The new Houellebecq

by | 11 Jan 2019 | Art – Literature

Last Friday, the day of the release of the new Houellebecq, “Sérotonine”, I was stuck at home, painting in my kitchen, on a “France Info mode” …

One would have thought one day of Black Friday. A real hype ! All the day !

Houellebecq here, Houellebecq there … Houellebecq the desperate, Houellebecq the anti-hero, Houellebecq #thevisionnairewhoprophesiedthearrivaloftheYellowVests, Houellebecq and the “bobos” …

I was about to go on Radio Nostalgie or Rire et Chansons ! … (I did not do it, I still have my pride)

In any case, I only read the books once they are in pocket format. This has many advantages : first, the fact that their life in publishing has gone so far suggests a form of quality (it can be challenged …) ; then, as I read slowly, it allows me to drag them everywhere, at the bottom of the “pocket” (as the name of this format indicates) of a coat or a towel ; finally, I have less scruples to annotate them (I’m pretty maniac with the books) …

Be careful though: “War and Peace” in your pocket, even divided into two opuses, will make you age a coat faster!

Well ! There I made an exception : the next day of the release, I bought “the new Houellebecq” … Twenty-two euros, it’s still ok !

The story of the “visionary” of Yellow Vests, can be discussed : anyone with a couple of neurons connected between them and qualities of empathy let’s say, in the mean, has long known that it does not go strong in our “Territories” (as we now call in the French high administration the world behind the Paris périphérique).

It is true that his painting of society is tremendously well-regarded, and the ravages of a world without kindness, without solidarity, to mutations that have become uncontrollable.

But this France, Nicolas Mathieu, the last Goncourt prize, also describes it very well: this France of “badly insulated pavilions and ends of difficult months, factories that close and kids who dream of elsewhere, of images of seaside, sunsets, girls in jersey, pieces of Aerosmith.” And with Mathieu, we spare the gang bang and zoophilia …

But’s let’s come back to Houellebecq, because to be honest, I really loved the book !

I loved this reunion with his best friend, Norman farmer ruined, defender of breeders threatened by globalization. And his despair. I loved this fascinating and morbid capacity that the hero constantly has to destroy all the promises of happiness … which happens to all of us, in fortunately less vertiginous proportions.

I finally loved this hope perhaps foolish to find a lost love, … until death.

A beautiful love story, which I did not manage to undo until the last page.

“My beliefs are limited, but they are violent, I believe in the possibility of the restricted realm, I believe in love,” wrote the new Michel Houellebecq recently.

Iconography : in the Paris metro, September 23, 2016 (personal collection)