La carte et le territoire

La carte et le territoire It was public knowledge that Houellebecq was a loner with strong misanthropic tendencies it was rare for him even to say a word to his dog.Martin Amis did it before, in Money, when he introduced himself, Martin Amis , as a character in the book Houellebecq replays the conceit here, with a similar pretension and expanded role for himself In the spirit of literary self flagellation, in addition to the epitaph offered above, Houellebecq does horrible things to himself I would be plot spoiling to say.Yet the main character is not Houellebecq, but Jed Martin Like Houellebecq s other protagonists, Jed has an ease with women despite himself and is utterly incapable of sustaining a relationship The author Houellebecq does sex no better than the character HouellebecqI he croaked Olga turned around and noticed it was serious she immediately recognized that blinded, panicked look of a man who can no longer withstand his desire She made a few steps toward him, enveloped him with her voluptuous body, and kissed him on the lips.230 pages in, the book becomes a murder mystery Except it doesn t really.I suppose you could dissect this Jed first photographed still life, then machine parts He has an epiphany and begins to photograph Michelin maps This is how he made his first millions It s how he meets the delightful Olga And it s how we have the supposed theme of this book, printed in capital letters in case we missed the significance THE MAP IS MORE INTERESTING THAN THE TERRITORY.Not exactlyLe gusta este jard n, que es suyo Evite que sus hijos lo destruyan , now is it Later he paints people in different professions He paints Michael Houellebecq Writer, of course Houellebecq, the character, doesn t seem to care I thought, then, that Houellebecq, the author, was giving me, the reader, direction.This book has the same malaise, the same ennui as Houellebecq s earlier books He just left out the sex this time Instead, there was a gruesome murder Which I was okay with Especially because we learn photographs of the crime scene look like monochromatic Jackson Pollock paintings But there was also a scene where Jed beats up a woman working in a Swiss Euthanasia clinic Which really bothered me. Finally a map of Houellebecq territory.When I read Plateforme some years ago, I dismissed Houellebecq as being overrated, and a complete misogynist, but I ve changed my mind after reading La Carte et le Territoire There are some very original plot details, interesting takes on photography and contemporary art, a bit of a meander on architecture, and plenty of information on cartography for those of us who loves maps But the most amazing thing is that in spite of a main character who is very uncharismatic and some other positively eccentric ones, I felt drawn in and compelled to see it through to the end a bit like the hypnotic feeling I had reading Thomas Bernhard s Correction , also featuring an uncharismatic main character and equally bizarre secondary ones.. ,. Just finished the last thirty wonderfully flowing and surprising pages that end with the total domination of vegetation and then went back to the first lines namedropping Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst and said aloud Ha, what a great book I love how clearly he writes, with such unexpected analysis insight, exaggerated generalizations asserted as truth although toned down in this one not as much potentially politically incorrect stuff in general, and certainly not as much sex as the last two I purposefully read nothing about this one and only knew it had been called an art world thriller which is half right It s not a thriller and it s not so much about the art world as it is about how the nature of human industry relates to nature itself A must for fans and a good introduction, too No one else does genre mashup semi misanthropic nihilistic philosophy quite like him, although this did at times seem like a much better rendition of what BEE did in Lunar Park, genre y literary fiction that includes the author as a character But this novel doesn t devolve into spare plot mechanics the detective crimey bits are just as robust and typically swervy and written as the stuff that seems literary A nod, I think, to 2666 at one point but transposed to Thailand and the murders dropped from 300 to 30 Overall, an enjoyable weekend plus a few other sittings reading this A softer, gentler even accounting for the vicious murder and assorted body parts here and there , mature Houellebecq, with his sharp, authentically Franch eye now a little on the end of life and the end of authentic traditional French culture , although in this he spends 30 pages early on delivering the main character s backstory, something I don t remember in his other books, wherein characters are presented without much authorial worry re their histories, like in genre books Amazingly, there s even a strong willed successful female character in this one who s not treated as a sex object This book will probably be treated as news about contemporary French and international commerce culture that ll stay news in the future, or maybe like the old photos Jed films it ll fade with exposure to time and the elements, like Balzac before him Houellebecq suggests that all he wants to do is account for what he sees, aspiring to the patient vision of plants What he sees he presents as an inexact map of the thickety terrain of life, where all things change, except for ever changing nature and the criminal motivations of sex and greed Something like that Anyway, a real good book Might go back and read The Elementary Particles. Houellebecq ,. OK, if I have to be completely blunt, Michel Houellebecq must be the most overrated contemporary author since Amelie Nothomb The Map and the Territory has received so much publicity in the last year or two, and I ve come across the