Le Clezio – what do we think?

So, the word is out – Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio is the winner of this years Nobel Prize for Literature.  Supposedly, he’s French, I guess because he was born in Nice.  But somehow, I don’t consider him real-French, even though he lived in France during his formative years.  Perhaps it’s because he seems so much more flexible and various than more insular francophones, or because of his recent interview with Label France in which he reveals he ‘has always felt like an exile in his own country because of his family’s roots in Mauritius, a mixed culture with Indian, African, and European influences’.  “I grew up telling myself that there was a somewhere else which embodied my true homeland,” he told the magazine. “One day I would go there and I would know what it was. So in France I always thought of myself a little bit of an ‘outsider.’ On the other hand, I love the French language, which is perhaps my true country! But thinking of France as a nation, I must say I have rarely identified with its priorities.”

This interests me.  The topics of his work interest me.  The idea of the novel and language to describe those deeper truths about life is powerful.  In particular, the idea of some sort of jumbled and distraught modern life being portrayed in a similar jumble fashion is interesting to me.  It makes me want to read.

But most of all, I respect this guy for his prolific work.  He wrote his first novel when he was eight.  Since then, he’s been going strong for the past 60 years.  That’s saying something.

Good jorb, L-C.  I salute you.


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