John Banville: I love telling lies. I love making stories. I love interpreting the world. It’s why I started to write, in order to interpret the world to myself because I didn’t understand it. I found it baffling. I find the world baffling. I think the only reason that we’re not constantly surprised is that, as Beckett says, “Habit is a great deadener.” But the sky is an extraordinary phenomenon. You look up and you’re looking into infinity. And then the clouds come along. Clouds are the most amazing things. The sea is amazing. It’s flat. Everything else in the world is up and down. The sea is flat. And you walk along the land, and you come to this extraordinary flat phenomenon. It never ceases to baffle me.