May 3, 2020

Michel Houellebecq continues to say the unsayable in The Possibility of an Island, but to what end, asks Tim Adams. Michel Houellebecq’s misanthropy is all too evident in his latest, The Possibility of an Island, says Michael Worton. Being thought to be avant garde has its advantages; people take you seriously and pay you shed loads of cash for any old tosh. And you get.

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I was wandering among them like some kind of prehistoric monster with my romantic silliness, my attachments, my chains.

See and discover other items: Women had been weak, in particular at the moment of giving birth, early on they had needed to live under the guardianship of a powerful protector, and to this end they had invented love, but now they had become strong, they were independent and free, and they had given up inspiring or indeed feeling a sentiment that no longer had any concrete justification. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. And his novels, especially this one, can seem like therapy sessions, with the reader cast in the role of the therapist, condemned to listen silently to a torrent of platitudes and prejudices.

The Possibility of an Island French: A lifetime of reflection and contemplation. They have become a type. This was the true meaning of solidarity between generations ; it was a pure and simple holocaust of each generation in favor of the one that replaced it, a cruel, prolonged holocaust that brought with it no consolation, no comfort, nor any material or emotional compensation.

This is one of the problems with reading Houellebecq: Their Emptiness, the way they analyze the absurdity of their surroundings seemed familiar. He transitions from the doomed love for his wife to the doomed lust for his girlfriend, and eventually discovers that the Elohimite promise of transcending mortality is actually achievable.


The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq | Books | The Guardian

The difference being that in “La Possibilite Through cloning and the propagation of historical memories. People who hate everyone. I sound like an old man. To me, this was surprisingly sentimental, even arguably kind of sweet. You get the feeling that Daniel lacks a basic humanity, but it is more of an effect that he ideologically identifies with too many misanthropists. Before I forget, when we have sex you need to pay attention to my balls, stroke them or maybe lick them, it’s essential.

However, Houellebecq’s real appeal to me is not his plots, as serviceable as they may be; no one is going to mistake this for a hard sci-fi novel about transhumanism.

In The Possibility of an Island he once again addresses big ideas, but without giving them big thought or attention.

In his second novel, Atomisedhe tilted ferociously, and often creatively, against such targets as the decline of religion, consumerism, sexual freedom and “free love”, the liberalist tradition of the west and, with an abiding obsession, the nature of love. If this is you, reply to houyhnhnms4ever yahoo. Daniel1, like his author, is a satirist with a particularly transgressive act.

He doesn’t feel like pretending everything will be just fine as long as the enlightened agree on how things are supposed to be and can cram it down posisbility throat. isalnd

Here’s a long quote about the main character’s wife Isabelle and girlfriend Esther that contains many hours of potential debate material: And neither will you. To any impartial observer it appears that the human individual cannot be happy, and is in no way conceived for happiness, and his only possible destiny is possibbility spread unhappiness around him by making other people’s existence as intolerable as his own–his first victims generally being houellegecq parents. I can’t remember if I already mentioned that.


The Possibility of an Island

That in turn would obviate the need for sex and love which only serve our original teleology. Her generation is a disaster in his view. It is the age of the neo-humans, clones without joy and grief, without neurosis, without community, without sexual desires. Partly because of the lack of political commentary. After this aside in the book, it becomes apparent that the problem is not with any generation.

It’s not his prose style either, which on a sentence-by-sentence level is not especially captivating. A great deal of human respect with which we had grown up and taken for granted had disappeared. He has lost the ability to feel to the extent that the ‘sudden expressive distortion, accompanied by the characteristic chuckles which [Daniel1] called laughter, is impossible for me to imitate; I cannot even imagine its mechanism [and] a similar, though slower evolution can be observed for tears.

Houellebecq is most definitely not a writer for everyone; the gonzo sex scenes become tiresome at times—indeed, take on the feel of gratuitous padding—and there is very little to like or admire in any of his characters.

His two clones live an uneventful life as hermits, in a post-apocalyptic future. And in and among all this, there is Love. Vintage; Reprint edition May 8, Language: