Because I’m between real interviews, and because I’m such a swooning fan of John Banville’s, and because I’ve been unable to locate Banville to see if he’d participate in one of my little Q-and-A’s, I’ve invented one to fill my spot this week.
Banville is an Irish writer who often writes about horrible men in astonishly rich, beautiful prose — the cliched comparison is to Nabokov, and for whatever reason, it’s a combination that I find irresistable. He’s an incredibly vivid writer, and he makes you feel his world distinctly. The language itself is complex and ambitious and lush — verging on the too-pretty, but never quite getting there. Some of his books seem, at times, virtually plotless, while others develop the tension of a great mystery. He also writes thrillers under the pen name Benjamin Black, which I will read the moment I finish the Banville catalog.
Anyway, here is my pretend interview with John Banville.
How are you feeling about death these days, John?
We seem to live in a state of constant anxiety about the book, about reading. Should more people read?
Why did you begin writing crime fiction under the name Benjamin Black?
Did you ever do a reading and interview with the National Post about your recent book, The Infinities?
OK, good enough. If you’re interested in reading Banville, I recommend The Book of Evidence or The Sea as places to start.
And next week I’ll be back with a real interview — a Q-and-A with Ecotone editor Ben George.