The Irish author will be one of the prominent guests at the 2023 edition. Described by the critic George Steiner as “the most intelligent writer in the English language” and “the most elegant stylist”, the blend of playfulness and sophistication of his literature turn Banville into a humorous thaumaturge and an essential author in an edition of the festival dedicated to magic as the ultimate expression of the imagination. He will be interviewed by María Fasce, his editor at Alfaguara.
Banville’s novels have been acclaimed as an expression of mastery. He has received the Booker Prize, the Kafka Prize and the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature. Praised by the Boston Globe as “an incredibly talented, witty and intelligent magician”, Banville floods his pages with metaphorical displays and fascinating, often laughable characters and prose that, as the Oviedo jury noted, “opens up to dazzling lyrical spaces through cultural references where beauty goes hand in hand with irony”.
His latest novel, ‘The Singularities’ (Alfaguara, 2023), is a masterpiece that is among the best of his work. An entire novel that Banville explains as if he had combined all his books in a “climb to Everest”. Banville insists that he will never again write such a novel. If this is true – as with the ironic and mischievous little gods in his books, one never knows if Banville is serious – his fans can hope that he still has some of the crime novels that his “other self” writes still in the bag: Benjamin Black.
By fate – or witchcraft – Banville and Black, Olivares and Pertierra, with their shared game of duplicities and pseudonyms, are scheduled to coincide in the 2023 programme. We predict that they will not be the only prodigies to take place in the 2023 edition.