Monday 21 September 2009

Original Sinners and John Banville

I’ve included on my website a couple of new articles. One is the paper I wrote for the St Hilda’s Crime and Mystery Conference, on the subject of Sinful Victims. Because of time limitations, I had to cut the paper short for actual delivery at the conference. So here is the full, unexpurgated version! It was fun to put together, and although at first I found the theme of ‘the wages of sin’ daunting, it proved to be a theme that generated a great deal of interesting discussion.

The other article is an interview with John Banville. I was commissioned to write the piece by Kate Stine, editor of that terrific crime magazine ‘Mystery Scene’. I didn’t meet Banville in person, but talked to him at length on the phone. Reserved at first, he gradually opened up, and I found him genuinely pleasant to deal with. Certainly not (despite recent publicity) someone who struck me as condescending to the crime genre – on the contrary, he waxed lyrical about certain writers, such as Simenon. He sent me a very gracious email about my writing which, if I had more nerve, I would cannibalise for a book cover quote. But I’m not that cheeky.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh, why not? Sounds like the perfect blurb to me. :)

Thanks for the link to Sinful Victims. I've been interested in the topic since you broached it.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Maxine Clarke said...

Superb linking, Martin! I am lost in admiration ;-) Seriously, well done to you for persevering in this arcane art.
I shall read your full essay with interest. And re Banville, I have not read his crime fiction yet but intend to. I hate all this media-generated false controversy and the jealousy that fuels much of these shallow criticisms. In my experience, there is usually a positive, constructive side to everything, if one looks at something in the right way. Or, as one of my favourite bloggers and a man for whom I have enormous respect, Frank Wilson, says: everyone is doing their best, from their own perspective.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. It is an interesting topic, and there is, of course, much more to be said about it.

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Maxine. Honesty compels me to admit that I didn't get the linking right first time! Or second, actually. But I am certainly persevering, and thanks for the encouragement.
I agree entirely with your sentiments about controversy.

Anonymous said...

Hope you enjoy Banville's downbeat Dublin-set crime: it's superb, and has a sense of place that is almost palpable.
I'd ask him about the blurb if I were you!
Another worthwhile contemporary Irish crime writer with a flair for evocative writing plus intrigue = Cormac Miller (pseudonym of a Dublin academic).

Anonymous said...

PS Now off to do justice to your full lecture - for which, many thanks! Fascinating theme, so definitely a 'must read' item.

Minnie said...

Don't usually comment in triplicate, but just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the text of your talk.
I think we need the shades of grey, these days ...
And hooray for your approbation of Margaret Millar, who has been woefully under-valued. Much more interesting writer than her husband, + could also 'do' funny - which is near-impossible to sustain without losing/confusing the reader.

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Minnie. Your comments are always very welcome. I don't know Cormac Miller's work, I must admit.