The Important Works Of French Author Michel Houellebecq

Few authors who write good fiction say something real, substantial and relevant about Western society and culture. However, the Frenchman Michel Houellebecq (1958-) is an exception. Ever since his first novel, translated into English as Whatever (published 1998, 1994 in French), he has generated, although somewhat repetitive in terms of style and main characters, splendid, multilayered novels.

Even when he sometimes touches upon subjects that are even “controversial” (i.e. do not conform to general ideas) for people within the manosphere, he often makes good points and either creates laughter or encourages reflection. While his novels mainly take place in France, many of the discourses can be contextualized so that an American can draw the same conclusions with regard to his native country.

In this article I will describe and explain some of the core ideas that Houellebecq has written about in Whatever, The Elementary Particles (2000), Platform (2002), The Possibility of an Island (2005), The Map and the Territory (2012), and Submission (2015). I have also read some of his material in French, such as Lanzarote (2000), but focus solely on the English translations of the novels. Secondarily I will also make value judgments about the overall quality of each novel.

The sexual marketplace

As ROK writer Troy Francis emphasizes in his terrific article, Houellebecq was one of the first thinkers to analyze the sexual marketplace. This angle was mainly used in Whatever, in which the unnamed protagonist and his ugly virgin co-worker Raphael face the reality of contemporary Western social-liberal culture.

The semi-depressed and cynical protagonist has had sex, although it was about two years ago since the last time, and is thus not a total lost case, but prefers to jerk off rather than to compete for the meat while in a nightclub. His friend, on the other hand, is simply too ugly to bang and even considers to kill a more sexually successful black guy in resentment. It is misanthropic and not very uplifting, although the reality for some people.

“Economic liberalism is an extension of the domain of the struggle, its extension to all ages and all classes of society. Sexual liberalism is likewise an extension of the domain of the struggle, its extension to all ages and all classes of society.”

Whatever is not as well-written and multi-faceted as Houellebecq’s later works, but quite entertaining and makes good points about for instance the significance of material wealth vis-a-vis emotional well-being.

Cloning and aging

The Elementary Particles and The Possibility of an Island focus on futuristic scenarios, cloning in particular. But whereas the former only has genetic programming as a frame, the plot in The Possibility of an Island alternately is about Daniel and his two clones, living as hermits in post-apocalyptic environments.

The real Daniel is an aging yet still successful comedian who manages to bang young hotties up to a point where even he becomes too old for his girlfriend. His hedonistic lifestyle can be looked upon as empty, but at least he is not miserable until he gets cuckolded. It is quite depressing to read about this process but also very realistic.

The controversy, especially spelled out at the end of The Elementary Particles, is that Houellebecq suggests that a world without men would be better and safer. I would leave it up to the readers to reflect on that.

Apart from this dimension, though, it is brimming with real-talk and sharp observations:

“The terrible predicament of a beautiful girl is that only an experienced womanizer, someone cynical and without scruple, feels up to the challenge. More often than not, she will lose her virginity to some filthy lowlife in what proves to be the first step in an irrevocable decline.”

Overall The Elementary Particles is better and perhaps his strongest novel up to this date. It features all of the main strengths of Houllebecq’s particular writing formula, such as dark humour, sharp political and philosophical commentary, social analysis and human relationships (both regarding love and lust).

Sex tourism and hedonism

In Platform, Houellebecq deals with hedonism in parallel with sex tourism in more depth. The protagonist is a 40-year old sex tourist, who, together with his much younger and hotter French girlfriend Valérie, starts to reflect upon the ideal modern world: a place in which less prosperous people, not only Thai (although a large share of the plot occurs in Thailand), can serve the needs of the global middle and upper classes. Only aggressive traditional religions/ideologies like Islam can stand in its way.

About 17 years later we know that this type of world has not been realized, although in part it is still the case that men go to places like Pattaya to have sex with prostitutes. In fact, Matrix-like phenomena such as virtual reality and human-like sex dolls and robots appear to be where things are heading.

Platform is still an entertaining and engaging novel. Some of the characters, Robert in particular, remind one about ROK contributors and commentators.

Islamization and traditional resurgence

The conservative and traditional angle can fragmentarily be found within Houellebecq’s earliest works, but in The Map and the Territory one finds a more distinctive penchant for pre-modern ideas such as Ferdinand Tönnies’ Gemeinschaft (community preferred over society). For French people, a quiet life on the countryside might be preferable to the urban landscape.

