The now 62-year-old French author Michel Houellebecq still divides the literary world into admirers and opponents. The master of self-staging knows really well how to portray controversial topics in his books. He is also skilled in looking into the future and the best example of this was his novel “Submission” from 2015. In it, he anticipated certain development in Europe after the immigrant crisis in numerous countries. Houellebecq has been known as a prophetic writer who loves to provoke for a while now.
Houellebecq is controversial not only in writing but also with his appearances in public. Many critics and literature fans flatly reject him, while others see him as a future Literature Nobel Prize winner. On the other hand, he sees himself as a regular writer and the Frenchman does not take his critics all that seriously. After all, he once stated in an interview that he would say a lot one day and might change his opinion the next. His charm is that you can only rely on his unreliability.
Therefore, it is not very practical to use Houellebecq’s statements as a guideline for the interpretation of his works. He remains intangible and eludes a rigid position. Since his appearance in the literary scene, he has been causing controversy and even hostility and praise that critics attribute to him is just as varied as his conflicts. There is idle talk of him being a romantic as well as misogynist and some see him as a simple winner or a visionary. But all observers agree on one thing though, Houellebecq loves provocation. It arises above all when he insists that there is no separability between the author and his work.
What Is The Difference Between An Author And A Character?
Many of his protagonists are called Michel. They shock readers with crude expressions and excessive relationships. It is not clear whether the author is speaking in his name or not. Is there still a difference between the characters and the author’s speech? Many critics think that the Frenchman is simply using sleight of hand. Using the technique of ambivalence and vagueness, the author questions the values of our time. In addition, he deals with ideology and dissects human behavior when facing the unknown down to the bone. Due to his style of writing, many find that the author should be given more credit.
It is this intangibility of Michel Houellebecq that makes him the influential author that he has undoubtedly become. A tremendous amount of media hype accompanies every new publication. In his home country, France, he has long been seen as a prophet who perceives social developments early and processes them in writing. In the author’s novels, the echo usually precedes reality. This was the case in his book “Submission” and also with its successor “Serotonin”. In it, Houellebecq described the impoverishment of the French rural population as well as traffic blockages, as they were implemented a little later by the movement of the yellow vests.