Be Less Insular, Part Deux

The Wall Street Journal seems to bothered by the comment from the head of the organizations that awards Nobel Prizes that Americans are “too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature.” This week, a second WSJ writer has confessed in print to never having heard of Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio until he won this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. 

Cynthia Crossen attempts to make up for this lapse by reviewing a recent French novel (available widely in translation in the U.S., despite our not translating enough; and widely reviewed, despite our “not participating in the big dialogue of literature”), The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery.

Reader, she likes it.

It’s owned by all the libraries I checked, with heavy reserves to copy ratios, despite… well, you know.

Part One of “Be Less Insular” appeared last week.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Muriel Barbery

  • Paperback: $15; 336 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions (September 2, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1933372605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933372600

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