“The Elementary Particles” by Michel Houellebecq

2013/04/05 § 1 Comment

“The universe is merely a chance arrangement of elementary particles. A transitory image in the midst of chaos. Which will end with the inevitable: the human race will disappear. Other races will appear, and disappear in turn. The heavens are cold and empty, traversed by the faint light of half-dead stars. Which, also, will disappear. Everything disappears. And human actions are just as random and senseless as the movements of elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, fine sentiments? Pure ‘Victorian fictions’. There is only egotism. Cold, undiluted and dazzling,”

writes Houellebecq in his essay on H. P. Lovecraft, in which we find many elements of “The Elementary Particles”.

This novel reflects author’s cultural pessimism, his contempt for the atomized, egotistic, decadent Western civilization, its liberal democracy and capitalism. It is a bitter mixture of loneliness and misanthropy, desire, frustration and disappointment; philosophy, social critique and speculative science, and pornography, loveless and pleasureless.

Michel Houellebecq in “Le Cap d’ Agde” naturist club (2000)
[© Lise Sarfati / Magnum Photos]

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