title in news and write ups so many times, not to mention enthusiastic comments I ve overheard during social occasions, that it seemed like I am missing out on something big out there Not only did the book seem to be in the cultural news every other day or something for the last few months, but it has also been awarded the most prestigious literary prize in France in 2010, and its author has been hailed as a unique and brilliant voice and an astute commentator on the world of contemporary art and culture Yet here I am finishing it up the first whole book that I read entirely on my Kindle, by the way today and being completely baffled as to what in the world I missed and how come I didn t feel not a hint of the ubiquitous excitement about this fresh new voice Not that the book is completely horrible, but it is decidedly one of the most mediocre and dull things I ve read, ever The idea behind The Map and the Territory itself is perhaps not a bad one attempting to present a picture, an analysis of current trends, of things here and now and in flux, is challenging, but at the same time, it is, I think, necessary and appreciated by those who nevertheless would like to make sense of the world around them, to hear the opinions of those who are an active part of the current cultural landscape and who can offer an insightful analysis, venturing to do it without the benefit of hindsight When done well, such works can be really thought provoking and can have a long staying power that enhances the reader s being in the world and adds to the reader s critical engagement with it The problem of The Map and the Territory in being far from this kind of book lies largely, I think, with its execution.To start with, the plot of the book is, how to say, nothing to write home about The story traces the life of an upper class photographer turned painter in France as he goes from being a dull loner with no particular interests other than his art, which he doesn t seem to be too excited about either to a superhighly paid dull loner snapping away pictures of decomposing industrial materials in his mansion OK, nice point perhaps, not sure , until the time comes when he finally decides to present these mind blowing images to a thankful and wowed world that s surely been left in a sort of bereavement during the period since the artist s going into reclusion The events take place over a span of 20 30 years, from the 00s to the near future, the 2020s Three events seem to mark the otherwise completely unexciting life story of Jed Martin the book s protagonist In order not to give out spoilers, I am not going to go further into details on these three, except to say that I am still completely at a loss as to how two of those had any place in the book at all the Olga bit and the episode with Michel Houellebecq, the character, didn t bring anything to the story, in my opinion, in addition to being poorly written, hardly believable, and unmoving I have to admit that, as the story of Michel Houellebecq the character developed, about two thirds into the book, I really got tricked into believing that this book would finally start being interesting Ha at long last some stir, something to make you want to read further Alas, the excitement lasted only a chapter or two, as M Houellebecq the writer steered us back onto the tedious track, to completely evaporate by the time of the most anticlimactic and trite denouement.The protagonist himself I found completely unengaging and unlikeable Not that characters need to be likeable in the cutesy, goody, righteous kind of way, of course not But even normal or bad personages need to be full blooded and complex enough for me to take them seriously Jed Martin was simply stonecold Things just kept happening to him, it seemed to me, almost as if he had no active part in what was going on, nor did he seem like he wanted to have an active part in anything OK, Houellebecq the writer makes the point of Jed Martin being sort of excited about his art in the beginning of the book, but nothing like the fervor, pain, tribulations, and ups and downs that so often characterize artistic life ever emerges in the narrative, and so the whole idea of Jed Martin becoming an extraordinarily good artist is completely unconvincing So, I had to share Jed Martin s own cluelessness when his work ends up receiving a fantastic and unanimous critical acclaim that makes the protagonist the rather unwitting star of his artistic generation.Another problem one that seems common in recent books that I ve attempted to read, unfortunately, and that was particularly prominent in this one is the tendency of the author, almost at any cost, to show his or her knowledge in a particular area, regardless of whether this adds anything to the story, or worse, sounds forced and foreign to the point of the reader almost picturing the author sitting there with an encyclopedia of, say, photography, and copying a passage about the latest model of Canon lenses and inserting it into a piece of dialogue There are many ways in which an author, if they so wish, can work their research and expertise into a book to show how much they are familiar with the subject matter, but it takes some effort, if not talent, to do it so that it fits with the theme, style, and structure of the story in a seamless, nonintrusive way see e.g Michael Chabon Michel Houellebecq the author s detours into the history of avant garde architecture or the mechanics of photography are just sloppily slapped onto any odd place within the story, making these parts cumbersome and quite irksome Similarly, the author s preoccupation with brand names and models very often felt to me completely out of place Why go into the type of Lexus that Jed Martin could have bought and the type of Audi and its specs that he did buy, or the precise type of wine that he ordered in a restaurant, when meanwhile Jed