John Banville's thoughts on past, present and future

Cruimh

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
83,462
John Banville on the hush amidst the Irish storm

An interesting piece from Banville

The Booker Prize winning novelist also used another metaphor, perhaps appropriate for a nation famous for being able to enjoy itself.
"There was a wild party. It seemed as though it would never end. And then suddenly with a crash, dawn came. And all those empty bottles had to be got rid of."
And warming to the theme of irresponsibility, he quoted another famous Irish writer.
"In the Celtic Tiger years, it was a bit like what Oscar Wilde said about the United States and how it had gone from a state of barbarism to a state of decadence, without a state of civilisation in between."
Like many of the greatest novelists though, he is not content to merely lecture but seems hopeful that the audience may draw a moral lesson from the story.
"We might learn something from it. We might learn something about social responsibility, something about big words like honour, decency and nobility. I am not very optimistic but we might. To be humbled is a good thing."


Will lessons be learned or will the struggle to survive further engrain selfishness?
 


tonyedit

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
24
Perhaps. But we're an island people who think of ourselves as small. I don't think it's outright selfishness that motivates Irish people, just a wish that our own wee corner of the world is safe and cosy and sure who am I harming by buying that fourth house? Or buying large chunks of London? Sure it's only lil ole me.
 

derm0t

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
333
What an utterly lazy and hackneyed metaphor from a man who's supposed to be a professional writer. Is that the best he can come up with?

Also: that quote, supposedly from Oscar Wilde, has also been attributed to Clemenceau and GB Shaw. It sounds funny on first flush, (or when you're 16), but is pretty effing stupid if you give it 10 seconds thought.

Back to bed, JB. When you wake up, read about the history of the IMF, or google "the exponential function" - then maybe you'll be able to make more intelligent comments about the immediate future of the state.

Here's an Einstein quote that might come in handy, given the importance of interest payments on the children of Eire:

“The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest”.

Ah, another:

“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Going forward.
 

Asparagus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
4,823
What an utterly lazy and hackneyed metaphor from a man who's supposed to be a professional writer. Is that the best he can come up with?

Also: that quote, supposedly from Oscar Wilde, has also been attributed to Clemenceau and GB Shaw. It sounds funny on first flush, (or when you're 16), but is pretty effing stupid if you give it 10 seconds thought.

Back to bed, JB. When you wake up, read about the history of the IMF, or google "the exponential function" - then maybe you'll be able to make more intelligent comments about the immediate future of the state.

Here's an Einstein quote that might come in handy, given the importance of interest payments on the children of Eire:

“The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest”.

Ah, another:

“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Going forward.



Or

"You better wake up. The world you live in is just a sugar-coated topping! There is another world beneath it - the real world. And if you wanna survive it, you better learn to *pull the trigger!* "
Or

"That's all I can stands, and I can't stands no more"

Blade and Popeye respectively
 

Nordie Northsider

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
2,058
What an utterly lazy and hackneyed metaphor from a man who's supposed to be a professional writer. Is that the best he can come up with?
My thoughts exactly. He reminds me of Lenny on last night's Prime Time: 'We all partied, Miriam.' The cliché 'blame the victims' springs to mind.
 

Cruimh

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
83,462
So are we going to see a re-invention of the past and the line will be that it was only a few rapacious businessmen, banks and corrupt politicians that were responsible ? That there wasn't widespread greed and consumerism ? I know there was in NI and England when I lived there and from what I could see it didn't look any different in the ROI.
 

Sham96

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Messages
578
Utter tosh from Banville. Another seriously well off chump who should offer to give a portion of his money to help the less well off in this crisis. Then he will be taken seriously.
 

former wesleyan

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
Messages
25,566
Obviously social responsibility isn't likely to catch on then.
 

Nordie Northsider

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
2,058
So are we going to see a re-invention of the past and the line will be that it was only a few rapacious businessmen, banks and corrupt politicians that were responsible ? That there wasn't widespread greed and consumerism ? I know there was in NI and England when I lived there and from what I could see it didn't look any different in the ROI.
Exactly: it was a few [hundred] rapacious businessmen, banks and corrupt politicians that were responsible. Not the opposition (they had no power) and not the likes of me who were obliged to pay over the odds for a mediocre house. Others might have cheered the Government on, but they didn't create this set of circumstances.

And on the subject of 're-invention' I don't remember much 'partying' in Jobstown, Darndale, in forgotten parts of cities like Limerick or in much of rural Ireland.
 

flavirostris

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
24,570
Isn't Banville good mates with Harry Crosbie..just bear it in mind
 

Cruimh

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
83,462
Exactly: it was a few [hundred] rapacious businessmen, banks and corrupt politicians that were responsible.
So all the people who indulged in monumental consumerism and went along with the property speculation were forced at gunpoint?

I don't think so - any more than the same sort of people who bought into the greed across the UK......

It's always somebody else's fault.
 

former wesleyan

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
Messages
25,566
So all the people who indulged in monumental consumerism and went along with the property speculation were forced at gunpoint?

I don't think so - any more than the same sort of people who bought into the greed across the UK......

It's always somebody else's fault.
It's not that it's always somebody elses fault , Cruimh , it's that personal responsibility and the confessional state don't always sit well together.
 

Nordie Northsider

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
2,058
Maybe it's a problem with the word 'responsible'. Here's one definition: Answerable for an act performed or for its consequences; accountable; amenable, especially legally or politically...'

Given that definition it's hard to pin the blame on a couple from Cork who bought a holiday apartment in Bulgaria. I'd sooner point the finger at those in charge of the drafting and administration of the state's economic policy.
 

Cruimh

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
83,462
It's not that it's always somebody elses fault , Cruimh , it's that personal responsibility and the confessional state don't always sit well together.
It's a funny old world FW - I cannot help but think that de Valera was on the right track in 1943

The Ireland which we would desire of would be the home of a people who valued material wealth only as the basis of a right living, of a people who were satisfied with frugal comfort and devoted their leisure to the things of the soul;
And of course - was it only greed or was there also a need to show the world that Ireland could succeed in a material sense, that Ireland had cast off the miserable past ?
 

Cruimh

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
83,462
Maybe it's a problem with the word 'responsible'. Here's one definition: Answerable for an act performed or for its consequences; accountable; amenable, especially legally or politically...'

Given that definition it's hard to pin the blame on a couple from Cork who bought a holiday apartment in Bulgaria. I'd sooner point the finger at those in charge of the drafting and administration of the state's economic policy.
So, who forced them to buy the holiday apartment in Bulgaria ?
Who forced people to speculate ?

Unless people take responsibility for their own actions, rather than putting all the blame of Banks and Government, then nothing will really have been learned and boom and bust will come back.
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top