John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

I've been fooling myself

From The A.V. Club's interview with Yann Martel, author of The Life of Pi:

AVC: So you don't find on that individual level you mentioned, people of any one faith are more accepting or open to the book than people of another faith?

YM: No. But if I project, Christians—part of this is based on my personal experience, and part of it is based on my intuition—don't read fiction. The Bible is enough for them. Jesus is enough for them. That otherworldliness of the Bible stimulates their imagination enough. Ardent Christians are not novel readers. Now, having said that, I did receive letters from Americans who were very Christian. I remember one man liked the novel, liked the story, but didn't find the fact that Pi practiced more than one religion all that amusing. He said "I've been put on this earth to spread the word of Jesus, and Jesus is the only truth, and to claim to be Christian and do something else is to be muddled and lose your way." I haven't received any equivalent letter from a Hindu or a Muslim. I would very much doubt that Hindus who were novel-readers would react in that way, if only because Christianity has tended to be exclusive. Christianity has tended to believe that it has the truth, and if you're anything else, you're going to be in limbo or in Hell.

My records indicate that I've read 51 works of fiction in 2007 alone, but clearly I've just been deluding myself. A famous writer like Yann Martel couldn't possibly be mistaken about the reading habits of 2,000,000,000+ people he's never met.


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