"Mon message est qu'il faut continuer de lire des romans car c'est un bon moyen de comprendre le monde actuel. Le romancier n'est pas un philosophe, ni un technicien du langage, mais celui qui écrit et pose des questions."
This attractive thought comes from the new Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Jean-Marie G. Le Clézio. We are accustomed in Britain to greeting Nobel Laureates with baffled incomprehension on a sliding scale from guilty ignorance of the range of world writing to (more often) defiant parochialism. In this case I am ashamed to say I hadn't even heard of Le Clézio but he sounds interesting.
He delivered this quote yesterday to a firework display of popping flashbulbs at the headquarters of his publisher Gallimard
"My message is that we have to go on reading novels because it is a good way of understanding the real world. The novelist is not a philosopher or a technician of language but someone who writes and asks questions."