But how has this really been working out for them? C'est dans ce contexte politico-historique orageux que Michel Houellebecq propulse le narrateur de Soumission: un universitaire quadragénaire, spécialiste de Huysmans et des écrivains décadents de la fin du XIXe siècle, par ailleurs personnage houellebecquien par excellence, solitaire, détaché, parfaitement indisposé par son époque – ses élites politiques et intellectuelles, ses idéaux progressistes et ses réflexes bien-pensants, ses mœurs mercantiles – et dont les exécrations, prononcées sans colère, nour… The following entry presents an overview of Houellebecq's career through 2003. En réalité, les expériences sexuelles successives accumulées au cours de l’adolescence minent et détruisent rapidement toute possibilité de projection d’ordre sentimental et romanesque.” Quoted from Houellebecq, Whatever, 112. Even if you don’t share his view on the matter, it is definitely worth the read. Michel Houellebecq. Pas de se suicider, enfin pas tout de suite car il ny aurait pas de roman, mais de disparaître, de sévaporer. If they continue to work full hours, building a family becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible. Les idées incongrues voisinent ici avec les longues réflexions muries. The sun doesn’t rise. Michel Houellebecq’s Serotonin is a caustic, frightening, hilarious, raunchy, offensive, and politically incorrect novel about the decline of Europe, Western civilization, and humanity in general. . Tiré chez Flammarion à 320 000 exemplaires, c'est la sensation de la rentrée littéraire. ( Log Out /  Gradually something akin to a will to live begins to resurface: he notices skirts by the bar in a café, girls, facial expressions, emotion, desire, and irritation at the mind-numbing TV programs he had been watching every day. Introduction Tomasz Swoboda: Flânerie poétique de Michel Houellebecq Marie Gil: La métaphore « impossible ». Review: Submission, by Michel Houellebecq - The Irish Times These loving impulses that enter into our hearts to the point of suffocation, these illuminations, these ecstasies which cannot be explained by simple biological nature, by our status as primates: these are extraordinarily clear signals. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. If you sense overtones of George Orwell here, be advised, it smacks of Orwellian critique – Houellebecq exchanges the political dogma of “Big Brother” for the omnipresent religious dogma in the neohumans, the “Supreme Sister”. For a short while he seems to recover his lust for life. Both the social-dem­ocratic and the liberal wing of the modern political spectrum (re­spectively advocating the welfare state and the free market) wish to maximize individual autonomy. Religion is not something people are able to critique easily. In Les particules élémentaires (1998), the pursuit of knowledge itself assumes religious proportions that raises mankind to a divine perspective through genetic manipulation. Houellebecq does not really reach a conclusion. In this novel we follow a university professor from Paris, who specializes in the work of Joris-Karl Huysmans. The following entry presents an overview of Houellebecq's career through 2003. Television, internet, and pornography have replaced organic social intercourse and physical intimacy. The remedy for this collapse of the modern promise is clear. . Over time, all such institutions that the individual requires to fully actualize a meaningful existence—such as a family and a connection to generations past and future, a nation, a tradition, perhaps a church—will weaken and eventually disappear. 2 “Dieu s’occupe de nous en réalité, il pense à nous à chaque instant, et il nous donne des directives parfois très précises. Many of the ‘new Atheists’, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, etc. Michel Houellebecq enflamme la rentrée. It contains a scathing critique of the European Union and imagines farmers blocking roadways … Et je comprends, aujourd’hui, le point de vue du Christ, son agacement répété devant l’endurcissement des coeurs: ils ont tous les signes, et ils n’en tiennent pas le compte. The “metaphysical mutation” that prescribes maximum individual pleasure and materialistic gain reached its logical conclusion, Houelle­becq explains, in the liberal vision of mankind found in Al­dous Huxley’s Brave New World. For without the ability to define ourselves in an unbreakable connection with our surroundings, there is nothing for us to derive meaning from and we end up depressed. So, while the Islam is presented in a bad daylight, the true critique is on our society and our intellectuals as a whole. Dès lors qu’une mutation métaphysique s’est produite, elle se développe sans rencontrer de résistance jusqu’à ses conséquences ultimes.” Quoted from Houellebecq, Atomised, 4. In desperation, the resistance leader commits suicide at a demonstration not unlike today’s gilets jaunes protests. This simple idea forms the fundamental conviction of Houellebecq’s work. Do I really have to be so explicit? Quitting his job, he leaves their joint apartment without a word and decides to carry on anony­m­ously for as long as his savings will allow. So, while the Islam is presented in a bad daylight, the true critique is on our society and our intellectuals as a whole. Consider the emancipation of women and the feminist ideology that underpins it (a favorite topic in Houellebecq’s work). Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission—recently translated into English—depicts a dystopian near future in which France undergoes Islamization. They don’t have much choice, really—most of them have money problems too.5. Or is it the writer who is speaking here, presenting his oeuvre as an attempt to offer salvation? have outed critique on Christianity and on the Islam. Thus, the freest people who have ever lived have also come to live the least meaningful lives. In a few short years, they managed to turn every man they knew into an impotent, whining neurotic. Erratic consumer preferences, capricious fashions, and an unpredictable herd instinct dictate the opinions (or the whims and fancies) of most of us who no longer have a family, a home, a church, and a nation to reinforce our sense of identity. Then, religion: Houellebecq argues that we will always conceive of ourselves in terms of a metaphysical purpose. All control of life—and of who we are—is lost. In contrast to such movements stands the alternative: the con­quest or replacement of our civilization by a new “metaphysical mutation.” Such a metaphysical mutation also conforms, though in a different way, to some traditionalist standard and involves the sacri­fice of the individual’s desires and liberation in favor of the group. Now this fundamental point which Houellebecq makes time and again deserves further reflection, because it challenges the very fun­damentals of both the contemporary “Left” and the “Right.” It challenges modern anthropology as such. The new Michel Houellebecq novel, Serotonin, is an exhausted and exhausting book. Sérotonine Essays and criticism on Michel Houellebecq - Critical Essays. People who critique the Islam can get death threats or drawing Muhammed might mean blasphemy and the loss of Muslim friends. Sex, in short, can be a threat—and not simply an aide—to intimacy and love. Houellebecq is concerned primarily with chaos. Houellebecq is a one-off and his worldview is bracingly unwoke. He takes antidepressants, launches into a kind of farewell tour of his exes—some of whom he actually speaks to, while others he watches from a distance (and he notices with some satisfaction that they, too, have ended up unhappy). by Michel Houellebecq Sérotonine (Michel Houellebecq) Critique de CCRIDER le 25 mars 2019 (3 votes, moyenne: 3,33 / 5) ... (Florent-Claude étant à l’évidence un avatar de Michel Houellebecq), ne déroge pas aux thèmes habituellement traités par l’auteur. Il semblerait que oui.” Houellebecq, Sérotonine (Paris: Flammarion, 2019), 347 (my translation). Metaphysical mutations—that is to say radical, global transfor­mations in the values to which the majority subscribe—are rare in the history of humanity. . Both would mean a huge shift in the political landscape and society as they know it. Michel Houellebecq (prononcer [wɛlˈbɛk]), né Michel Thomas le 26 février 1956 à Saint-Pierre (La Réunion), est un écrivain, poète et essayiste français. The intellectuals aren’t really fond of this. When did we go astray? The Times [Houellebecq’s] latest, and perhaps most devastating, critique of the disastrous swerve in Western culture. He questions the sacred trinity of the modern worldview. They are expected to reject the traditional role of supporting a husband and strive instead for an “equal” relationship in which “gender roles” are interchangeable. Once a metaphysical mutation has arisen, it tends to move inexorably toward its logical conclusion.6. As more options open up each day, our hearts close to the possibility of real human warmth, having been betrayed too many times—and having witnessed ourselves betraying others—for the brief mo­ments of seductive thrills that we, as “liberated individuals,” can no longer resist. Essays and criticism on Michel Houellebecq - Critical Essays. His best friend from college days, a man of aristocratic ancestry currently running the family château near Caen in Normandy, organizes a short-lived protest movement of farmers against free trade—but even this attempt to finally do something meaningful, to resist the slash and burn of modern existence, proves ineffectual. The latter is the case for the controversial French writer Michel Houellebecq. While reading, I was struck by the thought that Sérotonine may per­haps have been based on an older manuscript (from the period of Plateforme and La possibilité d’une île) which Houellebecq still wanted to finish. Au bout d’une demi-heure je me relevai, définitivement déserté par l’Esprit, réduit à mon corps endommagé, périssable, et je redescendis tristement les marches en direction du parking.” Quoted from Michel Houellebecq, Submission, trans. And everything melts away into an all-encompassing void. Another outcome is constant con­flict, constant competition—and in the end, fighting, divorce, and social isolation—and a new generation of boys and girls growing up in such disfigured settings. 91–110.De Mul, J., Destiny Domesticated. Milk, grain, and meat from massive tillages in South America are dumped onto the French market, effectively seal­ing the fate of the farmers of France. Those who believe that the heavens above us are devoid of a divine presence will invar­iably meet their existential needs in other ways: first with the super­ficial pleasure of a libertine lifestyle, and, in due course, with barely secularized heresies—such as naïve humanitarianism and one-worldism. It has started to consume itself. It makes you wonder if he has played out his string as a fiction writer ... Like nearly every Houellebecq novel, Serotonin should be stamped on its spine with a tiny skull and crossbones, like you used to see on bottles of poison, to keep away the devout, the unsuspecting and the pure of heart. Like all Houellebecq heroes, Michel only finds relief in sex (.....) The book has been translated into rather polite English, which is a pity. Does he then sacrifice himself and plummet to the ground in a desperate attempt to save us all? We are free, and we are glad we are free. Then they start making jam from Marie Claire recipe cards. Michel Houellebecq’s tragic humanism. Constantly enticed by the promise of relief, which in the end never really re­lieves, we keep hopelessly searching for the thing that “truly” makes us, as “individuals,” “be ourselves.” In Houellebecq’s view, the very philosophical concept of “the individual self” is wrong. So today I understand how Christ felt, his frustration at people’s hardened hearts: they have seen the signs and yet they pay no attention. Michel Houellebecq’s Critique of Western Anomie. Where does this liberal view of man, which has ushered in the rapid decline of Western civilization, originate? Liberation, once again, hardly liberates. This is the tragedy that has befallen us. Véronique avait connu trop de discothèques et d’amants; un tel mode de vie appauvrit l’être humain, lui infligeant des dommages parfois graves et toujours irréversibles.