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Sometimes I wish I was French

Not only because they have actual laws about protecting their independent bookstores, but because when the Minister of Culture admits she hasn't read a book in two years, people are fucking outraged.

Writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, who is on the jury for France’s prestigious Goncourt literature prize, told France Inter radio that Pellerin’s lack of knowledge was “shameful”.

“It’s very sad,” he said. “It is a culture minister's political duty to delve into literature. It is not possible that she hasn’t read a single Modiano novel. It is lamentable, but then we live in an era when culture is not taken seriously at all.” ...

“If you can be a culture minister without reading books, what we are reduced to [culturally] are technicalities and budgets,” he wrote. “Nothing will uplift us, the soul is an illusion and all the great works are reduced to less than the minutes of a cabinet meeting.”

I'm trying to imagine an American equivalent, but all I've got is our intermittent arguments about the "appropriateness" of adults reading YA. Pfft.

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