Aiming for Perfection

Stuart Jeffries, “John Banville: A Life in Writing,” The Guardian (Guardian Review p. 12), 30 June 2012.

Banville once said of his books that “I hate them all”. Is that affectation? “They embarrass me because they’re all failures. We’re aiming for perfection and never attain it. It’s become a cliché but, as Beckett wrote, ‘Fail again. Fail better.’ What one does is so little compared to one’s ambitions for it.”

The Person Who Wrote the Story

Stuart Jeffries, “John Banville: A Life in Writing,” The Guardian (Guardian Review p. 12), 30 June 2012.

The problem with doing an interview is that the person who wrote the story ceased to exist every day I got up from the desk. When you’re writing there’s a deep deep level of concentration way below your normal self. This strange voice, these strange sentences come out of you. When I was young I thought I was in control of everything. Now I realise it’s much more a process of dreaming.