HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN BANVILLE!

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Lá breithe shona duit, Mr. Banville! Err… Mr. Black, too!

You are a gorgeously enigmatic man, my dear Sir. You write some of the most beautiful lines and then disown them with condescension of a stereotyped stepfather. You sprinkle scents of honour and merit on your mentors and then spray an obnoxious liquid into their laminated alleys. You switch identities with Benjamin Black and live a swift life of a brooder and criminal with surprising ease. Ah! You have kept me captivated with not just your fictional exploits but also your factual stunts. And somewhere, I know, this string of unpredictable behavior is a culmination of your restlessness. You have been forever on-the-go; pausing in life was never your thing. 

It has been my immense pleasure to luxuriate in your glazed prose that has to power to turn even a cold, dark elegiac color to bright, sunny, singing hue. When I read The Sea, I was transported on and off to a world of pained contemplation, with your bewitching prose rocking my cradle. There is beauty in everything and I am an ardent advocate of that. But occasionally, our eyesight falls short of casting that long and accurate a glance. It is when loss and gloom is discussed, our perspective closes its lids on its own account and we are left with hazy images in the folds of memoirs. That is when your prose emerges as a remedial wipe, setting the haze to rest and drawing silver lines even in such low times.

I have come to your writing for solace and peace and never been disappointed. And today, on your birthday, I wish you continue to find such a source for yourself, today, tomorrow and every other day after that which would not only keep your journey going but also make it wonderfully memorable.

Thank you for choosing to leave me with your luminous oeuvre; I treasure them (including these dollops of wisdom!).

 

[Image courtesy http://www.irishtimes.com  ]

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