I found this interview of the writer John Banville in The Irish Times fascinating as the author is brutally honest about what being a writer means. It is anything but a romantic view. Incidentally, he has written a memoir entitled Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir and this made him look at his life with more candor. He particularly feels that his role as father, husband, sibling and son were all compromised to a certain extent by his profession.
“It was very hard on them, very hard on the people around me, on my children. I have not been a good father. I don’t think any writer is,”
It was not just family that he missed out on. It was living itself.
Does he regret missing the university years? “I regret it now. I regret missing that three or four years of learning about the world and getting drunk and chasing girls and being irresponsible, learning how to live, learning some of the social skills . . . I got it all from books. I lived in books.”
How difficult it is for authors to build their worlds and let us have a glimpse of them? A lot is sacrificed. Do you think that when you write you let someone down a little?