Sunday 20 August 2017

Eoghan Harris: It's no fun laughing like Kilkenny Cats at bad jokes

Fionn Davenport, in a fine interview on Newstalk last Friday, asked novelist John Banville what he thought of current events like the presidential election and the British riots. Banville said that was not his business: his job was to sit in his room and get his sentences right.

Normally I would argue the artist is not always able to get away with staying in the study. Samuel Beckett spent 10 days hiding under floorboards from fascist French police. But now I found myself nodding in agreement with Banville.

That's because I feel that comment on current affairs has been coarsened by tabloid values. Let me show you what I mean in relation to the presidential election and the recent riots.

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