How John Banville writes

I love this kind of behind-the-scenes glimpse into how, where and when great writers practise their craft. Here we have John Banville on the different tactics he uses to write his Benjamin Black murder mysteries and his ‘proper novels’ (taken from a recent New Yorker profile):

He has said that he writes the mysteries on a computer and can finish one in three or four months. By contrast, he writes the other novels with a fountain pen, on paper; each takes him between two and five years. If, by the end of a working day, he has two hundred words that he hasn’t crossed out, he considers that a victory. “The sentence is the great invention of civilization,” he says. “To sit all day long assembling these extraordinary strings of words is a marvelous thing. I couldn’t ask for anything better. It’s as near to godliness as I can get.”

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