Houellebecquian’s novel, a brand new literary motion?

Early December 2021. Underneath the gilding of the Richelieu amphitheater of the College of Paris-Sorbonne, supported by the laughter of an viewers dedicated to his trigger, Michel Houellebecq discusses his work: “I do not agree with the concept that you must settle for the world as it’s. […] I inform the world as it’s, however I do not settle for it. The general public enjoys.

On the event of the inaugural session of a college seminar returning to the author’s legacy, Houellebecq got here out of his promotional retirement that had begun just a few years earlier with the discharge of his newest e book, serotonin† He agreed to publicly focus on his conception of literature simply earlier than the publication ofdestroy, a 736-page political fiction by which the 65-year-old creator offers with the difficulty of the top of life.

Landmark of an period

From his first novel The growth of the sphere of battle Printed in 1994, Michel Houellebecq has established itself as a singular voice in French literature, translated into some forty languages, accentuating the publication calendar and attracting media consideration. We remark, analyze and criticize his novels within the gentle of present occasions and the polemical formulation that seem there. “I’m changing into a form of milestone within the creativeness of an period”, he observes sunken in his previous armchair. The literary press has additionally coined a phrase that Michel Houellebecq makes price comparability: houellebecquien.

“The extra it goes, the extra we hear in regards to the time period houellebecquiennotes Agathe Novak-Lechevalier, lecturer on the College of Paris-Nanterre and creator of Houellebecq, the artwork of comforting† It’s primarily utilized by critics to explain the work of different writers. Many aspiring novelists or established authors attempting a brand new style are instantly in comparison with the 2010 Goncourt Prize. The Ark of Mesalliance or that of Abel Quentin, The seer of Etampesobtained the label.

‘I do not know if we are able to converse of some kind of Houellebecquian novel. It refers extra to a imaginative and prescient of the world., the specialist concludes in terms of questioning the affect of Michel Houellebecq on up to date literature. This disenchanted view, the author rejects due to his novelsFor nearly thirty years he has forged a biting, even merciless take a look at client society.

Again to actuality

Within the universe drawn by the novels of the creator of Elementary Particles the gaudy grocery store cabinets, the freeway, sinister workplace towers, tv presenters resembling Julien Lepers or Jean-Pierre Pernaut and politicians resembling François Hollande or Éric Zemmour settle in. “Michel Houellebecq took half in a type of return to actuality in up to date literature”, notes Caroline Julliot, Le Mans College lecturer who directs the e book Man’s distress with out GodMichel Houellebecq and the query of religion together with her colleague Agathe Novak-Lechevalier.

Influenced by science fiction writers resembling Maurice Georges Dantec or Howard Phillips Lovecraft, however above all by the life like novel of the 19e century, the author has all the time had the challenge of representing the up to date world and analyzing the actions that disrupt it. “Michel Houellebecq has the ambition to detect and push by means of the shortcomings in society”, places Caroline Julliot in perspective.

Michel Houellebecq thus exacerbates realism and places it underneath pressure. Within the winter of 2015, Michel Houellebecq attracts Submission. The plot opens with the strategy of the 2022 presidential election. He describes a France the place identification conflicts erupt and the election of a president of the republic of an Islamic political celebration is important as a refuge. Requested by a listener of the France Inter aerial in regards to the chance of this projection on the day of the e book’s launch, the novelist will describe the next: “It takes for much longer, it takes many years. It is a basic impact of focus and dramatization.”


Michel Houellebecq is used to anticipating. That is maybe one of the vital attribute options of his work. “Lots of his books are set just a few months or just a few years after the publication of his novels. It is a option to speak in regards to the up to date world with out sinking into journalistic chronicles whereas additionally transferring away from basic science fiction. particulars from the author’s specialist, Agathe Novak-Lechevalier.

A floating actuality arises the place fictional characters and public figures meet. The border is fading. “He maintains the confusion as if he favored to be misinterpret. It offers the sensation of all the time being on the border between actuality and fiction. notes Caroline Julliot who had additionally questioned the place of the transgression in Michel Houellebecq’s work Extension of the area of the usual or violation of the violation

This promiscuity between beings on paper and precise protagonists just isn’t new in literature. “He writes as within the nineteenthe century, paste Caroline Julliot. He has a pure conception of storytelling.” In distinction to the proponents of the New Roman, a motion that characterised the second half of the 20th centurye century and with the goal of rediscovering the idea of character, Michel Houellebecq suits the mannequin of classical authors. “For him, Balzac is the daddy of each novelist”, recollects Agathe Novak-Lechevalier.

Bellanger, Messina and Duteurtre

the creator of Platform doesn’t really feel the will to be on the origin of stylistic improvements. There are comparatively few recognizable formalities in Michel Houellebecq’s writing. One has been extensively adopted by Aurélien Bellanger, a novelist who claims Houellebecq’s affect on his writing: scientific digressions. Throughout his first novels, the creator ofDestroy had made it a behavior to cite lengthy casual passages from scientific reviews or to attract inspiration from encyclopedias to reinforce the bibliographical impact of his strategy. A strategy of Bellanger in Nice Paris in 2017 and in info principlein 2012. Houellebecq had additionally been accused of lack of favor at first of his profession.

If Aurélien Bellanger claims to be from the Houellebecquian groove (he additionally entered literature with the publication in 2010 of an essay in honor of his grasp, Houellebecq, romantic author He isn’t alone. For the reason that publication of the primary title, False begin, Marion Messina shares a personal correspondence with Michel Houellebecq and has expressed her pleasure on a number of events to be in contrast with him. Extra confirmed authors resembling Benoît Duteurtre or Marin de Viry present their shut connection to the novelist.

However not all writers exhibit authorship. “Michel Houellebecq glazes literary returns so strongly that younger authors hesitate to outline themselves as Houellebecquians”, level Agathe Novak-Lechevalier. The title Houellebecq can shatter. The brand new novelists looking for their very own identification are afraid of being locked within the shadow of the mentor.

On the identical time, Michel Houellebecq’s media can offend. “Michel Houellebecq is at present not attending faculty in a claimed approach”, notes Caroline Julliot. The novelist has followers, however he didn’t discover a style. Solely Houellebecq actually does Houellebecq and the e book business is glad with that.

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