Writing was 3rd job choice: Le Clezio

Stockholm, Dec 06: Nobel literature laureate Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio said that he took up writing only after poor eyesight stopped him from becoming a sailor.

Arriving in Stockholm to receive the prestigious award, the 68-year-old Frenchman said he had also considered a career in architecture.

"My abilities in mathematics were poor ... so my third choice was being a writer," Le Clezio told reporters at the waterfront Grand Hotel.

Still, Le Clezio soon discovered a natural urge to write, and said he was driven by an uncontrollable impulse rather than a desire to convey political messages.

"I`m more a storyteller than anything else," he said in French. "I do not write intending to demonstrate something or to attack something or to defend something."

In its Nobel citation, the Swedish Academy praised Le Clezio for his "poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy" in such works as "Terra Amata," "The Book of Flights" and "Desert."

Le Clezio was the 14th French writer to win since the Nobel Prizes began in 1901. Though he was born in France, his father is British and he holds dual nationality with Mauritius, where his family has roots.

The globe-trotting writer also spends much of his time in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"Living in the US you have this strange feeling of being surrounded by threats anywhere," he said.

He said in Mauritius, an island nation renowned for its gorgeous beaches, people put more faith in peace than in war, an idea he said should be embraced more widely.

"I wish it would be possible for the whole world. Who knows, maybe one day."

Le Clezio will receive the Nobel Prize in literature at a ceremony on Wednesday. The medicine, chemistry, physics and economics prizes are also handed out in Stockholm, while the Nobel Peace Prize is presented in Oslo, Norway.

Bureau Report