in Ireland, writes in two styles – one his highly developed literary style and the second as crimewriter Benjamin Black.  He said he likes crime fiction because he has to be less artistic and can turn out work more quickly.  Among his best-known crime stories is the best-selling Christine Falls.

As himself, Banville has written several trilogies, including The Revolutions Trilogy, focused on great men of science, and Frames, consisting of his popular The Book of Evidence, Ghosts, and  
                                         Athena, all exploring great works of art. 
“Sometimes, in the middle of the afternoon if I'm feeling a little bit sleepy, Black will sort of lean in over Banville's shoulder and start writing,” he said.  “Or Banville will lean over Black's shoulder and say, ‘Oh that's an interesting sentence, let's play with that.’  I can see sometimes, revising the work, the points at which one crept in or the two sides seeped into each other.” 

But, “With the crime novels, it's delightful to have protagonists I can revisit in book after book. It's sort-of like having a fictitious family.”

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