France’s Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, has caused a stir in France by acknowledging that she has not read a book in two years.
The revelation emerged in an interview she gave to the Canal+ channel on Sunday night. She described having lunch with the French winner of the Nobel prize for literature, Patrick Modiano, but then noted she could not name any of his novels.
“I admit without any problem that I have had no time to read over the past two years,” she said, according to the BBC. “I read a lot of notes, and legislative documents. I read a lot of news. But I read [for pleasure] very little.”
The admission sparked ridicule and even anger in France where the Minister of Culture is expected to be well-versed in all aspects of French culture. The commentator Claude Askolovitch wrote that the Minister’s admission confirmed that France was approaching a state of barbarism. Writing in Le Huffington Post , Askolovitch said Pellerin should resign so that she would have more time to read books such as the works of Modiano.