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Thursday, January 8, 2015

H and H: Houellebecq's BNW... Huxley's revisitied a bit earlier 2022

“Brave New World Is Our Idea of Heaven” —        Michel Houellebecq  (2011):
The following passage from Michel Houellebecq’s novel The Elementary Particles is part of a dialog between half brothers Michel and Bruno: 
When Bruno arrived at about nine o’clock, he had already had a couple of drinks and was eager to talk philosophy. “I’ve always been struck by how accurate Huxley was in Brave New World,” he began before he’d even sat down. “It’s phenomenal when you think he wrote it in 1932. Everything that’s happened since simply brings Western society closer to the social model he described. 

Keep Calm and Ride the Tiger
Wednesday, January 7, 2015

This morning, when I left my hip Parisian studio to go to work, there was a parcel waiting for me at the lobby.
It wasn’t ticking, and it wasn’t a surprise either. I had been waiting for it for weeks. It was Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel, Soumission (Submission), which was released today. Soumission takes place in 2022 France. 
Once I realized what had happened, one of my first thoughts was that this shooting coincided with Houellebecq’s novel release. Another quick thought was that in Plateforme (Platform), published only days before 9/11, the story ended with an Islamic terrorist attack against a sex resort in Thailand. Houellebecq’s prophecy was that Islamic terrorists would make their last stand against Post-Western Modernity before the Islamic world, like Southeast Asia, would be absorbed and neutered in our Brave New World Order.

Michel Houellebecq’s new novel set for September publication in English
Controversial book by cover star of this week’s Charlie Hebdoimagines a France run by the ‘Muslim Fraternity

Do you think that Soumission goes beyond current political books? 
Should it be treated as science fiction/fantasy 
(Brave New World / 1984/ A Clockwork Orange)?

Michel Houellebecq and the Charlie Hebdo Attack

By Olivia Snaije   Jan,  7, 2015
Charlie Hebdo
On the same day when gunmen murdered 12 people and injured many more at the Parisian satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, a controversial new novel by Michel Houellebecq — who graces the cover of the magazine’s current issue — hits bookstores.
In the days leading up to the end of 2014, Houellebecq’s novel, Soumission(Submission), was already making headlines when a copy was uploaded to cyberspace two weeks ago, first as a poorly copied PDF, then in EPUB and MOBI formats.
But in an article published in Le Monde on Monday, author and screenwriter Emmanuel Carrère, credited Houellebecq with having the same sort of visionary quality that Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World had in the 20th century.
In a television interview, Houellebecq said that it was clear that religion was on the rise and not only Islam.  “My book describes the destruction of the philosophy handed down by the Enlightenment, which no longer makes sense to anyone, or to very few people. Catholicism, by contrast, is doing rather well. I would maintain that an alliance between Catholics and Muslims is possible. We’ve seen it happen before, it could happen again.”
Houellebecq provokes strong reactions — he is accused of writing bitter, angry novels, which utterly lack empathy for humankind.  With Soumission, Houellebecq cannily plays into public fears; he knows how to rub salt in society’s wounds.

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