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Michel Houellebecq’s "Submission" in English
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The Paris Review has an excerpt from the upcoming English translation of Michel Houellebecq’s novel about an Islamic takeover of France, Submission. Here’s an excerpt from the excerpt:

The academic study of literature leads basically nowhere, as we all know, unless you happen to be an especially gifted student, in which case it prepares you for a career teaching the academic study of literature—it is, in other words, a rather farcical system that exists solely to replicate itself and yet manages to fail more than 95 percent of the time. Still, it’s harmless, and can even have a certain marginal value. A young woman applying for a sales job at Céline or Hermès should naturally attend to her appearance first and foremost; but a degree in literature can constitute a secondary asset, since it guarantees the employer, in the absence of any useful skills, a certain intellectual agility that could lead to professional development—besides which, literature has always carried positive connotations in the world of luxury goods. …

I’d never felt the slightest calling to teach—and my fifteen years as a teacher had only confirmed my lack of vocation. What little private tutoring I’d done, to raise my standard of living, soon convinced me that the transmission of knowledge was generally impossible, the diversity of intelligence extreme, and that nothing could undo or even mitigate this basic inequality. Worse, perhaps, I didn’t like young people and never had, even when I might have been numbered among them. Being young implied, it seemed to me, a certain enthusiasm for life, or else a certain defiance, accompanied either way by a vague sense of superiority toward the generation that one had been called on to replace. I’d never had those sorts of feelings.

 
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  1. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/08/michel-houellebecq-new-novel-september-english-charlie-hebdo

    Submission imagines a future where the leader of the newly created “Muslim Fraternity” is elected president, beating the far-right Front National’s Marine Le Pen to take over from current president Francois Hollande, leader of France’s socialist party. Women then abandon western dress, and “leave the workplace in droves”, according to the Paris Review.

    Le Parisien called it the most politically incorrect of all Houellebecq’s books. Asked earlier this week if he felt the novel would “help reinforce the image of France … in which Islam hangs overhead like the sword of Damocles, like the most frightening thing of all”, Houellebecq told the Paris Review that “that’s pretty much all the media talks about, they couldn’t talk about it more. It would be impossible to talk about it more than they already do, so my book won’t have any effect.”

    And he denied that he was setting out to provoke, saying instead that: “I can’t say that the book is a provocation – if that means saying things I consider fundamentally untrue just to get on people’s nerves. I condense an evolution that is, in my opinion, realistic.”

    “Certainly a feminist is not likely to love this book. But I can’t do anything about that,” he admitted. “The thing that may rub people the wrong way is that I show how feminism is demographically doomed. So the underlying idea, which may really upset people in the end, is that ideology doesn’t matter much compared to demographics.”

    In 2002, Houellebecq was forced to appear in court on charges of inciting religious and racial hatred for calling Islam “the stupidest religion” in an interview, and saying that the “badly written” Qur’an made him fall to the ground in despair.

    Houellebecq argued in his defence that criticising a religion did not mean he was insulting its followers, adding that Christianity, Judaism and Islam were all based on scriptures that were “texts of hate”. He was acquitted.

  2. • Replies: @Jefferson
    @Anon

    "Isn’t ‘diversity’ just great?

    Europe is committing racial-cultural suicide."

    Black bodies screaming that they want Europe to have open borders, hahahahahahahaha. Black bodies sure do have a love hate relationship with us White people. They can't live with us, but they also sure as hell can not live without us. Black bodies know they suffer much higher rates of poverty when they live in countries run by Black body politicians. Black bodies love the generous welfare safety nest that White countries have to offer.

    Black bodies do not want a racially balkanized world where the vast majority Black bodies live as far away from White people as possible because it does not financially benefit them. Black bodies want racial integration with Whitey because it financially benefits them.

    , @anon
    @Anon


    Europe is committing racial-cultural suicide.
     
    Europe's political and media class are committing genocide.

    Replies: @Romanian

  3. OT (but it’s related to “submission”…)

    All new Met police constables MUST be able to speak a second language

    Welsh and Scots aren’t on the list of qualifying languages.

  4. That’s some high quality writing for a translation.

    Reading the rest of the excerpt in your link though confirmed my intention never to read Houellebecq, the style is clever but the tone and content is too relentlessly depressing.

    • Replies: @SFG
    @Lot

    Re clever translation and depressing tone: They're French.

    , @Vendetta
    @Lot

    A depressing read is good for you once in a while. And Houllebecq's style definitely endures translation well.

    Joseph Roth's writing also survives translation remarkable beauty. I've been reading The Radetzky March and The Emperor's Tomb this week. These are depressing as well but not relentlessly bleak and cruel like Houllebecq.

    Tales set amidst a terminally declining Austro-Hungarian Empire, a whole culture and civilization about to fade into memory. And much to be learned from them.

    "Back then, before the Great War, the fashion was for arrogance and cynicism, a silly genuflection to the so-called "décadence," a lassitude that was half-affected and half-genuine, and a groundless boredom. It was an atmosphere that had little use for emotions, while passion was positively scorned."

    How familiar. The coffee house crowd hasn't changed a bit in one hundred years.

    "Like my friends, like all my friends, I had no faith. I never attended Mass. At that time I had a positive hatred of the church. Today, now that I am a believer, I no longer know why I hated it so. It was, so to speak, the "fashion." I would have felt ashamed to tell my friends that I had been to church. They were not really opposed to religion as such; it was more a type of arrogance in them towards the tradition in which they had grown up. They didn't want to renounce the essence of the tradition, but they - we - rebelled against the forms."

    How fucking familiar.

    , @Kylie
    @Lot


    Reading the rest of the excerpt in your link though confirmed my intention never to read Houellebecq, the style is clever but the tone and content is too relentlessly depressing.
     
    Then you'll also want to avoid the novels of Marguerite Duras. You'll be missing out, though. They're utterly mesmerizing (at least, the English translations of them are).
    , @Dennis Dale
    @Lot

    Well, there's always Oprah's book club. Were you looking for the feel-good summertime version of a decadent Europe succumbing to Islam? Because I'm sure the entertainment powers that be will offer that, once the time is right and demographics demand it.

    But seriously, is the quote here that depressing? No; it's a proper excoriation of a society lapsed into decadence and self-hatred. It's never depressing to see this done well. It's enlivening.

    Replies: @Cryptogenic

  5. The academic study of literature leads basically nowhere, as we all know, unless you happen to be an especially gifted student, in which case it prepares you for a career teaching the academic study of literature—it is, in other words, a rather farcical system that exists solely to replicate itself and yet manages to fail more than 95 percent of the time.

    King of the Hill also took a jab at this:

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @B.B.

    This shows again why Mike Judge is a genius.

  6. I hope iSteve will post its own review of the novel once it’s released. I found the discussion of the novel in the anglosphere incredible frustrating: Long tomes about the meaning of the book by people who hadn’t read it.

    (I know English-speaking audiences generally don’t care for foreign fiction but given the coverage the novel received I believe that the publisher really lost some money by taking so long for an English release. German translation was out within a week of the French release)

  7. OT (entirely)

    MarketWatch — Why Baltimore house prices are plunging

    That’s an article that practically writes itself.

  8. @Lot
    That's some high quality writing for a translation.

    Reading the rest of the excerpt in your link though confirmed my intention never to read Houellebecq, the style is clever but the tone and content is too relentlessly depressing.

    Replies: @SFG, @Vendetta, @Kylie, @Dennis Dale

    Re clever translation and depressing tone: They’re French.

    • Agree: Kylie
  9. • Replies: @DJF
    @SFG

    From the NYT editorial

    “””””The larger issue, then, is the political and economic feasibility of the full integration of poor people, and especially poor minorities, into well-off, largely white neighborhoods.””””

    Sorry Thomas Edsall, but combining our immigration policy and our trade policy, both of which the NYT supports you are running out of both ‘white and well off neighborhoods” to dump your poor people.

  10. This article says that in order to fix the lack of vibrant racial diversity problem in Silicon Valley, tech companies need to hire more engineers and computer programmers from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU).
    http://www.ibtimes.com/why-silicon-valley-failing-miserably-diversity-what-should-be-done-about-it-1998144

    Yeah good luck with that, especially since HBCUs have extremely low academic standards and lets in tons of low IQ Black students who do not belong anywhere near Silicon Valley as a computer programmer or an engineer. The only requirement for a Black student to be able to successfully enroll into a HBCU is that they have a working pulse. Basically the requirement is don’t be dead.

