Kamel Daoud (The Meursault Investigation) and Mathias Enard (Boussole) talk about each other's books -- and Orientalism, evil, "fossilized" thought, Wahhabism, Islamic writers in the February 2016 issue of Le Magazine Litteraire,
KD: I'm grateful to Mathias Enard for having given me the chance to read about an Orient that includes as much complexity as humanity. It's not the Orient of the Other, but a reader's and a writer's experience. If I dared, I would say that it's a participatory Orient.
ME: For me, the absolute evil...is ignoring others, the possibility of difference. It's zero degrees of curiosity. You're incapable of seeing outside yourself, such that you believe that you already know everything and have already understood everything... Absolute evil resides in this citadel of the brutish and violent self.
ME: What will save the Arabs, and in a large part the Iranians, is that a millennium of extraordinarily strong culture is resting underneath their feet... I remain optimistic in the sense that, if we want to fight, there are powerful weapons, and there are people to take them up. We need only to find the time to think and to convince the media to spread this thought.