Literature with the density of poetry

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

On October 17, member Della Mae W. presented on the works of Irish author John Banville. Mr. Banville is a prolific author of fiction, who has also written screenplays, reviews and podcasts. Della Mae has been a member of the CWLC since before 2010, and this is her sixth presentation – she’s glad she has finally found a presentation category that fit for this author. Like the author and John Steinbeck, Della Mae handwrites her presentations on a yellow legal pad.

Della Mae started by saying that she is drawn in by Banville’s beautiful writing even when the story and the character’s don’t appeal to her. She has not read all of his works (he has written 26 novels), but her husband has them all. Mr. Banville’s work, The Sea, was awarded the Booker Prize in 2005.

In the early part of his career, John Banville wrote literature with the density of poetry, painstakingly crafting his sentences. Then, inspired by Georges Simenon, the author of the Maigret novels, he tried writing spontaneously. He produced a series of mysteries under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. In 2020, he abandoned the pseudonym and started publishing mysteries in his own name. These mysteries include Marlowe, written in the style of Raymond Chandler – another favourite of Della Mae.

Della Mae puts bookmarks in passages she is especially touched by in books. For Banville’s works, too many pages were bookmarked for her to read all of them to us. She did give a number of readings from his books including The Sea, Snow, The Book of Evidence, and Marlowe. These readings highlighted how Mr. Banville seduces the reader by painting a detailed picture with words.

Join us next week, when CWLC president Mooréa G. presents on British playwright Tom Stoppard.

At this meeting, we welcomed several guests and new members. Interested but not a member yet? Not a problem: click here to find out more.

More information on our 2023-2024 program can be found here:

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