August 28, 2004 9:59 PM   Subscribe

The insolent art of Michel Houellebecq. "There are certain books—sardonic and acutely pessimistic—that systematically affront all our current habits of living, and treat our presumptions of mind as the delusions of the cretinous." Julian Barnes' 2003 review in The New Yorker.
posted by semmi (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Awesome! One of my favorite (new) authors. (Though, as the article alludes to, it takes a particular kind of person to appreciate his POV and approach.) I picked up Platform @ Fopp a few years back and absolutely loved it and have been a fan and avid reader ever since. Thanks for the link/post, semmi, as I missed it in '03. (FWIW, in some lands, The Elementary Particles has been titled Atomized)
posted by shoepal at 11:15 PM on August 28, 2004

I would have to agree with Barnes: Les EP (Atomised, whichever) is a very French novel in a certain way: a dystopian sense of fruitlessness of the present and his suggested future.

But Houellebecq reminds me of no one so much as JB Ballard (particularly Cocaine Nights), who is claimed as the quintessential British postmodernist. Both have that vague science-fiction resolution? I don't know. They both certainly have anger issues with sex and parenthood.

I'm always interested in the politics of book prizes, so an interesting article for that.
posted by ZippityBuddha at 4:17 AM on August 29, 2004

Cool, thanks semmi - i liked that.

And may the gods that be protect you from the wrath of the holier than thou for posting a single-link TNR fpp...
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:38 AM on August 29, 2004

I dispise him and his views. He is considered as a true icon here in France, and all i see is desperate provocation and controversy. One of those new-new wave authors such as Frederic Beigbeder that won't last - hopefully.

posted by Sijeka at 8:09 AM on August 29, 2004

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