  11. The only question I have is what handle Houellebecq uses when he posts here.

    Humanities education worthless. Check. Women are basically ornaments. Check. Education is pointless, because it’s all determined by genetics. Check. I’d say that’s a pretty good appraisal of Western cultural pessimism, which has a long lineage but which appears to be having a big rebound right about now. On the other hand, the counterpoint to any one of those assertions sounds increasingly hollow.

    I would bet that the character enunciating those sentiments either becomes a True Believer in the new Islamic explanation of the world or becomes a victim of those who are seduced by it. But maybe that’s the whole point.

    • Agree: advancedatheist
    • Replies: @whahae
    @SPMoore8

    I would bet that the character enunciating those sentiments either becomes a True Believer in the new Islamic explanation of the world or becomes a victim of those who are seduced by it.

    Both of your bets would be wrong. That's the danger of writing about books without reading them.

    , @rod1963
    @SPMoore8

    "Humanities education worthless. Check. Women are basically ornaments. Check. Education is pointless, because it’s all determined by genetics. Check. I’d say that’s a pretty good appraisal of Western cultural pessimism..."

    That's not pessimism, it's a rejection of life. It's nihilism. It's one of the gifts of modern European intellectuals to the world. It turns smart men into dummies and castrates strong ones because it takes away the will to fight and survive. It allows a bunch of savage desert dwellers with the IQ of morons to kick the asses of much smarter people with no effort at all.

    As for Houellebecq, he seems to be the classic European intellectual who is dead from the neck down. He doesn't really feel anything, doesn't believe in anything and doesn't even really think either. Doesn't really like anything let alone have any passions. He is not something to be admired. He merely exists as a life support system for a methane generator.

  12. “Being young implied, it seemed to me, a certain enthusiasm for life”: ah yes, I remember it well. The ability to be exhilarated without having taken a drop of barley water; to be reduced to helpless laughter most days; to read, read, read; to fall for a girl after little more than a twinkle in the eye; to ride motorbikes, play a ridiculously long list of sports, travel with minimal preparation, and, and, and, and, and.

  13. A fine writer, but a bit of a sad-sack at times.

    We need an American Houellebecq.

    • Replies: @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta
    @Laguna Beach Fogey

    After seeing the interesting coverage of "Soumission" following it's publication in French, I went to discover Houellebecq as an author whose voice resonates with the times. After reading "Elementary Particles," I went on to "Whatever" and then the rest of his oeuvre so far... as well as even going on to read "Submission" in the German translation "Unterwerfung."

    It's probably not surprising that I've also enjoyed reading Tom Wolfe, who gets quite a bit of discussion in these parts.

    Perhaps any of you would share what others you might recommend?

    Replies: @jjbees

    , @Chrisnonymous
    @Laguna Beach Fogey

    I can't tell if your blog represents a real person or a made-up character, but either way, you could write a novel based on it.

  14. @Lot
    That's some high quality writing for a translation.

    Reading the rest of the excerpt in your link though confirmed my intention never to read Houellebecq, the style is clever but the tone and content is too relentlessly depressing.

    Replies: @SFG, @Vendetta, @Kylie, @Dennis Dale

    A depressing read is good for you once in a while. And Houllebecq’s style definitely endures translation well.

    Joseph Roth’s writing also survives translation remarkable beauty. I’ve been reading The Radetzky March and The Emperor’s Tomb this week. These are depressing as well but not relentlessly bleak and cruel like Houllebecq.

    Tales set amidst a terminally declining Austro-Hungarian Empire, a whole culture and civilization about to fade into memory. And much to be learned from them.

    “Back then, before the Great War, the fashion was for arrogance and cynicism, a silly genuflection to the so-called “décadence,” a lassitude that was half-affected and half-genuine, and a groundless boredom. It was an atmosphere that had little use for emotions, while passion was positively scorned.”

    How familiar. The coffee house crowd hasn’t changed a bit in one hundred years.

    “Like my friends, like all my friends, I had no faith. I never attended Mass. At that time I had a positive hatred of the church. Today, now that I am a believer, I no longer know why I hated it so. It was, so to speak, the “fashion.” I would have felt ashamed to tell my friends that I had been to church. They were not really opposed to religion as such; it was more a type of arrogance in them towards the tradition in which they had grown up. They didn’t want to renounce the essence of the tradition, but they – we – rebelled against the forms.”

    How fucking familiar.

  15. @SFG
    BTW, the NYT is trying to spread the diversity again:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/05/opinion/where-should-a-poor-family-live.html?_r=0

    Replies: @DJF

    From the NYT editorial

    “””””The larger issue, then, is the political and economic feasibility of the full integration of poor people, and especially poor minorities, into well-off, largely white neighborhoods.””””

    Sorry Thomas Edsall, but combining our immigration policy and our trade policy, both of which the NYT supports you are running out of both ‘white and well off neighborhoods” to dump your poor people.

  16. @SPMoore8
    The only question I have is what handle Houellebecq uses when he posts here.

    Humanities education worthless. Check. Women are basically ornaments. Check. Education is pointless, because it's all determined by genetics. Check. I'd say that's a pretty good appraisal of Western cultural pessimism, which has a long lineage but which appears to be having a big rebound right about now. On the other hand, the counterpoint to any one of those assertions sounds increasingly hollow.

    I would bet that the character enunciating those sentiments either becomes a True Believer in the new Islamic explanation of the world or becomes a victim of those who are seduced by it. But maybe that's the whole point.

    Replies: @whahae, @rod1963

    I would bet that the character enunciating those sentiments either becomes a True Believer in the new Islamic explanation of the world or becomes a victim of those who are seduced by it.

    Both of your bets would be wrong. That’s the danger of writing about books without reading them.

  17. Houellebecq is one of the best authors currently working. His prose is beautiful.

    But he is a realist. His actual life is no different from the books he rights. If he is cynical and depressing to read, it’s because he’s honest about his life and how he sees the world around him.

    It’s tough stuff to take.

  18. Cryptogenic [AKA "Mr. Zeepie"] says:

    This is nothing really new for Houellebecq whose output has always given vent to his depressive clarity. What is amazing is that he is still alive and can write at all. Few authors with Houellebecq’s level of mental illness would even get out of bed. I don’t know what drives this toothless, depressive genius to bother at all. I bet a squad of Islamists already tracked him down, but saw him chain smoking and drinking and gumming apple sauce and decided it wasn’t worth it.

  19. Hey iSteve, equal pay for equal work comes to tech.

    …conduct an audit to ensure roles filled by women and men receive equal pay for equal work.

    GoDaddy pledges compensation parity during White House Demo Day

    http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/techflash/2015/08/godaddy-pledges-compensation-parity-during-white.html

    • Replies: @Bad memories
    @George

    I predict that GoDaddy will attract lots of females who want to work there, but that not much will get done, so they will go out of business.

    , @Harry Baldwin
    @George

    GoDaddy pledges compensation parity during White House Demo Day

    Is the White House also pledging compensation parity during White House Demo Day? It's been revealed it doesn't have it.

  20. Off-topic,

    School tries to stop racism by dividing students according to race:

    A Jewish parent raised his hand, according to another parent who was there. He grew up in the South, he said, where Jews were seen not as “white” but as something categorically different. When he was a child, the Ku Klux Klan attempted to burn down his synagogue. To lump Jewish children together with other white children is to ignore centuries of history, he said.

    “When you walk in the room, I see you as white,” one person there remembers an African-American parent interjecting. “Your child needs to go in the white group.” Another parent remembers it this way: “You have the privilege of hiding behind your whiteness. And my child doesn’t.”

    To all these ends, the third- , fourth- , and fifth-graders at Lower were to be divided once a week for five weeks into small groups according to their race. In 45-minute sessions, children would talk about what it was like to be a member of that race; they would discuss what they had in common with each other and how they were different, how other people perceived them, rightly or wrongly, based on appearance. Disinhibited by the company of racially different peers, the children would, the school hoped, feel free to raise questions and make observations that in mixed company might be considered impolite. The bigger goal was to initiate a cultural upheaval, one that would finally give students of color a sense of equal owner­ship in the community. Once the smaller race groups had broken up, the children would gather in a mixed-race setting to share, and discuss, the insights they had gained. Then — after all this — their regularly scheduled school day would continue: math, English, social studies, science, gym.

