December 2, 2008
I just finished reading Michel Houellebecq's debut novel Whatever. In French it's called Extension du domaine de la lutte, which means "broadening the struggle" or something like that.
At this point in my life Houellebecq is the only author who matters. Everyone else is a pale imitation. Everyone.
Here are some quotes from Whatever:
"I realize I'm smoking more and more; I must be on at least four packs a day. Smoking cigarettes has become the only element of real freedom in my life. The only act to which I tenaciously cling with my whole being. My one ambition."
"A prick can always be cut off, but how do you forget the emptiness of a vagina?"
"The novel form is not conceived for depicting indifference or nothingness."
Houellebecq's novels, especially Whatever and Platform, are true. True. You comb through the words slowly and realize there's not a single lie. Everything is accurate, if ruthless.
Especially Platform, his greatest novel. I know I've mentioned it on this site many times already. Despite its cynicism (or maybe because of it), Platform ends up being the greatest, truest, and most tragic love story ever written. It's a romance novel for honest men.
I'm sure there are better authors with better books (I guess The Idiot has to be a more important novel than Platform), but Houellebecq is almost all that matters in literature to me.