Some light late summer reading

The Irish Times notes the local interest in the Man Booker Prize long-list – Three Irish writers compete for top award. But, while the Guardian praises the list and here, and here, compiled under the chairmanship of Guardian columnist Prof John Sutherland *ahem*… Sinéad at the Sigla Blog is less impressed – No surprises with the Booker List – but helpfully points to her interviews with two of the long-listed authors – Kazuo Ishiguro and John Banville. Also worth noting is DJ Taylor, also in the Guardian, arguing that “One conspicuous feature of this year’s list is its profound metropolitan bias”More on John Banville at The Literary Encyclopedia, which as well as including information that the Irish Times neglected – he was previously the Literary Editor there and in 1999 became their Chief Critic [great job title btw] – also has a couple of noteworthy quotes –

“I feel part of my culture. But it is a personal culture gleaned from bits and pieces of European culture of four thousand years.” Questioning the very notion of national literature – “there is no such thing as Irish national literature, only Irish writers engaged in the practice of writing”

Indeed.