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Brussels: Evening of Irish literature with John Banville

To mark the beginning of the Irish Presidency, Jim Higgins, MEP organised an evening of Irish literature with John Banville, winner of the Booker Prize (for "The Sea) and the Franz Kafka Prize at the Library of the European Parliament in Brussels, 18.30 on 22 January 2013.

Irish literature took pride of place on 22 January in the European Parliament in Brussels during the first cultural event of the new Council Presidency.

The Irish author John Banville spoke about a history steeped in blue and gold. A history in which the slums of Naples stand alongside the crags of Mont Blanc, framed by what he sees as "the greatest political achievement in the world".

Winner of both the Booker Prize and the Franz Kafka Prize, and considered to be one of Ireland's finest contemporary authors, Banville spoke about some of his writings, including a homage to Europe published in the "Irish Times", where he is a columnist  

We, the people of Europe...

"It is hard to imagine, especially in these times, anyone flourishing an "I ♥ Europe" notice.

Yet some of us, hardy souls that we are, still cling to the ideal of a unified, peaceful continent as conceived by visionaries such as Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman at the end of the second World War...'

'Yet when I visit Helsinki or Palermo, Amsterdam or Madrid, when I am in Berlin or Dublin, I am more conscious of the similarities than the differences."

Review:  Newshound, Edition 369: 30 january 2013