    Apprehension moved like the flu among certain factions of the parents. In heated conversations in parking lots and on playing fields over the next few months, they shared and amplified one another’s anxieties, invoking yellow stars, blacks-only water fountains, the Japanese internment — “Brought memories of the Soviet Union right away,” wrote one father on a parents’ email thread. The word segregation came up a lot. For many of the parents at Lower, this program violated the values they’d learned back in their own elementary schools a generation ago. You just don’t sort human beings by race.

    http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/05/can-fieldston-un-teach-racism.html

  21. What is a cuckservative?

  22. Re young v. old, that’s exactly the way I felt growing up in the early ’70’s. My position was that opposition to the Vietnam War was nothing but opportunism by kids who wanted power long before their time.

  23. @SPMoore8
    The only question I have is what handle Houellebecq uses when he posts here.

    Humanities education worthless. Check. Women are basically ornaments. Check. Education is pointless, because it's all determined by genetics. Check. I'd say that's a pretty good appraisal of Western cultural pessimism, which has a long lineage but which appears to be having a big rebound right about now. On the other hand, the counterpoint to any one of those assertions sounds increasingly hollow.

    I would bet that the character enunciating those sentiments either becomes a True Believer in the new Islamic explanation of the world or becomes a victim of those who are seduced by it. But maybe that's the whole point.

    Replies: @whahae, @rod1963

    “Humanities education worthless. Check. Women are basically ornaments. Check. Education is pointless, because it’s all determined by genetics. Check. I’d say that’s a pretty good appraisal of Western cultural pessimism…”

    That’s not pessimism, it’s a rejection of life. It’s nihilism. It’s one of the gifts of modern European intellectuals to the world. It turns smart men into dummies and castrates strong ones because it takes away the will to fight and survive. It allows a bunch of savage desert dwellers with the IQ of morons to kick the asses of much smarter people with no effort at all.

    As for Houellebecq, he seems to be the classic European intellectual who is dead from the neck down. He doesn’t really feel anything, doesn’t believe in anything and doesn’t even really think either. Doesn’t really like anything let alone have any passions. He is not something to be admired. He merely exists as a life support system for a methane generator.

  24. @Lot
    That's some high quality writing for a translation.

    Reading the rest of the excerpt in your link though confirmed my intention never to read Houellebecq, the style is clever but the tone and content is too relentlessly depressing.

    Replies: @SFG, @Vendetta, @Kylie, @Dennis Dale

    Reading the rest of the excerpt in your link though confirmed my intention never to read Houellebecq, the style is clever but the tone and content is too relentlessly depressing.

    Then you’ll also want to avoid the novels of Marguerite Duras. You’ll be missing out, though. They’re utterly mesmerizing (at least, the English translations of them are).

  25. @Laguna Beach Fogey
    A fine writer, but a bit of a sad-sack at times.

    We need an American Houellebecq.

    Replies: @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta, @Chrisnonymous

    After seeing the interesting coverage of “Soumission” following it’s publication in French, I went to discover Houellebecq as an author whose voice resonates with the times. After reading “Elementary Particles,” I went on to “Whatever” and then the rest of his oeuvre so far… as well as even going on to read “Submission” in the German translation “Unterwerfung.”

    It’s probably not surprising that I’ve also enjoyed reading Tom Wolfe, who gets quite a bit of discussion in these parts.

    Perhaps any of you would share what others you might recommend?

    • Replies: @jjbees
    @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

    Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin saga.

  26. @Lot
    That's some high quality writing for a translation.

    Reading the rest of the excerpt in your link though confirmed my intention never to read Houellebecq, the style is clever but the tone and content is too relentlessly depressing.

    Replies: @SFG, @Vendetta, @Kylie, @Dennis Dale

    Well, there’s always Oprah’s book club. Were you looking for the feel-good summertime version of a decadent Europe succumbing to Islam? Because I’m sure the entertainment powers that be will offer that, once the time is right and demographics demand it.

    But seriously, is the quote here that depressing? No; it’s a proper excoriation of a society lapsed into decadence and self-hatred. It’s never depressing to see this done well. It’s enlivening.

    • Replies: @Cryptogenic
    @Dennis Dale

    But certainly novels like The Elementary Particles are as suffocating as they come. Even so, as Emil Cioran pointed out, relentlessly unhappy books have a therapeutic effect for depressed readers, kind of like how having the option of suicide tends to prolong the lives of suicidal people (according to various right to die groups).

    To be fair to Oprah she did choose The Road for her dumb book club. That's a wrist-slitter.

    Literature should derange, not reassure.

    Replies: @Dennis Dale, @anonymous-antiskynetist

  27. WhatEvvs [AKA "aamirkhanfan"] says:

    He’s hilarious but no matter how good the translation, the book is in French. English-language novelists don’t write that way. Too discursive, too much tell and not show. In a native English-language book these ideas would be conveyed through dialogue and action.

  28. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “8 college classes that probably never would have been offered a decade ago”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/8-classes-that-would-not-have-been-offered-a-decade-ago-2015-8

    “#SelfieClass
    University of Southern California

    The World of ‘Downton Abbey:’ Revolution, Rebellion and Re-Creation
    Oakland University

    Selfies, Snapchats, and Cyberbullies
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Jay-Z and Kanye West
    University of Missouri

    ‘The Hunger Games’: Class, Politics and Marketing
    American University

    The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class Gender, and Media
    Skidmore College

    The Game of Thrones
    University of Virginia

    Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay Z
    Georgetown University”

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    @Anonymous

    "“8 college classes that probably never would have been offered a decade ago”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/8-classes-that-would-not-have-been-offered-a-decade-ago-2015-8

    “#SelfieClass
    University of Southern California

    The World of ‘Downton Abbey:’ Revolution, Rebellion and Re-Creation
    Oakland University

    Selfies, Snapchats, and Cyberbullies
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Jay-Z and Kanye West
    University of Missouri

    ‘The Hunger Games’: Class, Politics and Marketing
    American University

    The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class Gender, and Media
    Skidmore College

    The Game of Thrones
    University of Virginia

    Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay Z
    Georgetown University”

    Some of the mainstream universities in this country are being dumbed down so that they can become the intellectual equals of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). No wonder Chinese students are kicking American students asses. While Chinese students are becoming computer programmers and engineers, American students are getting worthless liberal arts degrees and taking retarded classes about Jay-Z.

  29. Massively off-topic,

    We had a discussion a while back on US non-combat deaths in WW2:

    DoD: 291,557 KIA + 113,842 other = 405,399

    And people wanted to know how the 113,842 other deaths broke down.Well, according to Matthew White (Atrocities, page 606, note 37) the USA had 60,054 non-battle trauma deaths during WW2.Non-battle trauma deaths cover things like accidents, sunstroke, frostbite, murder, suicide, and drowning, but it does not include disease.

    Total non-combat deaths:113,842

    Deaths due to non-battle trauma: 60,054

    Deaths due to disease: 53,788

  30. Cryptogenic [AKA "Mr. Zeepie"] says:
    @Dennis Dale
    @Lot

    Well, there's always Oprah's book club. Were you looking for the feel-good summertime version of a decadent Europe succumbing to Islam? Because I'm sure the entertainment powers that be will offer that, once the time is right and demographics demand it.

    But seriously, is the quote here that depressing? No; it's a proper excoriation of a society lapsed into decadence and self-hatred. It's never depressing to see this done well. It's enlivening.

    Replies: @Cryptogenic

    But certainly novels like The Elementary Particles are as suffocating as they come. Even so, as Emil Cioran pointed out, relentlessly unhappy books have a therapeutic effect for depressed readers, kind of like how having the option of suicide tends to prolong the lives of suicidal people (according to various right to die groups).

    To be fair to Oprah she did choose The Road for her dumb book club. That’s a wrist-slitter.

    Literature should derange, not reassure.

    • Replies: @Dennis Dale
    @Cryptogenic

    I think Elementary Particles and The Possibility of an Island are brilliant. Suffocating? Maybe; he is relentlessly cynical and self-deprecating. But he's the one guy writing these books that need writing. I really don't understand the typical objections to Houellebecq; he's degenerate, he's depressing, he's a bigot. He's a caustic observer with a bitter sense of humor, but the stories he tells are those of a moralist and tragedian, lamenting the loss of that ideal people think he's pissing on--of a good society.

    I thought he was done after his last, The Map and the Territory, which features a supposedly non-fictionalized, pathetic version of himself in a story about the ultimate futility of art. Now that was depressing.

    Replies: @Cryptogenic

    , @anonymous-antiskynetist
    @Cryptogenic

    It's actually not a wrist-slitter. It's about the inextinguishability of the will to survive and propagate under even the worst, most hopeless circumstances.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

  31. @George
    Hey iSteve, equal pay for equal work comes to tech.

    ...conduct an audit to ensure roles filled by women and men receive equal pay for equal work.

    GoDaddy pledges compensation parity during White House Demo Day

    http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/techflash/2015/08/godaddy-pledges-compensation-parity-during-white.html

    Replies: @Bad memories, @Harry Baldwin

    I predict that GoDaddy will attract lots of females who want to work there, but that not much will get done, so they will go out of business.

  32. @Anon
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3183668/Riot-police-pelted-stones-2-100-migrants-storm-Channel-Tunnel-Calais-weekend-chanting-Open-borders.html

    Isn't 'diversity' just great?

    Europe is committing racial-cultural suicide.

    Replies: @Jefferson, @anon

    “Isn’t ‘diversity’ just great?

    Europe is committing racial-cultural suicide.”

    Black bodies screaming that they want Europe to have open borders, hahahahahahahaha. Black bodies sure do have a love hate relationship with us White people. They can’t live with us, but they also sure as hell can not live without us. Black bodies know they suffer much higher rates of poverty when they live in countries run by Black body politicians. Black bodies love the generous welfare safety nest that White countries have to offer.

    Black bodies do not want a racially balkanized world where the vast majority Black bodies live as far away from White people as possible because it does not financially benefit them. Black bodies want racial integration with Whitey because it financially benefits them.

  33. @Laguna Beach Fogey
    A fine writer, but a bit of a sad-sack at times.

    We need an American Houellebecq.

    Replies: @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta, @Chrisnonymous

    I can’t tell if your blog represents a real person or a made-up character, but either way, you could write a novel based on it.

  34. Reading the rest of the excerpt in your link though confirmed my intention never to read Houellebecq, the style is clever but the tone and content is too relentlessly depressing.

    What did you expect from an admirer of H.P. Lovecraft?

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    @gwood

    "What did you expect from an admirer of H.P. Lovecraft?"

    Intellectually, I understand that there are probably men who visit this blog on a regular basis, who are not also admirers of H.P. Lovecraft, but what I don't understand, is why they are not?

    Replies: @SFG, @syonredux

  35. http://chicagolampoon.blogspot.com/2015/08/jeb-bushs-jewelry-hording-la-raza-wife.html

    “According to the Times report, Mrs. Bush misled the Customs agents about her $19,000 in purchases because she didn’t want her husband to know much she spent on the five-day shopping trip. She said she spent $500.”

    ROTFL

  36. @Cryptogenic
    @Dennis Dale

    But certainly novels like The Elementary Particles are as suffocating as they come. Even so, as Emil Cioran pointed out, relentlessly unhappy books have a therapeutic effect for depressed readers, kind of like how having the option of suicide tends to prolong the lives of suicidal people (according to various right to die groups).

    To be fair to Oprah she did choose The Road for her dumb book club. That's a wrist-slitter.

    Literature should derange, not reassure.

    Replies: @Dennis Dale, @anonymous-antiskynetist

    I think Elementary Particles and The Possibility of an Island are brilliant. Suffocating? Maybe; he is relentlessly cynical and self-deprecating. But he’s the one guy writing these books that need writing. I really don’t understand the typical objections to Houellebecq; he’s degenerate, he’s depressing, he’s a bigot. He’s a caustic observer with a bitter sense of humor, but the stories he tells are those of a moralist and tragedian, lamenting the loss of that ideal people think he’s pissing on–of a good society.

    I thought he was done after his last, The Map and the Territory, which features a supposedly non-fictionalized, pathetic version of himself in a story about the ultimate futility of art. Now that was depressing.

