Friday, April 13, 2007

News: John Banville Confronts Benjamin Black

Writing for Newsweek.com, John Banville conducts an interview with his alter-ego, author of Christine Falls.Fresh Disasters by Stuart Woods Not unlike the book, the interview has a noir-ish feel to it.

How did Black come to conceive of Christine Falls? “About three years ago I began to read Georges Simenon—not the Maigret books, a single one of which I’ve yet to read, but what he called his romans durs, his hard novels. I thought, if this kind of thing can be achieved in simple language and direct, lightweight narrative, then I want to try it myself.”

Aren't all your characters ciphers, especially Quirke? “So they are, ciphers all. Just like folks. You see, that’s the difference between you and me,” he says. “You devote pages to speculating on why this or that character did this or that action, without ever, of course, coming up with an answer or the shade of an answer. That’s your brand of phenomenology, if you’ll permit me one of the big words you’re always being berated for using. My way is by way of action. Your books think: mine look, look and report.”

Read the rest of this entertaining self-interview on Newsweek.com here.

[Mystery Books News Editor's note: A is available on the Mysterious Reviews website.]

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