In the first of a series of practitioner-led Life-Writing discussions, Irish Novelist and Screenwriter John Banville discusses his work on and with other people’s lives, including in his novels Copernicus and Kepler, and his fictional treatment of Anthony Blunt in Untouchable. The online event takes place today Thursday 18 Febraury at 4pm.
His prolific output has often taken the bare raw material of “real” lives and subjected it to his inimitable fictionalization to produce something richer and stranger: The Secret Guests by alter ego BW Black plucks royal sisters Elizabeth and Margaret from the London Blitz, taking them to a safe house in Ireland for the “Emergency”. These real and imagined lives are a rich seam of material for John Banville.
Addressing such questions as what happens to a real life when it is revisited and transformed in fiction, how real does it remain, why we return to real lives in our fictional practice and more, John Banville will also read from relevant passages in his oeuvre.
Discussant in this conversation with John Banville will be colleague Dr. Eibhear Walshe, coordinator of UCC’s Creative Writing MA, who has made life writing an art, both in his biography Kate O’Brien: A Writing Life (2006), as well as in the form of creative writing, most recently The Last Day at Bowen’s Court (2020), which deals with and in the life of novelist Elizabeth Bowen, including the intense wartime romance with a Canadian diplomat which real-life events inspired her own novel The Heat of the Day.
Join us at 4pm Thrusday 18 February using this link: