Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And if HE can read it...

We all know that Stephen Harper recently approved $45 million in cuts to Canadian arts. And, really, he would.

But one good thing that has come out of the Canadian Arts crisis is Yann Martel's remarkable crusade to elucidate and......well, enculture the PM. He's been mailing a book to S.H. every two weeks since April 2007, inscribed and accompanied by a letter. Yann Martel is, of course, the author of Life of Pi - his letters, all of which appear on the website linked above, are fascinating. Each contains little notes: some on what Martel finds most intriguing about a certain work, some on the motivation of a character, or on a literary device used by the author.

I, for one, think that if it's good enough for Yann Martel to send to the PM, it's good enough to make it onto my must-read list. I'm going to order some of these from the library, and plunge right in. Maybe Harper and I will start an online book-club.....I'll keep you posted.

6 comments:

mel said...

Thanks for sharing this Shan, very interesting - Life of Pi is one of the most memorable books I've read in recent years, so I'm intrigued to see his recommendations and thoughts.

kate said...

I agree with Mel on Life of Pi -- memorable indeed.

You made me laugh at the end. Book club with Harper. Snort.

Bethro said...

Over here - stateside - we understand uncultured leaders. In a game where ignorance was the goal, I bet ours would win.

Dave Hingsburger said...

I was surprised, when looking at the list, at how many of those I've read over the years. I hadn't heard about this 'action' regarding the artist cuts, I think it's brilliant. Harper tells me that as an 'ordinary' Canadian (who the hell are those people anyways) I don't care about such things. But, I do. A lot.

Valerie said...

Thank you so much for linking and sharing this story of what Yan Martel is doing.

Living in the Detroit area, with tv and radio stations, as well as frequent trips into Ont., we do keep our eye on Canadian entertainment.

I've only read a couple of letters Yan has sent with books, but I love them.

This is brilliant....and truly reflective of Canadian culture.

Salar said...

Say I had a friend, and he kind of agreed with the Harper cuts but he was afraid to admit it because he's afraid he might be branded a cheap, uncultured redneck.

He's part Scottish and he's got a wallet that's like 12 years old because he never takes it out so when he heard CDN taxpayers used to have to pay 45 million bucks for some guys to make sculptures out of dead bodies or excrement and stuff. I pretty much flipped. Er... I mean my friend ... did