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The Strangely Conservative French


Mark Lilla, "The Strangely Conservative French", dans The New York Review of Books, vol. 62, n° 16, 22 octobre 2015.

Extrait de l'article

Two and a half weeks after the Swedish Academy announced that the French novelist Patrick Modiano would receive the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature, the French minister of culture, Fleur Pellerin, appeared on a popular television show to talk about herself and her work. She expressed pride that “France is again number one on the world stage of culture and the arts” and recounted her lunch earlier that day with Modiano, whom she found sympathique. “We laughed a lot.” The interviewer then asked her which of Modiano’s novels was her favorite. Pellerin gave a very long French uhhhhhhh before admitting “without any problem” that she had not read and did not know the titles of any of them. Since becoming minister she had had no time to read anything but memos, legal documents, and the news. “But you have to find time for it,” the shocked interviewer replied, “it’s important, non?” The minister grinned.

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