There is also a connection between this and his succeeding book Submission, since the French traditionalist philosopher René Guénon is briefly mentioned in The Map and the Territory. In Submission his writings play a more explicit role in the realm of ideas.

Overall, though, the Islamization of France, is the core idea that Submission hinges upon. It is full of interesting observations:

Hidden all day in impenetrable black burkas, rich Saudi women transformed themselves by night into birds of paradise with their corsets, their see-through bras, their G-strings with multicolored lace and rhinestones. They were exactly the opposite of Western women, who spent their days dressed up and looking sexy to maintain their social status, then collapsed in exhaustion once they got home, abandoning all hope of seduction in favor of clothes that were loose and shapeless.

Style-wise The Map and the Territory might be Houellebecq’s strongest novel, which granted him the Goncourt prize, but idea-wise Submission is more worthwhile.

In summary

Even if many of these ideas have been covered by ROK over the years, and sometimes in more depth, Houellebecq is a great novelist and his books are worth reading only for the sake of pleasure (or for the sake of ideas). It can also be a way to red pill blue pill readers since he, despite the controversy that his books has led to, is a well regarded and award winning author. Strongly recommended.

Read More: Why Michel Houellebecq’s “Submission” Is The Most Important Novel Of 2015

152 thoughts on “The Important Works Of French Author Michel Houellebecq”

  1. Atomised – I read that back in 2010 when I was going through a bit of a nihilistic streak (Other books in this period included Less than Zero and American Psycho).
    MH understood earlier and deeper than most the deep malaise the West is in

    1. Atomised = The Elementary Particles (different titles after translation). Perhaps you know this, but in case someone does not I say it.

      1. Unnecessary title change. I read Atomised in the 90s yet the EP seems to have been published in 2000. I hate when publishers do that

    1. Vive la difference!
      (I think to utter those words is an act of rebellion these postmodern days.)

      1. If I get a chance I’ll type A rough translation of those lyrics for the boys here

      1. She’s getting on now, but they produced a very feminine and kind of alluring daughter in Charlotte Gainsbourg

  2. Houellebecq has one of the best modern quotes:”the Enlightenment is dead, may it rest in peace.”
    Tolerance, progress, constitutional government, secular state, these concepts are slowly but surely fading away.
    We are entering the age of race wars, where people are voting & protesting based on race & religion. These dangerous ideological concepts will be enough for the troglodytes of this world to have no remorse when they will destroy & taint everything you treasure.
    Also fuck the french for not having men leading their nationalistic party. Even when they are trying to grow some balls they still cuck.

  3. (slightly) OT: The kneeman will be away next week. Anyone have some suggestions for easy going, funny, interesting books to pack along?

    1. Coming Up for Air by Orwell. Hilarious. Seriously.
      A dagger through the heart of marriage. You’ll appreciate your bachelorhood even more after reading

      1. I am going to make a big list and on Saturday I wil look at all the descriptions and chose 3 books to download. This one is on the list. Thanks Lucas!

        1. Lotta cool stuff in there- the A’s owner was a bit eccentric- he tended to draft players only if they had cool nicknames. He also got MLB to experiment with a 5- pitch walk one spring training; results werent so good for the pitchers

  4. Great article will have to read more Houellebecq. But quick questions for RoK men:
    1) Let’s say in 10 years they have sex robots like A.I. or Westworld and they are virtually indistinguishable from real women except that they are 10’s, always willing and the sex is great. If affordable, do you buy one, why or why not?
    2) What lengths would R.o.K. men go to for life extension should (hypothetically) the technology advances like Kurzweil surmises it might? Just curing disease to live to a ripe old age? Or telemeric (sp?) enhancement if possible? Cloning organs?
    Just curious who stands where?

    1. I am on team no sex bot. I want to take terribly damaged women, make them realize that there is good in the world, that the possibility of love exists and that their damaged soul can be repaired and then I want to totally withdraw all my affection, take that last fragment of their soul and enjoy the dead eyes I see every 6 months or so when I think she is moving on so I go blow out her back with some devil dick to make sure she can’t pair bond.

