Names

Sun Mar 14, 2010

I’m going to write a review of John Banville’s The Infinites before too long. As I was preparing, I came across this interesting interview where Banville says: “John le Carré, for instance, not a great novelist, but he has a genius when it comes to names. I mean, all the names called in his cast are absolutely perfect. Henry James is similar.”

Was he thinking of Fanny Assingham? I have a paper on Le Carré that’s coming out soon and have read almost all of his novels, and I can’t say that his facility with names ever caught my notice. Lacon, maybe. (Not for the silly reason that may come to mind. Or the other silly reason.) Barley was also fairly inspired. Kurtz I’m not so sure about.