This week Yann Martel posted the first installment in his books-for-Stephen-Harper campaign since our Parliament ceased to function. It must be said that Martel shows surprising restraint: he’s chosen Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth and devotes most of his essay to a very straightforward recap of Buck’s career and description of the book. He can’t resist slipping into smug digs to close out the piece –
The Good Earth remains an excellent introduction to old China and a vivid parable on the fragility of fortune, how things gained can be lost, how what is built can easily be destroyed. This lesson will not be lost on you considering the political turmoil you are now going through. The fate of a politician is so terribly uncertain. Pearl Buck is a staple of every used bookstore. She is still widely read. Her name evokes fond memories. Whereas politicians, when they go, when they disappear from the stage, kicking and screaming sometimes, they really go, they vanish into oblivion so that quickly people scratch their heads, trying to remember when exactly they were in power and what they accomplished.
– but, to be fair, who could?