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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Diving 'Into The Mysterious'

“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

Born in Ireland on this date in 1945, Banville has been labeled "one of the most imaginative literary novelists writing in the English language today" by The Washington Post.   He has won numerous awards, including The Booker Prize for The Sea, the Guinness Peat Aviation Award for The Book of Evidence, and both the Franz Kafka Prize and the Irish PEN Award for his life’s body of work.

Sometimes termed “a dark writer,” he said his stated  ambition is to give his prose "the kind of denseness and thickness that poetry has.”  He also is a noted crime writer (as Benjamin Black), and a journalist -- writing for The New York Review of Books, The Irish Press and  
The Irish Times, where he became literary editor in 1998.

 Considered by critics to be "a master stylist," Banville has been described as "perfectly crafted, beautiful, and dazzling. David Mehegan of the Boston Globe calls him "one of the great stylists writing in English today, and Banville himself said he is "trying to blend poetry and fiction into some new form.”

 “I want my art to make people look at the world in a new way,” he said.   “I mean, what's the point of the art of writing if it doesn't take you into the mysterious?”

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