Download Anti-Matter: Michel Houellebecq and Depressive Realism by Ben Jeffery PDF

By Ben Jeffery

Michel Houellebecq, writer of 5 novels including Atomised and Platform, has turn into probably the world’s most famed literary pessimist. His paintings announces that lifestyles is painful and disappointing, loss of life is terrifying, and the human situation is a foul kind of funny story. He has been wildly profitable – translated into over 25 assorted languages and hailed because the voice of a new release. starting with Houellebecq’s novels, this booklet explores the concept that of ‘Depressive Realism’ in literature and philosophy – the proposition that the proof of existence are bleak and unkind. Ranging over paintings by way of David Foster Wallace, Susan Sontag, Fredric Jameson and Margaret Atwood, Anti-Matter surveys the case for pessimism, asks how a mass tradition rooted in sentimentality and trivialisation manages to supply lots cynicism and apathy, and hunts for the distance that is still for severe, life-affirming artwork.

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Additional info for Anti-Matter: Michel Houellebecq and Depressive Realism

Sample text

IRENE RAMALHO SANTOS foremost in Caeiro, but as in Stevens also both are metonyms for the experiencing body. Unlike Stevens, however, Caeiro leaves the frightful wonder of everyday existing unquestioned. 5 The poet’s sickness, identified in poem XV of O Guardador de Rebanhos [The Keeper of Sheep], interrupts the shepherd sequence with some existential angst, but there is nothing in Caeiro comparable to the ‘never-ending meditation’ of the ‘eye’s plain version’ throughout ‘An Ordinary Evening in New Haven’,6 even if the ordinariness of everyday experience is what concerns both poets.

IRENE RAMALHO SANTOS foremost in Caeiro, but as in Stevens also both are metonyms for the experiencing body. Unlike Stevens, however, Caeiro leaves the frightful wonder of everyday existing unquestioned. 5 The poet’s sickness, identified in poem XV of O Guardador de Rebanhos [The Keeper of Sheep], interrupts the shepherd sequence with some existential angst, but there is nothing in Caeiro comparable to the ‘never-ending meditation’ of the ‘eye’s plain version’ throughout ‘An Ordinary Evening in New Haven’,6 even if the ordinariness of everyday experience is what concerns both poets.

O rebanho é os meus pensamentos E os meus pensamentos são todos sensações. Penso com os olhos e com os ouvidos E com as mãos e os pés E com o nariz e a boca. Pensar uma flor é vê-la e cheirá-la E comer um fruto é saber-lhe o sentido. 10 [I’m a keeper of sheep. The sheep are my thoughts And my thoughts are all sensations. I think with my eyes and ears And with my hands and feet And with my nose and mouth. To think a flower is to see it and smell it And to eat a fruit is to know its meaning. ] Sense-as-the-senses grounds this poem, from the pastoral fiction of mild rustic hardships to truth finally grasped as reality coinciding with the body.

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