September 12, 2005



Great stuff, Mark. Looking forward to next Monday and part two. Just through the strength of this interview (and, I suppose, a few words over the last year from you), Banville's now officially next up on my reading list.



Somewhere in the archealogical rubble that is my archive I have an untranscibed unpublished chat with Banville— it can probably rest there quite a bit longer.

Dan Wickett

Excellent so far Mark - especially considering it's the beginning of your sit down with somebody you so obviously admire. I'd expect much more of a Farley - McCartney SNL type of beginning were I ever to sit down with such a favorite.



Also looking forward to part 2.

I'm inspired by Banville's response to the Grand Canyon. The next time I meet up with the sublime, I'm heading straight for the nearest gin and tonic.


Good stuff, Mark. Looking forward to the rest. Have you read Troubles? It's terrific.

John Shannon

The whole Farrell end-of-empire "trilogy" is terrific, and each utterly different from the others. I think my favorite is probably Khrishnapur, but still--who can ever forget that decaying hotel in Troubles dropping its bits from time to time?


Let's try that again. Transcribing is quite a feat, especially when you have so much ground to cover with Banville. I'm very into your interview and will be going out to purchase Banville right away. His take on things is so incredibly interesting. I can see why you admire him so--and what a treat for you to sit and talk with him for so long! Good for you, Mark! Did he remember MOTEV's cell phone?

comic book guy

best. banville. review. ever.

..couldn't resist. JG Farrell and Bart Simpson on the same page? Very good.
Possibly RB elbowing his way in on Pynchon's territory?


Dan ... LOL!!! I love that sketch (and am a huge Beatles fan AND actually did interview McCartney years ago) ... The Sancerre surely helped. Karen, no I haven't but I do plan to. Angela, yes, he did. Actually, the first words out of my mouth when he sat down was to apologize but he was completely sympathetic, pleading his own technological struggles.


Oooo, must we wait 'till next Monday? Fiddlesticks.


Great job, Mark, I'm very impressed and looking forward to the next one. I don't usually wish that Monday would arrive sooner.

Perry Middlemiss

You were right the first time, almost: Shroud did make the Booker longlist, but in 2002. The Booker has funny eligibility dates.

Binyavanga Wainaina

I sneaked in here to read Banville's review of Saturday a few weeks ago - a book I loathed for no reason I could articulate at the time. I discovered Banville this year, (a sunburnt copy of The Book of Evidence on a Nairobi street)and have been tearing through his books. It seems to me that we are living in the era of the spectacular sentence: there are writers who can pile in one after another. Am starting to realise that - it isn't so much the sentence - as how it is placed. Reading On Beauty and reading Banville - I felt, deeply, that Zadie Smith has not yet allowed herself silences and whispers. So much of a good book lies in small in-between places, so much in the notsaid. I wonder whether it is just as simple as time: Zadie Smith is turning around too much too quickly. Sometimes a manuscript needs to sit and stew - and with the kind of high stake book deals around... I love her writing, but it leaves me fizzless after reading it. A good book alway stays a few days with me, colouring much of what I see - Zadie stays with me only while I am reading it; I felt the same when i read The Corrections. I find, less and less, things I can read that leave room for my imagination to vault. I just need the faintest well presented suggestion - and I am off on my own. Too much work is being done for me by too many writers. Banville builds the most beautiful scenes...and knows when to stop and let go of me for a bit. That kind of timing is priceless. I hope he wins the Booker.

Regina Coragliotti

Just read "The sea". Read first line. last line then page 96 about eye infection- nebula. I knew there had to be elephants. Found them: page 144, you exterminated them on page 145, like Orwell, like Kurtz. THEN Max achieved clarity. THEN he knew. Poor Max, eleven when chloe died, no one to talk to, no one to whom he could confess his guilt. First he had to marry (Anna) then to breed (Claire), then to pass his swelling illness to Anna who died. Constance, Chloe, Anna, Claire---Then he could see his problem. The elephant in the room. Kill the elephant, release the brute.

So as in "Lolita" Nabokov, it is the narrator who seeks exposure, forgiveness. Banville

DAVID Thompson

Was given The Sea for Christmas, now am half-way through Book of Evidence, then found this incredible interview, feeling like I am discovering treasure, knowing I've just begun these books. Thanks for sharing this stuff, TEV. By the way, what I found started with Part 3, then 2, then 1. Was there a fourth part? Will I ever know? Why do I wonder if this question could possibly lead me to commit some heinous act?

Rosemary O'Connell

John, I've walked that beach a thousand times,remember well the chemist the french lady owned, later was a restaurant which was run by her son Claude in summer months.The 'Cimema' commonly known as 'The Shack'also a disco and the tennis courts you describe now our summer house! it was a trip down memory lane.

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