Thursday, 10 September 2009
BANVILLE ON WRITING
Two interesting quotes on writing from an interview with John Banville in last Sunday's Indo.
"...when the observation's being done, it's not me," insists Banville. "I sort of slump like a marionette and he [the person who writes the books] does the observing and then I come back to life."
Weirdly, I know what he means. I often wonder where the hell the things I write about come from, much like dreams. There is some sort of alter ego who is the writer. The other me is the Mom, the shopper in Tesco, the partner, the one who watches East Enders etc. etc.
Banville on characters and the writer's self:
"Characters are never real people. What you do is, you take tiny details - somebody's eyes on a bus, the back of a child's head - they all go into an amalgam. Most of the sources you forget, and this new thing, the character, is made. Just as you do in dreams. But they're all me. I'm the only material I have. Just as in dreams every person is you."
Yes, John, exactly!
The rest of the piece is here - it's not a great interview: the interviewer seems to be afraid of him and Banville is quite reticent and fatigued with the whole thing, it seems. Worth a quick read though, if you have a spare five minutes.