(My favorite excerpt was from the Times Literary Supplement:" Fever is obviously not a book to be read straight off, because it is repetitive. (...) What is ultimately disappointing about M. Le Clézio is his self-indulgence.")
He's an interesting choice given the firestrorm created last week when a Nobel official dumped all over American authors for being too insular and too swayed by mass culture. Horace Engdah told the Associated Press: "The U.S. is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining." (Here's a good rehashing of the situation.) That's an interesting statement, this notion that literature should somehow be above or separate from the rest of culture -- and, of course, completely idiotic. I can't say whether Le Clezio's oeuvre is more chatty with literary tradition because I haven't read him. Or heard of him before today. But I'm sure that will all change soon.
Surely, American publishers will rush Le Clezio's books onto shelves, giving us all a chance to see whether he is indeed, as the committee opined, an "author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization."
After all, how many of you can say that about yourselves?