One of Ireland’s greatest living playwright’s, John Banville made another welcome return to Kilkenny for his customary insightful chat, which as usual peppered with witty insights, quotes and his trademark bone dry wit.
Introduced by journalist Mick Heaney, Banville read from his new novel Ancient Light (which he had initially previewed at the Arts Festival in 2010). Banville then sat down for a chat that was full of some golden quotes. In fact, there were so many fine quotes from Banville that we’ve decided to present them here verbatim. Enjoy!
‘I’m just making a book out of old material’ – Banville on his current trilogy.
‘Imagination makes memory and memory makes reality’ – on undependable memories.
‘There’s no way to coherently talk about making a work of art’ – on his process.
‘You can only help yourself by heartily learning to hate what you have done’ – Banville on what advice he gives young writers.
‘I cannot understand why Hubert Butler isn’t a world figure in literature’ – on Hubert Butler.
‘I had to invent Benjamin Black so I could have a day job. Then Banville can do what he likes’ – On his alter ego.
‘The Booker Prize wasn’t really a good thing for me’ – On winning the Booker Prize.
‘I’m going to rue my honesty, I hope no one here has a tape recorder’ – on talking too much.
‘I wasted many years writing the wrong books’ – on his earlier works.
‘We’re in an age of chattering right now’ – on the modern day.
‘I’m much more optimistic than people think!’ – on perceptions of him.
‘25 seconds from now, everything I'm saying is going to be on the internet’– on iPhones.
‘People say to me "Oh, isn't it terrible?" I don't, I think it's wonderful. People are reading!’ – on yes, 50 Shades of Grey
‘If you have to try and have commitment and art together, it doesn’t work. You’ll either get bad commitment or bad art’ – on art and commitment.
Always a great man for tremendous soundbites, we look forward to hearing more of his wisdom soon!