Harper’s non-responsiveness sets Martel’s imagination (not to mention
... Every two weeks for the past two years, Mr. Martel has mailed a book to the Prime Minister's Office. He tucks a letter to Mr. Harper inside the front cover explaining his selections...
... Mr. Martel has received only the most perfunctory letters from the Prime Minister's Office thanking him for his packages -- five letters in total, none of them signed by Mr. Harper himself-- a minimal response compared with the nearly 70 letters Mr. Martel has mailed.
"Obviously, Harper is a very bright man. Obviously he can process information, he can understand political and economic ideas. But with books you explore the other. You develop your sensitivity for the experience of others," said Mr. Martel. "Books make imaginative leaps into other lives. If he doesn't have that, that means he's only led his own narrow, intellectual life."And the absence of information about his reading habits makes Harper ... "scary" (of course) and cues yet more condescension:
He is not interested in debating the merits of reading fiction, which I find scary," Mr. Martel said ... "The reading of fiction is an essential tool of reflection."No doubt Martel thinks he’s doing something useful but he comes off more as an obsessive, hectoring kook. It’s not much wonder Mr. Harper doesn’t respond. In fact, he should consider getting a restraining order.