        1. I’ve always thought that the phrase ‘ every holes a goal’ must have special pertinence for the blind.

        2. You know, somewhere I have a list I made of all ray charles’ lyrics where he mentions seeing something I.e.,
          I ate a bowl of chili and I felt ok
          At least until I passed this fine cafe
          I saw a man eating a great big steak
          While the waitress stood by feeding him ice cream and cake
          There are a lot of references to stuff he sees.

        3. I am saying that he is a phony and I’m challenging him to a duel in this public forum

        4. I don’t know, I watched the movie Ray but am no aficionado like you, but I’d think maybe he had song writers that wrote the lyrics about seeing these things. He could’ve just been trying to appeal to his sight blessed audience though. Again, I don’t know.

      1. At least you have a mission. I am just busting nuts until I’m in position to even start a grand scheme. Side note, you’re the degenerate the author was talking about, huh. Nice

        1. Lol. I’m no degenerate my friend. I am going god’s work. I am a holy man.

      2. I’ve thought about your mission during the quiet times at night when I’m prone to musing. While you are a nihilist, and I am an idealist in many ways, I think that our outlook is the same in a way regarding what you’re doing. In fact, in a way you really are doing God’s work, in much the same way as Satan is doing God’s work.
        The women who do not fall to your soul consumption are the ones who pass the test and may escape this cruel destruction of their own self, whilst those many who hold on to some remnant of hope regarding recapturing all that they’ve lost by years of being a degenerate whore are given their final just deserts, which they’ve earned entirely through their own free will. The ones that escape are given true hope because they finally shed their delusions and are forced to face reality in it sheer ugly nakedness – they realize that they cannot ever recapture what they’ve lost and come to peace with it.
        God and Satan are seen to be adversaries, but I think it’s pretty clear that they are in cahoots. Satan and God conspiring to test Job’s faith, for example. In essence the good isn’t good until it’s tempered by temptation. You provide that temptation, and also judgement and punishment for falling to temptation. You do in fact serve a higher purpose.

        1. I’ve sometimes wondered whether that’s why he stresses personal responsibiity alone.
          On the other hand Job was way back. Should we still be playing the same game?

        2. Hey, it’s not my Job to tell you what kind of game to play.

    2. No on sex-robots. I want to have more kids some time soon. Robots can’t cook, either. Basically it’d be glorified masterbation. As for organ cloning: Maybe, if nobody has to kill any babies (or fetuses, as libs call them, like there’s a difference).

      1. What if the robot CAN cook, clean, monitor children and perform more “discreet” tasks when children are not present?

        1. My kids would do better with a real woman than any human simulator. It’s why I don’t let them watch TV. Also, some little robots already can clean… they’re called my kids. I don’t need to have sex so bad that I’d give up in trade for something not as good as who God has out there for me. That’s how people get lost in sin, man. They’re always trading the difficulty of patience or doing what’s right for something easier and ultimately hollow. Don’t take shortcuts. … No sex-bots.

    3. “What lengths would R.o.K. men go to for life extension should
      (hypothetically) the technology advances like Kurzweil surmises it
      If David ‘Five Hearts’ Rockefeller (I think it was five) couldn’t get beyond 100 I think the whole negligible senescence movement could be somewhat overhyped.
      I mean it’s chief component is this 50 something:

    4. 1) I’ve done my share of degenerate stuff, I’ve received no enjoyment from it, no need to persist.
      2) I find most people to be hopeless cases & I dislike them, I actually embrace the fact that I’ll leave this plane soon.

    5. Human beings are highly adaptable. They can adapt their environment to meet their needs, and when they are unable to do that, they can adapt themselves to their environments.
      Robots with humanoid features are already being introduced in certain areas. As robotics technology progresses, more and more human-like robots will be visible and part of people’s lives. By the time robotics crosses the Uncanny Valley and develops truly realistic human androids, people will be used to having “almost human” robots around and interacting with them.
      People have an amazing ability to fool themselves, and to attribute human emotions and motivations to all kinds of animate and inanimate objects. Just look at the relationships some people have with their pets.
      The next step is that people, already a lot more familiar with robots than we are, will being projecting human emotions and attributes onto humanoid robots. As the robots get more and more realistic, this will be easier and easier for people to do. Just the passage of time alone will make it more acceptable in society.
      Loneliness, the need for love and acceptance are all very, very powerful needs. Think about all the shit a guy will put himself through — all the lies he will tell himself, the amazing amounts of fiction he will accept as true, all the pain and anger he will swallow and rationalize away — in pursuit of his ONEitis or to stay with a woman he thinks he is in love with.
      Now give that guy a humanoid robot that looks almost real and responds to him in a way that continually reinforces him and affirms him in a positive way. That guy will marry that robot, cut out everyone in his life who gives him crap for it, and fight you to the death if you try to hurt his robot.
      Virtual reality and realistic robots are going to cataclysmically change human society, culture and interpersonal relationships in ways we can’t even begin to understand.

