My concern is with Mr Banville's choice of words, and use of evocative language. I might not have noticed this, but because I have reviewed some historical crime novels recently, I have been reading the very useful How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries by Kathy Lynn Emerson.
Kathy Lynn refers to author Laurie R. King choosing as her original title for The Beekeeper's Apprentice, "the subtitle of a book on beekeeping written by Conan Doyle's fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, 'With some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen'."
King's editor reminded her that "segregation" is a word with decidedly negative connotations.
I then looked again at John Banville's comments in the Guardian:
"I deplore the apartheid that has been imposed on fiction writing so that in shops the crime books are segregated from the proper novels."
Apartheid and segregation were appalling policies directed against human beings, not books, and perhaps it is a sign of my own semi-literate status, or my general bolshiness, that I find their use in this context totally inappropriate.