He is what he is, and we are who we are, because of, among other things, great books.
Faulkes is worried about his future. He worries books, literary books in the tradition of the great writers of the past. But nobody seems to bother to read anymore.
“I know recent graduates in English who’ve read one or two books. And wonder what they did for their three years.”
As a student at Cambridge he read everything. “I thought I needed to read representative samples of George Eliot, Thackeray, Dickens, Conrad, Henry James, you know….
At least three or four books by every single one of them. You just did, otherwise I’d have felt completely fraudulent.”
He accepts that, thanks to the internet, these bookless kids do know a lot of stuff.
“Films, TV, countries, flags, currencies, but it isn’t the same as you get from reading books. I think their lives are really impoverished by not having read books.”