Quotes by: J. M. G. Le Clezio
|J. M. G. Le Clézio
||Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio
13 April 1940
||French and Mauritian
||Novel, short story, essay, translation
||Exile, migration, childhood, ecology
||Le Procès-Verbal, Désert
||Nobel Prize in Literature
I grew up in a Mauritian bubble in France... I had the feeling of not belonging, but still living with French culture.
My English is closer to the literary English, and I'm not very familiar with jokes in English or with, you know, with small talk in English.
The novelist, he's not a philosopher, not a technician of spoken language. He's someone who writes, above all, and through the novel asks questions.
I'm used to shifting languages because my father used to speak to us, to my brother and I, he used to speak in English. He wanted us to be quite fluent in English, especially when he was trying to correct our behavior; he would do that in English.
I can understand better than most the contradiction between the idealistic civilisation and religious morals of Europe and what they did with the slaves, because the root of the evil is only two generations away from me. Maybe this has fed my need to fight against the abuses of modern civilisation.
Language is the most extraordinary invention in the history of humanity, the one which came before everything and which makes it possible to share everything.
I enjoy very much being in a foreign country, in a new country, new place. And I enjoy also beginning a new book. It's like being someone else.
I have the feeling of being a very small item on this planet, and literature enables me to express that.
To act: that is what the writer would like to be able to do, above all. To act, rather than to bear witness. To write, imagine, and dream in such a way that his words and inventions and dreams will have an impact upon reality, will change people's minds and hearts, will prepare the way for a better world.
The writer, the poet, the novelist, are all creators. This does not mean that they invent language; it means that they use language to create beauty, ideas, images. This is why we cannot do without them.
To understand the hidden secret of the modern industrial world in which I find myself, I have to return to another world. That world is at once wartime Nice and the plantation - the sugar isles on which Europe's prosperity was built.
Reading is a free practice. I think the readers are free to begin by the books where they want to. They don't have to be led in their reading.
I've always felt very much from a mixed culture - mainly English and French, but also Nigerian, Thai, Mexican. Everything's had its influence on me.
I don't have any office; I can write everywhere. So, I put a piece of paper on the table, and then I travel. Literally, writing for me is like travelling. It's getting out of myself and living another life - maybe a better life.
A writer is not a prophet, is not a philosopher; he's just someone who is witness to what is around him. And so writing is a way to... it's the best way to testify, to be a witness.
When I was a child, I grew up speaking French, I mean, in a French public school. So my first contact with literature was in French, and that's the reason why I write in French.
If I examine the circumstances which inspired me to write - and this is not mere self-indulgence, but a desire for accuracy - I see clearly that the starting point of it all for me was war.