Journalism

My hero: Ben the labrador

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

John Banville’s labrador Ben

John Banville on his labrador, Ben . . .

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Review – The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe by Andrew O’Hagan

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

llustration by Clifford Harper/agraphia.co.uk

John Banville admires Andrew O’Hagan’s act of canine ventriloquism . . .

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Franz Kafka’s Other Trial

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

Kafka and Felice Bauer. Photograph: © Bettmann/CORBIS

An allegory of the fallen man’s predicament, or an expression of guilt at a tormented love affair? John Banville explores the story behind Kafka’s great novel of judgment and retribution . . .

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Review – The Immortalization Commission by John Gray

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

 

Photograph by Bela Szandelszky/AP Photo

Thank God — or whomever — for this look of transcendentalism says John Banville . . .

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John Banville on the birth of his dark twin, Benjamin Black

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

The Guardian, Friday, 22 July 2011

‘The force of the idea was such that I drew the car to the side of the road and stopped and, for some reason, laughed’ . .

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Once upon a life

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

The Observer, Sunday, 19 June 2011

A trip to California in 1968 proved a heady mix for Man Booker prize-winning novelist John Banville. He was agog at avocados and afros, and captivated by the voice of Alfred Deller. It was a long way from Dublin . . .

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jun/19/once-upon-a-life-john-banville

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Study the Panther!

Posted on: February 19th, 2013 by admin

Philadelphia Museum of Art/Bridgeman Art Library Drawing by Auguste Rodin from The Mastbaum Album, a collection of his early sketches, circa 1860–1880

Review of Letters to a Young Poet

by Rainer Maria Rilke for the New York Review of Books

 

For Rainer Maria Rilke the year 1903 did not begin auspiciously. He and his wife, the sculptor Clara Westhoff, were living in Paris, where the poet had come in order to write a monograph on Auguste Rodin. The Rilkes were not exactly dazzled by the City of Light. In a letter to his friend the artist Otto Modersohn, dated New Year’s Eve 1902, the poet spoke of Paris as a “difficult, difficult, anxious city” whose beauty could not compensate “for what one must suffer from the cruelty and confusion of the streets and the monstrosity of the gardens, people and things.” A few lines later he compares the French capital to those cities “of which the Bible tells that the wrath of God rose up behind them to overwhelm them and to shatter them.”

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Beckett: Storming for Beauty

Posted on: March 25th, 2012 by admin

Professional success touches with its transfiguring staff even the stoutest resister. For the first fifty-odd years of his life Samuel Beckett managed to elude Fortuna’s bounteous glance. On the opening page of that knotty late textWorstward Ho he set out, succinctly and famously, his negative aesthetic: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” By that time, however, he had experienced very great success, critical and popular, primarily because of Waiting for Godot—billed by Variety as “the laugh sensation of two continents”1—which after its early productions in the mid-1950s made his name known throughout the world. It was a triumph that astonished him, and the inevitable light it threw on him not only professionally but personally caused him some dismay. For he seems genuinely to have been a modest person who feared and shied from the limelight. In 1969, when news came that her husband had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Suzanne Beckett is said to have exclaimed, “Quelle catastrophe!” She knew her man.

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