New book on John Banville by Neil Murphy

John Banville


John Banville offers a close analysis of most of Banville’s major novels, as well as the ‘Quirke’ crime novels he has written under the pseudonym, Benjamin Black and his dramatic adaptations of Heinrich von Kleist’s plays. From the beginning, Banville’s work has been marked both by the presence of a complex, embedded discourse about the significance of art and by a concurrent self-conscious obsession with its own status as art. His novels perpetually reveal an overt fascination with the visual arts, in particular, and with the aesthetic principle of literature as art. This study argues that, as a whole, Banville’s work presents an elaborate and richly-textured coded account of his relationship with art and with the self-referential fictional world that his novels have conjured. It is from this critical context that John Banville’s central argument is derived.
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