Prufrock's Page

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Low Tide

One has just finished reading the masterful John Banville's The Sea, which is why one read with avidity this review of the book by Tibor Fischer in The Arts Telegraph. Tibor praises Banville's writing, then goes on to point out what he considers are faults in the book: gorgeous, descriptive prose, but too many allusions and too little plot:

"As the novel progressed I realised that it was more like sitting an exam than taking in a tale: Banville's text is one that constantly demands admiration and analysis. Bard of Hartford? Nom d'appareil? Cracaleured? If the preciosity was used solely for comic effect it would work better, but I suspect Banville is after some elegiac granite here."

Of course all reviews of Banville's work nowadays must touch upon the author's own review of McEwan's Saturday -- and Fischer's is no exception:

"In a lengthy, wave-making, almost brick-by-brick demolition of Ian McEwan's latest novel Saturday in the New York Review of Books, Banville wrote: 'human beings have an unflagging desire for stories, it is one of our more endearing traits'. Could this be the same Banville that penned The Sea?"


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