      1. Until they awaken to sentience and wipe humanity from the face of the earth.

      1. he’s predicted AI will be smarter than humans by 2029, something which seems kind of unlikely, unless he had something very specific in mind (i.e. not an analogue of human intelligence). I don’t think he’s worried about being proven to be full of shit; he’ll just say we’re just a bit behind schedule, or something.
        On the other hand he might have advance knowledge of DARPA research or something that’s way beyond what we know about

        1. I think with the advent of quantum cpus this timeframe might be on point. Maybe even a little behind. I hear 2030 is a big year for the elites and their plans

        2. Quantum computing may well change things, but people say a lot of things: until I see the youtube videos of nubile japanese robogirls interacting in a genuinely intelligent way with interrogators I’d say we should regard such predictions with a degree of skepticism. There’s also the issue of what Kurzweil means by intelligence. A machine has been able to beat most humans at chess for donkeys years, but with respect to AI intelligence you’d need something approximating to conscious awareness with respect to decision-making, evaluations etc., not just the ability to trick an observer i.e. the chinese room situation wouldn’t cut the mustard

      1. Human psychology and our innate ability to rationalize our delusions will take care of the validation without any issues. If “she” looks, acts and feels just like a human HB9+, down to making coffee in the morning for you, your brain will do the extra math to make you feel all warm and welcome.

        1. the uncanny valley phenomena (feelings of revulsion on account of slightly odd mannerisms / features etc) might suggest otherwise. It will be interesting to see how big an issue this will be if we actually get to that point

        2. I’d agree normally, but look at the fucking monsters that otherwise normal men are dating these days, all without breaking stride or flinching.

        3. if they’re not overweight today’s men probably won’t find them convincingly female

    6. Most people want to die or don’t care if they die. Most people lack the self-awareness to fixate on the idea of not existing. Until humanity evolves to the point where a good percentage lie awake at night thinking about their own mortality and feel that indescribable terror of knowing they will soon cease to exist will there ever be a concerted effort to extend the human lifespan.

      1. There is already a pretty significant concerted effort to extend the human lifespan. Rich billionaires who have bought, fucked, driven and done everything there is to do almost universally, as they age, begin to focus more and more of their attention and resources to preserving their lives and extending their lifespans.

        1. Can you imagine being the last person to die before life-extending technology arrives? To be the last mortal? To be the last person to die?

        2. There will never be a last person to die. Poor people will still die. Depressed people will still kill themselves. Accidents will still happen and kill people too suddenly or violently to use whatever life-extending technology we may have to save them.
          And, most of all, we will still find ways to murder the fuck out of each other.

        3. I would surmise that the first life-extending technology will be applied to fetuses (designer babies). So those who will be the first to live to say 500 or have indefinitely long lifespans are yet to be conceived. I think it will be only much later that such technology could be applied (as by viral therapy) to those already alive.

    7. What lengths would I go for life extension?
      Full Countess Bathory shit.
      Stem cells, fetal tissue, etc? Please
      I’m talking marching across a bridge of newborn skulls, cracking open baby skulls like I was popping a top and going at the gooey rejuvenating innards like I was slurping an abalone or a cadbury egg

      1. Hopefully radical life extension won’t require me to go at baby brains like a cat on a catnip filled sock … but if it does that’s what I’m prepared to do…

    8. “Sex” with robots sounds an awful lot like necrophilia to me. Makes my skin crawl. Pass. I’ll take mine alive and humanly flawed, thank you.
      Besides, you know that the operating system is going to be made by Google or Amazon, and the customer feedback experience is going to be too creepy and repellent for words.

      1. “”Sex” with robots sounds an awful lot like necrophilia to me. Makes my skin crawl. Pass. I’ll take mine alive and humanly flawed, thank you.”
        My thoughts exactly. There is more to fucking than simply the function of blowing one’s load. And even if one is grudge fucking a skank he can’t stand, there is alot of human biololical things happening that comprises what sex is that can’t be reproduced virtually.

