Mahabharata a sustaining
factor in my life: Nobel winner Le Clezio
By Alfred De Tavares
Dec 9 (IANS) French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, who
has won the 2008 Nobel prize for literature, says the Mahabharata
has been a sustaining factor in his life, especially as a
great Indian epic Mahabharata has been a sustaining factor
in my life - not so much philosophically but in seeking stories,"
Le Clezio told IANS in an interview here.
consider myself basically a story-teller, not a moulder of
thought," said the writer who is here for the Nobel prize
Clezio's links with India do not stop there.
grown up in Mauritius, Le Clйzio spoke of "the inescapable
contact with India and Indians".
cannot grow up in Mauritius and not imbibe Indian life. It
is not just across the sea from you but, indeed, all around
you: customs, culture, languages, politics. Many of my earliest,
and continuing, friends have been Indians. They have lived
for generations there but it is as if they had never left
fact, a chief protagonist of one of Le Clezio's major works,
"The Treasure Seeker", is an Indian girl. "The
Book of Flights" and "Desert" are some of his
Swedish Academy awarded the 2008 prize to Le Clezio, recognizing
him as the "author of new departures, poetic adventure
and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below
the reigning civilization".
if French writers Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre with whom
Le Clezio has been favourably compared had been his role models,
he said: "Yes and no."
have admired Sartre much but not been directly influenced
by him....after all, I have accepted the Nobel Prize, haven't
I?" he said with a disarming twinkle in his eyes.
great Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in
1964 but disdainfully refused to accept it saying: "I
do not wish to be hitherto known as that Sartre that received
the Nobel Prize".