Martin is presented as this clueless, nonchalant type that doesn t seem to give a damn about these things and seems generally detached from worldly trifles such as these For a brief moment, I also entertained the idea one that comes rather easily to mind that the drawbacks that I described above are actually perhaps M Houellebecq s making his point stronger, driving it further home, as it were Presenting these shallow and cold characters and dotting the story with minutiae about brands and models and depicting an artistic process that is as bland and unpainstaking as a walk in the park is perhaps an integral part of M Houellebecq s comment on the art world today or something However, that doesn t seem right either, as it seems too easy an explanation in this particular case For this idea to work, there must be something, a little something at least, to give a hint of the alternative, a reference point for what is worthy, for what is to be contrasted with, contrapuntal to, the other vision And I find none of that in The Map and the Territory I have to say, though, M Houellebecq s own phenomenal success with this book does seem like an interesting piece of irony and perhaps a good commentary on current culture literature that the book itself fails to make. His best novel The themes are basically the same, but Michel Houellebecq tells the tale again with great energy and in a large tongue in cheek manner On one level it is about the rise of an artist who doesn t really want to participate in the art market He has nothing against it, but his character is not one where he follows the market place Yet he s extremely successful in what he does The other textual parts are Houellebecq s fascination with what people do on their free time the need to be a tourist in 21st Century life as well as the issue of aging, fame, and the beauty of maps in many ways, of all his novels, this is the most Situationist like Houellebecq is for sure not Guy Debord, but he shares his sense of love disgust at looking at culture and what that means to an artist writer as well There are major plot turns that makes this narrative into a policer The twists in the plot makes this a really fun read The Map and the Territory is the best novel of the year and its January 3, 2012. Goncourt WARNING THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE DAVID CRONENBERG MOVIE MAPS TO THE STARSThis is an acidly cynical black comedy, and it s pretty funny, but that really doesn t tell you much about what it s like I can see that many of the other reviewers are stuck too Some of them have tried to explain by telling you about the plot, but since there are several rather excellent twists it doesn t seem right to reveal any of them Luckily, we saw Maps to the Stars last night at the Gr tli s Cronenberg festival, so I have the ideal comparison point Cronenberg s depiction of the festering confluence of ego, money, sex and vacuous desire for fame that constitutes Hollywood is remarkably similar to Houellebecq s depiction of the world of modern art.As noted, La carte et le territoire is funny It s as funny as a thirteen year old movie star boasting that he s now been off drugs for 90 days It s as funny as his foul mouthed girlfriends calling every woman over twenty a menopausal slut It s as funny as Julianne Moore literally dancing for joy when her rival s toddler drowns in a swimming pool, so that she can finally get her dream role And it s as funny as the ending, where Mia Wasikowska batters her to death with her Academy Award statuette and then symbolically marries her own brother before they both take fatal overdoses Let s face it, this is the world we re living in at least we might as well laugh at the absurdity of it all.Yes, it s pretty funny But make sure your sense of humor is in good working order before you start Update, Mar 4 2018 People interested in modern art and its relationship to festering confluences of ego, money, sex and vacuous desire for fame may also enjoy The Square. Having Made His Name With An Exhibition Of Photographs Of Michelin Roadmaps Beautiful Works That Won Praise From Every Corner Of The Art World Jed Martin Is Now Emerging From A Ten Year Hiatus And He Has Had Some Good News It Has Nothing To Do With His Broken Boiler, The Approach Of Another Lamentably Awkward Annual Christmas Dinner With His Father Or The Memory Of His Doomed Love Affair With The Beautiful Olga It Is That, For His New Exhibition, He Has Secured The Involvement Of None Other Than The French Novelist Michel Houellebecq The Great Writer Has Agreed To Write The Text For The Exhibition Guide, For Which He Will Be Paid Handsomely And Also Have His Portrait Painted By JedThe Exhibition Professions , A Series Of Portraits Of Ordinary And Extraordinary People At Work Brings Jed New Levels Of Global Fame Yet His Boiler Is Still Broken, His Ailing Father Flirts With Oblivion And, Worse Still, He Is Contacted By One Inspector Jasselin, Who Requests His Assistance In Solving An Unspeakable, Atrocious And Gruesome CrimeArt, Money, Fathers, Sons, Death, Love And The Transformation Of France Into A Tourist Paradise Come Together To Create A Daringly Playful And Original Twist On The Contemporary Novel From A Modern Master Of The Form

Michel Houellebecq born Michel Thomas , born 26 February 1958 birth certificate or 1956 on the French island of R union, is a controversial and award winning French novelist To admirers he is a writer in the tradition of literary provocation that reaches back to the Marquis de Sade and Baudelaire to detractors he is a peddler, who writes vulgar sleazy literature to shock His works though, pa

➩ [Ebook] ➤ La carte et le territoire By Michel Houellebecq ➵ –
  • Hardcover
  • 269 pages
  • La carte et le territoire
  • Michel Houellebecq
  • English
  • 11 June 2017
  • 9780307701558

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