John Banville is knighted by Italy
Leading Irish author made Cavaliere of the Ordine della Stella d’Italia at Italian embassy ceremony
Giovanni Adorni Braccesi, the Italian ambassador to Ireland, John Banville and his wife Janet after the awarding of the Ordine della Stella d’Italia
John Banville has been made a “Cavaliere” or honorary knight of the “Ordine della Stella d’Italia” (Order of the Star of Italy) by the Italian Ambassador to Ireland, Giovanni Adorni Braccesi, in a ceremony at the Italian Embassy.
Banville received the award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to world literature and his deep friendship with Italy. The author, a former literary editor of The Irish Times, is one of Ireland’s most influential contemporary writers.
The ambassador described Banville as an “author of great fantasy, implacable literary precision, imaginative linguistic invention and tormented moral clarity, who embraces in his novels the great themes of our time: science, the nightmare of war and the epochal clash of civilisations, where they entwine with all ambiguities, contradictions, labyrinths, enchantments and the abyss of human passion.
“A great friend of Italy, which he visits often, Banville never misses events promoting Italian culture in Ireland, as on the occasion of the Dante reading in the auditorium of the National Gallery, where he beautifully read one of the Canti dell’inferno. Banville has also been a jury member since 2010 of Italy’s most important international literary prize, the Premio Nonino.”
The Order of the Star of Italy was created in 2011 as a reform of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity, established in 1947. The order is conferred by the President of the Italian Republic on the advice of the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation. This distinction represents a particular honour for those, Italians abroad or foreigners, who have acquired special merit in the promotion of friendly relations and co-operation between Italy and other countries.