Yann Martel’s One-Man Book Club

By Carmen Comment

Though it seems like LIFE OF PI author Yann Martel is waging something of a publicity stunt, he has noble intentions about how and why he’ll be sending Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper a book to read every two weeks for the duration of his leadership: increasing awareness for the arts and the amount of money allotted by the Canadian government.

Who is this man? What makes him tick? No doubt he is busy. No doubt he is deluded by that busyness. No doubt being Prime Minister fills his entire consideration and froths his sense of busied importance to the very brim. And no doubt he sounds and governs like one who cares not a jot for the arts.

But he must have moments of stillness. And so this is what I propose to do: not to educate—that would be arrogant, less than that—to make suggestions to his stillness.

The first book Martel sent was Leo Tolstoy’s THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH with a special note of recommendation that Harper pay attention to the character of Gerasim. No response yet, but there may be one sometime down the line…