Empty Days

Thursday, July 01, 2004



Plateforme.

I am not really having such a great time with Houellebecq's latest - Plateforme. It is much less varied and inventive than Les Particules and there is almost no crazy philosophy which is what I particularly liked in his earlier output. It feels like a tired book. I suspect it's all this fame and the boring necessity to continuously talk on tv and to journalists that sucked the life out of poor Houellebecq - he's a pretty fragile guy, not at all adapted to the pressures of media-scrutiny. I wonder if it's at all possible for authors today to avoid messing with the media - or maybe publishing contracts require one to undergo a number of promotional engagements. It's probably pretty much impossible to hide if you're anything like a popular writer.

So let's just say that I won't be expecting anything major from this author in the near future. Perhaps if he survives long enough to write better books away from the media-glare, then we'll see. But for now this is pretty much out of the question. Celebrity is a killer, folks.

***

[ some time later that night ]

I revised my notion further on into the book. Houellebecq should perhaps learn to start his books earlier on. I had the same problem with Extension du domaine de la lutte: the first 1/3 of the novel seemed interminable and interminably pointless - only to explode half way through into pure rage and fireworks of what I affectionally call Houellebecq's "crazy philosophy" - which is also the reason I am in awe with this guy because, let's face it, much of the rest of it is pretty banal and closely ressembles second-rate pornography wiritings in some magazines on your local newsstand.

The effort of having started Les Particules differently and with full-rage attending must have been too exhausting - so lets just say Houell is back to his lazier style with this one.

Is there such a thing as "sociological rage"? Now there is.





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