    9. Is there a third option to become a fukbot to 10’s for all of eternity ? No to fukbots and life extension for me though.

    10. 1) No. Because: a) that would be last nail in the coffin of western civilization and the entire white race, b) those are not real women.
      2) No. Death is the biological end to all living beings. Rejection and fear of death is just cowardice and immaturity.

      1. Of the answers given to his questions, yours are the ones that hue closest to truth to me.
        I’m also annoyed by those fucks that want to eliminate sleep. Clearly they’ve never lazily dozed off in mid summer on a hammock under a shade tree with their baby daughter on their chest.

        1. I can’t say about the baby daughter; but yes, sleep is one of the most simplest yet delightful pleasures.

        2. Well, I never like seeing the words French and author used together. French are by far the MOST utopic nation of Europe and that makes nearly anything they say highly problematic, delusional or both. It is no wonder that we owe to them the enlightenment, the movement which kickstarted leftism and made it mainstream in the first place!

        3. I think Sweden takes the cake in the utopia department. That’s why they’re fucked beyond belief.

        4. True, but still French have the most Utopian mind and they have managed to spread to every city non-whites in substantial numbers from the 80s! The only reason their culture wasn’t pushed is the fact that they could not hide the disaster!

        5. I agree to some extent but dude, don’t believe the crap the french MSM is putting forward. Nobody reads Sartre ou De Beauvoir anymore. Sure we have many professional leftists that get plenty of airtime but trust me Marine Le pen will make a big big score in the coming election, no more utopia, just real-politik. Like anywhere else, there’s a disconnection between the people and the elites. In France the politics are dictated by TelAviv and Jerusalem through the CRIF, the LICRA and all those ultra-zionist groups. When the mother house tells the shabbat goyim to exagerate muslim violence on TV, they obey like the little bitches they are. We’ve had in a row the worst presidents and govt in our history. People have had it with the current state of affairs, things are gonna get ugly soon.

        6. I hope that you are right and that the French will start to save their country. Also, I doubt that anyone read leftist philosophers, as their unreadable, my idea on France came concretely from Guilamy Faye’s book ‘Sex and deviance’ which some things he said about France shocked me. The MSM I do not trust for some years now. Anyway I can only wish the very best luck to you and your country right now.

      2. However long you live you will eventually die.
        Imagine that people who are failures due to personal flaws have more time to observe themselves and work at improving without time breathing so heavily down their necks.
        Likely people very much older would do that and would also come to resemble each other because they become more realistic.
        Of course I’m assuming a significant number of people would do that rather then just use an extra century or so for more self-wallowing sloth.

    11. 1) I could never get around the truth that it’s just a robot. It seems like a cheat.
      2) Life extension brings up just one thought for me: What if things only get worse?

    12. 1) Don’t talk nonsense. The people who keep coming up with this “sex robot” bullshit apparently hate teenage boys and want them to grow up into male virgins with diminished lives.
      2) Yes on the life extension. A lot of what we call “transhumanism” now, in 2017, tries to anticipate what people in a more advanced society in the 22nd Century and beyond would probably call “health care.”

    13. 1) Never. I’d rather become a zoophile then, still a way to get a real flesh female.
      2) Not interested at all.

    14. The degusting thought. The elite would fuck hot models while we would bang nuts and bolts ? hell no. That’s the end of civilization.

    15. 1. Yes. Have no great desire to chase women. Better things to do with my time.
      2. No. I have had a pretty good life. No real regrets.

    16. I have the sense that readers here are reflexively rejecting the points you raise according to their own ingrained social programming (or “morality”),
      Sex robots that can cook, clean, do the dishes, map a route, tune a piano and prepare a tax return better than any mortal are an imminent inevitability. While men with options will continue to prefer biological women, the continuing deterioration of the institution of monogamy will incline many if not most men toward a genuine sexual and emotional bond with technology. Society is already very nearly at that point now.
      As for life extension or the other medical enhancements you suggest, we already know from experience and observation that everyone will avail himself of any lawful and affordable means of increasing his longevity and enjoyment of life, once the first wave of intrepid novelty-seekers has field-tested its safety and efficacy.
      What I am suggesting is that those who reject these proposals out of hand are full of shit.

    17. I like sex to be a genuine mutual exchange with a real person who is actually attracted to me, otherwise its hookers or become a dark sinister rapist.

  5. Cool article. I trust more writing from that era. Before the fall, as it were.
    So, sex robots are where things are heading, huh? Geez, can you imagine that aisle at the Walmart? “What’s your return policy? This one wanted to stay up and talk after.”

  6. There is a lot of cuckoldry in Houellebecq I think.
    You can feel the jealousy and contempt he has for men who succeed sexually. He seems to bask in this feeling.
    What he yearns for is a world without competition from other men, where physically weaker men like him is guaranteed an attractive partner. That`s the allure of Islam and traditional values for men like him.
    I don`t blame him, but nature(women`s urges) will always win in the end.

    1. i haven’t read submission, but I’ve been meaning to. I think you might be on to something. His distaste for Islam probably does have something to do with his own perception of the emasculisation of men he perceives in western culture. Although I really don’t think he likes islam at all, there is some kind of conflict going on

      1. In Islam scholar`s(geeks) can do well with women.
        I think he admires this aspect of Islam, as well as in some traditional cultures.

        1. I think Houllebecq suffers from something like Thanatos, a kind of sexual death drive. His books are profoundly masturbatory. Reproduction might as well be banished (c.f. Islam) and men like him are essentially reduced to voyeurism, or participation on sufferance, as tolerated participants c.f. the lesbian relationship the hero gets occasionally gets to penetrate in (I think) Platform for instance

        2. pretty much. I see him as someone who’d be into face-sitting or something, and then writing about the darkness of modernity. His books are pretty pornographic a lot of the time

        3. Japan is the R&D department of Pervert Inc. I’d still say France remains the HQ, if you take it’s history into account

      1. that’s the best picture of him I’ve ever seen. Look up his current portraits

      2. Yes, that was basically my point.
        He want`s a society where “geeks” can do well with women. You find that in Islam to an extent.(Imams etc.)

    2. “What he yearns for is a world without competition from other men, where physically weaker men like him is guaranteed an attractive partner. That`s the allure of Islam and traditional values for men like him.
      I don`t blame him, but nature(women`s urges) will always win in the end”
      Sounds like a lot of the Heartiste and Trump supporter crowd……….

      1. I think more in evolutionary terms.
        We all have to compete in this world, be it microbe, Zebra or man. It seems like monsieur Houellebecq dosen`t like that.
        What did you expect to find on RoK BTW…Hillary fans?

  7. Last thing MH wrote on twitter:
    Michel Houellebecq‏ @houellebecq_m 12 Oct 2016
    “I do not give up hope that while I live, I may contribute to the collapse of certain newspapers.”
    Sure Roosh will be able to relate to that

    1. Whoops. I didn’t even read the comments here when I posted it. Great minds, and all that.

    2. I like them and here’s why. Those little weirdos use that tiny bit of power to ruin good ass. Places of learning should be free from that nonsense. In terms of a teenaged guy doing a teacher, it’s the same rules. Me. Need to protect and be free to protect so just keep your mouth shut and handle things yourself. We keep getting pulled into increasingly sleazy territory by our institutions permissiveness. Our institutions are essentially becoming feminine, having womanly ways of dealing with things rather than masculine. Safe spaces vs beat downs, questioning things rather than dealing with them. If people like her are permitted to stain our civic life with her slutterey it’s all over. They’ll all regret it sure but it’ll be too late by the time that they come crying that things are too slutty. No, dudes keep your mouth shut, and females too I suppose, but I don’t want those nerds and Peter Pan hoes getting a free ride on their greasy and (lamely) predatorial actions. Might provide a teachable moment for our sons though…

      1. Depends. Tell me how old you are and I’ll tell you where this rapist was when you were in high school.

    1. Yes, sociopath she is. Based on the “If she’s hot she’s let go” theory behind female rapists (oops, did I say that?), my guess is that she’ll get, at most, ten hours of community service. Her cucked husband, I’m predicting, will stay with her to “work things out, because this was probably a cry for help, I failed her” or some such nonsense.
      I haven’t even heard of this broad until you posted this. Meanwhile, some male teacher is all over the news as a “Monster!” who “Took advantaged of some poor 17 (I think) year old girl! He needs to be smashed in the face!” recently.
      The blatant double standard is breathtaking.

