二○○五年布克獎得主 John Banville，儘管在初審時擊退伊恩．麥可尤恩（Ian McEwan）、柯慈（J. M. Coetzee）、魯西迪（Salman Rushdie），決選時打敗朱力安．巴恩斯（Julian Barnes）、石黑一雄和札迪．史密斯（Zadie Smith），在英國文壇的知名度卻出奇地低。出生於愛爾蘭的Banville，共出版過十四部小說，無一不以「難讀」著稱，獲獎作品The Sea，描寫主人翁喪妻後重遊故地，全書幾無對白，情節亦少起伏，盡由細節繁複的意識流獨白構成，對一般讀者來說，閱讀門檻頗高。由於近年布克獎傾向鼓勵對大眾讀者較「友善」的書寫，該書獲獎後益發受到爭議。針對媒體書評關乎該書「語言拗口」、「內容晦澀」的批評，評審團主席John Sutherland為Banville辯護道：「人生不正是這般抑鬱、難纏？」...Continua
What a magnificent book, I am glad my library has one copy of this unforgettable book.
This is the story of Max Morden who, while he is mourning the loss of his wife, remembers his childhood in a seaside town. These flashbacks don't many any breaks into the narrative, on the contrary, we are able to follow Max's good and bad moments of his entire life.
Now, I must read more books written by this author....Continua
I’m a bit disappointed when reading this Booker-winning novel. The narrator murmurs throughout the whole novel about his past, on the target of his childhood sexual fantasy, on his daughter who, alas, isn’t quite beautiful though smart, and on the youthful imperative he felt to save his first love from her faults which were all hers. Those memories sprawl, nebulous. I’m still not very sure what point this novel really is about at this moment. Confusion, maybe, as one critic points out.
Certainly this novel isn’t bad. I love the beautiful vocabularies he employs in the prose (I've learned quite a lot of interesting words). I can accept a novel with less plot as long as it is compensated by some emphasis on style, which Banville does, with some magnificent sentences, occasionally. For style, however, I would still prefer to read books by Cormac McCarthy and Marilynne Robinson. I’m also interested in the topic surrounding memory and recollection. The Sea really IS about remembering, though sometimes I hope Banville could show some insight about the nature of remembering, which he does only sometimes, though not enough to impress me. Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending is better in this dimension. Whenever I manage to think of the good things about this novel (and hence the reason to persevere through it), better instances pop up in my head. That’s the trouble I had when reading this book.
The review on NY Times by Terrence Rafferty is recommended. It partly solves some mysteries about this book for me....Continua