Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stephen Harper’s stalker, Yann Martel

According to an interview with author Yann ("Life of Pi") Martel:

... 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.

Harper’s non-responsiveness sets Martel’s imagination (not to mention
condescension) working:

"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.


Patsplace said...

It's always a bit on the lurkey side when you have one person having a conversation with themselves that involves BOTH the questions AND the answers.

fernstalbert said...

Who is this Yann Martel and what books are being offered for the the PM's reading pleasure? Since his "gifts" are routinely spurned, he should give it up and consider donating his choices to the local public library. He can obviously afford the postage and cost of said books. He may even get a tax receipt. Cheers

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The guy seems to be a nut case.

kursk said...

This man cares not one whit that the PM reads the books.His campaign is to portray Stephen Harper as uncultured, unread and socially 'thick'.

His disdain for the PM drips from every word he utters.

JR said...

For anyone who gives a rap there's a list of the books Martel sent at his website ("Martel's blog" linked in the article).

Kursk, I think you're right. This is a continuation of the "arts community" whine that went up after the arts funding cuts.

GTA mls said...

Oh, this is one crazy guy. I probably wouldn't respond either if I were in Harper's place. I just don't quite understand why the Martel still keeps sending books to Harper. What is that good for?