The Book of Evidence

The Book of Evidence - John Banville Reminiscent to me, strangely, of Ian McEwan’s “On Chesil Beach,” John Banville’s “The Sea” meditates on memory and death, and the unexpectedly circular connections, the meaningful bringing back, we seek to embed a purpose in our time on earth. The books ponders, and encourages pondering, as art critic Max layers his lost wife, his ever present mortality, and the ache of simultaneous discovery and loss that defined his childhood, like transparencies, until the effort to distinguish one event from another becomes a process of surgery rather than selectively setting each moment aside. This fluidity seems the titular Sea – the inability to separate those most important moments, in reality or remembrance, from the flow of all we experience and know, and from the wonder of our self-discovery and self-recognition, even as those defining moments reveal us to be less than we believed. We are shifted by this force in ways we cannot make sense of, and, by giving over to memory, lost within our ever-present understanding of all that we are and all that we are denied.