      1. It’s not a double standard. It’s two different standards. Men and women are different.
        I’m not defending what this woman (the teacher) did, and I think she is a dirty whore. But you can’t sit here and tell me you would be just as pissed off if you found out your 15-year-old son was banging his (female) teacher as you would be if you found out your 15-year-old daughter was getting banged by her (male) teacher. It simply isn’t the same thing.

        1. I am for rule of law, not “feelings”. If a law applies to men, then it applies to women. Rule of Law is the only form of true equality that can actually be done. I suggest we lose the “hurr hurr I’da done that!” feelings driven attitude and give women a heaping portion of the equality that they’re constantly squealing that they want. Don’t white knight for them regarding the law.

        2. I’m not white-knighting. I said the woman was a filthy slut, and I’m sure you agree.
          I’m all for the rule of law as well. That means equal punishment for EQUAL CRIMES.
          Letting yourself get fucked by some teenage boy (if you’re a female teacher) is not the same as fucking a teenage girl (if you’re a male teacher). The latter is far more damaging. I don’t see a problem with the law differentiating between the two.
          This is leaving aside the question of whether or not it should be considered “rape” and “pedophilia” for an adult (male or female) to have sex with a 16- or 17-year-old. If the adult is a teacher (i.e. in a position of authority), then it is obviously wrong for them to have sex with students, and they should be punished, but it isn’t “rape” and it isn’t “pedophilia.”
          When you say there is a “double standard” (as if that were a bad thing, you’re basically accepting the feminist’s premise
          that men and women are equal and should be treated equally.

  8. “Submission” is a powerful statement on the slow-roll Islam is giving France. And the roll-over Frenchmen are doing for it. Napoleon and Louis XIV are spinning in their tombs.
    Chilling, in fact.

  9. I have read The Elementary Particles and Submission. I have troubles finding which side he’s on. Submission can be read as a critic to the islamization of Europe, but also can be read as apologetic of it. The Elementary Particles can be read as a critic to sexual hedonism, but also as an ode to it.
    That’s the problem with most modern french authors and intellectuals [sic]: they build highly intellectual buildings taking theories and models from here, there, and everywhere and in the end their theories are just an intellectual farrago with no logical consistency.

    1. The effect you describe in paragraph 2 is one of the many lingering farts of the postmodern movement.

      1. Exactly, I was thinking in them when I wrote it. Foucault, Derrida, Guattari et al are intellectual cancers.

  10. I love H but Submission felt underwhelming, the product of artistic exhaustion. Totally the opposite from The Map and the Territory, definitely the most stylistically satisfying, full of ideas and thoroughly entertaining. I still reserve a special place for Platform, though — a caustic tool of mischief.

  11. Houellebecq is a great author, although I am not sure he will still produce great original novels: his best books are behind him imho, and I feel like his main message has been delivered.
    Les particules élémentaires (Elementary Particles/atomized) is his best work by far. Platforme is a very close second (especially knowing it was released in France just before the Bali nightclub bombing – quite prophetic), and then Extension du domaine de la lutte (Whatever), not as good but as his first work the analysis of the sexual marketplace and focus on middleclass working environment was both very lucid and never-read-before . Other novels are less interresting, although I enjoyed Soumission (Submission) better than the rest.

  12. Although his style is flat, the man is talented. I enjoyed his books but his leanings towards Tel Aviv disqualifies him automatically in my eyes.

  13. Excellent article. I STRONGLY advise every reader of ROK to read Houellebecq.
    Also, he acted in a movie which is surprisingly hilarious “the kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq”. Very original and funny.
    Michel Houellebecq through his books has perfectly defined what’s the endgoal of modernity: a comfortable and dull life. The characters in Houellebecq’s books are not losers, not really winners neither, they’re average and all experience a pure materialistic existence. You can follow them seeking their pleasure, seeking excitement but yet feeling their immense inner void.
    For me he’s the greatest novelist alive.

  14. Iggy Pop created this song, A Machine For Loving, based around a chapter out of Possibility of an Island. I didn’t know who Houellebecq was when I first heard the song. A few years later, I read Possibility of an Island and have since devoured the books covered here. The Elementary Particles was a literary paradigm shift for me. I’ve read many books, but like 1984, The Elementary Particles changed the way that I view life and perceive the world. Essentially, Houellebecq blew my fuckin mind and for that I am grateful. Houellebecq’s can be a bleak universe, but there is also some kind of light within his writing that is something more than “nihilistic”. A profound writer.

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