Cover image for Time pieces : a Dublin memoir
Title:
Time pieces : a Dublin memoir
Author:
Banville, John, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2018.

©2016
Physical Description:
212 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 22 cm
Summary:
Presents a memoir of the author's life near Dublin, a city that inspired his imagination and literary life and served as a backdrop for the dissatisfactions of adult years shaped by Dublin's cultural, political, architectural, and social history.

"Born and bred in a small town a train ride away from Dublin, author John Banville ... saw the city as a place of enchantment when he was a child. It was first a birthday treat, the world his beloved, eccentric aunt inhabited. When he came of age and took up residence there, the city was a frequent backdrop for his dissatisfactions as a young writer (James Joyce had 'seized upon the city for his own literary purposes and in doing so had used it up'). When he lived outside Ireland, the city remained alive and indelible in his memory (that 'bright abyss' in which 'time's alchemy works'). Returning to live in Ireland, he found Dublin to be as fascinating--albeit for different reasons--as it had been to his seven-year-old self. Now, in an evocative, witty, clear-eyed 'quasi-memoir,' he guides us around the city, delighting in its high and low cultural, architectural, political and social histories, and interweaving the memories that are attached to particular places and moments and people. The result a book as much about the life of a city as it is about a life intermittently lived there--a wonderfully idiosyncratic tour of Dublin, and a tender yet powerful ode to a formative time and place for the artist as a young man."--Dust jacket.
General Note:
"Originally published in hardcover in Ireland by Hachette Books Ireland, a division of Hachette UK Ltd, Dublin, in 2016."--Title page verso.
Language:
English
Contents:
About time -- Cicero, Vico and the Abbey -- Baggotonia -- On the street -- A Pisgah sight of Palestine -- The girl in the gardens -- Time regained.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781524732837
Format :
Book

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PR6052 .A57 Z46 2018 Adult Non-Fiction-New Open Shelf
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PR6052 .A57 Z46 2018 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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PR6052 .A57 Z46 2018 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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Summary

Summary

From the internationally acclaimed and Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea and the Benjamin Black mysteries--a vividly evocative memoir that unfolds around the author's recollections, experience, and imaginings of Dublin.

As much about the life of the city as it is about a life lived, sometimes, in the city, John Banville's "quasi-memoir" is as layered, emotionally rich, witty, and unexpected as any of his novels. Born and bred in a small town a train ride away from Dublin, Banville saw the city as a place of enchantment when he was a child, a birthday treat, the place where his beloved, eccentric aunt lived. And though, when he came of age and took up residence there, and the city became a frequent backdrop for his dissatisfactions (not playing an identifiable role in his work until the Quirke mystery series, penned as Benjamin Black), it remained in some part of his memory as fascinating as it had been to his seven-year-old self. And as he guides us around the city, delighting in its cultural, architectural, political, and social history, he interweaves the memories that are attached to particular places and moments. The result is both a wonderfully idiosyncratic tour of Dublin, and a tender yet powerful ode to a formative time and place for the artist as a young man.


Author Notes

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He has been the recipient of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (1976), the Guardian Fiction Prize (1981), the Guinness Peat Aviation Book Award (1989), and the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction (1997). He has been both shortlisted for the Booker Prize (1989) and awarded the Man Booker Prize (2005) as well as nominated for the Man Booker International Prize (2007). Other awards include the Franz Kafka Prize (2011), the Austrian State Prize for European Literature (2013), and the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature (2014). He lives in Dublin.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The author, under the name Benjamin Black, of much-lauded crime fiction and a Man Booker Prize-winning literary novelist (Mrs. Osmond, 2017), Banville now presents a quasi-memoir in which he explores the cultural history of Dublin. He writes about its architectural secrets, the remarkable array of literary figures who have called it home, and his personal experiences of the city. Using an easy, conversational tone that seems to belie the accuracy of his accounts names and memories often apparently return to him as he writes, though the bibliography shows the huge amount of research he has done he describes wandering with his Virgil-like friend and guide, Cicero. Dublin's rich history is brought to life through a patchwork of quotes, memories, historical tangents, and a series of Banville's characteristic soaring flourishes (including a few too many ellipses). Featuring excellent photographs by Paul Joyce, the short tome resembles a whimsical, funnier version of W. G. Sebald's meditative style. A richly rewarding and personal work of Irish history and culture.--Moran, Alexander Copyright 2018 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this subtle, elegant memoir, Irish novelist and screenwriter Banville (Mrs. Osmond) explores three overlapping Dublins: the contemporary city, the city of history, and the city he remembers. Despite spending centuries as a provincial backwater in the British Empire, Dublin produced a pantheon of great artists, among them Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Flann O'Brien, Jonathan Swift, Orson Welles (who made his stage debut in Dublin's Gate Theatre), Oscar Wilde, and W.B. Yeats. As a bookish youth in Wexford, Banville viewed Dublin as the locus of all sophistication, excitement, and meaning. In 1964 at age 18, he moved there and found his place in the bohemian milieu he'd admired from afar. In Banville's survey of 21st-century Dublin, every shift in perspective triggers meditations on the myriad ways the city has shaped his long life. The real unity of the narrative rests in the remarkable interplay between text and image (preceding a two-page photo of the Shelbourne Hotel's Horseshoe Bar, Banville describes it "as dimly lit and pleasingly louche today as it was then"). For much of the journey, a mysterious friend named Cicero accompanies Banville, a conceit adding yet another layer to a quietly remarkable work. Yet despite this intricate structure, Banville's wit and humor make this book pass far too quickly. Dublin could not have asked for a more perceptive observer, or a more enchanting portrait. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Award-winning Irish novelist Banville (Mrs. Osmond; The Blue Guitar; as crime writer Benjamin Black, Prague Nights) blends history with personal reminiscence as he shares his impressions of Dublin while pondering when "the past" actually begins. He starts by describing his boyhood perceptions during birthday visits to the capital while living in the town of Wexford, when he saw the city as "a place of magical promise." After moving to Dublin as an adult, his views changed as he toured areas off the beaten path. Banville offers anecdotes about writers and other prominent figures as well as commentary on historical events, the city's architecture and landscaping, and the Catholic Church's domination of Irish life. In paying tribute to libraries, which he fell in love with as a child, he takes issue with censorship imposed on literature and films by the Irish government, especially under former president Éamon de Valera. Banville acknowledges an admiration for Dylan Thomas, and his gentle humor and tone are occasionally reminiscent of that writer's A Child's Christmas in Wales. -VERDICT Recommended for Banville devotees as well as anyone who shares his fascination with Ireland's capital city. [See Prepub Alert, 8/14/17.]-Denise J. Stankovics, Vernon, CT © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

1 About Timep. 3
2 Cicero, Vico and the Abbeyp. 37
3 Baggotoniap. 49
4 On the Streetp. 79
5 A Pisgah Sight of Palestinep. 117
6 The Girl in the Gardensp. 141
7 Time Regainedp. 179
Appendix I

p. 205

Appendix II

p. 207

Acknowledgementsp. 209
Image Captionsp. 211