    • Replies: @Cryptogenic
    @Dennis Dale

    Agreed on all points. What novelist, especially of brilliance, especially in France, goes anywhere near the subject of Western collapse as tragedy? Houellebecq should be part of dissident Right canon. Perhaps he is too drunk and perverted for conservatives, and too much of a realist and cultural pessimist for liberals?

    Aside from his novels I also enjoyed his little treatise on Lovecraft and the handful of translated poems in Collapse Vol. IV.

    Replies: @Anonymous

  37. @Anonymous
    "8 college classes that probably never would have been offered a decade ago"

    http://www.businessinsider.com/8-classes-that-would-not-have-been-offered-a-decade-ago-2015-8

    "#SelfieClass
    University of Southern California

    The World of ‘Downton Abbey:’ Revolution, Rebellion and Re-Creation
    Oakland University

    Selfies, Snapchats, and Cyberbullies
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Jay-Z and Kanye West
    University of Missouri

    'The Hunger Games': Class, Politics and Marketing
    American University

    The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class Gender, and Media
    Skidmore College

    The Game of Thrones
    University of Virginia

    Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay Z
    Georgetown University"

    Replies: @Jefferson

    ““8 college classes that probably never would have been offered a decade ago”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/8-classes-that-would-not-have-been-offered-a-decade-ago-2015-8

    “#SelfieClass
    University of Southern California

    The World of ‘Downton Abbey:’ Revolution, Rebellion and Re-Creation
    Oakland University

    Selfies, Snapchats, and Cyberbullies
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Jay-Z and Kanye West
    University of Missouri

    ‘The Hunger Games’: Class, Politics and Marketing
    American University

    The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class Gender, and Media
    Skidmore College

    The Game of Thrones
    University of Virginia

    Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay Z
    Georgetown University”

    Some of the mainstream universities in this country are being dumbed down so that they can become the intellectual equals of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). No wonder Chinese students are kicking American students asses. While Chinese students are becoming computer programmers and engineers, American students are getting worthless liberal arts degrees and taking retarded classes about Jay-Z.

  38. I obtained a BA in english lit because I was assured that we’d get to lounge about smoking pipes and pontificating. Once I got close to grad school it became clear that in reality I’d be pretending to understand de Saussure and Foucault and spending alot of time talking about “texts”…everything was a “text”. Even better, a “map”. So now I take down tower cranes.

  39. @Cryptogenic
    @Dennis Dale

    But certainly novels like The Elementary Particles are as suffocating as they come. Even so, as Emil Cioran pointed out, relentlessly unhappy books have a therapeutic effect for depressed readers, kind of like how having the option of suicide tends to prolong the lives of suicidal people (according to various right to die groups).

    To be fair to Oprah she did choose The Road for her dumb book club. That's a wrist-slitter.

    Literature should derange, not reassure.

    Replies: @Dennis Dale, @anonymous-antiskynetist

    It’s actually not a wrist-slitter. It’s about the inextinguishability of the will to survive and propagate under even the worst, most hopeless circumstances.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @anonymous-antiskynetist

    I agree. I didn't find The Road depressing for the reason you mention. The father has an indomitable will to live and to teach his son how to live, while his son teaches him about compassion. Sounds trite put that way, but it's my favorite book by Cormac McCarthy.

  40. Steve how about open threads occasionally for all of these off topic commenters

  41. Hillary Clinton is so out of touch with the middle class and the under class, that the last time she drove her own car was way back in 1993. She has had people do the driving for her for the last 22 years while she just sits back and relaxes. Yet the irony is that she will win the majority of the poor underclass vote in the 2016 presidential election.

    The same Left Wing voters who say they could not vote for Mitt Romney in 2012 because he is too fat cat rich, are the same hypocrites who will have no problem voting for Hillary Rodham who makes more money for just 1 speaking engagement than what most American households make in 1 year.

    Hillary is so out of touch with the middle class and the lower class, I would not be surprised if her appearance at Chipotle while on the campaign trail was the first time she had eaten at a fast food restaurant in the 21st Century. In her head she was probably thinking so this is where the inferior poor peasant masses eat at.

  42. Houellebecq reads like a modern-day Louis-Ferdinand Céline. But Céline was funnier and wittier, a true craftsman of the French language. You could also sense that Céline was mad at the world, crumbling around him after WWI, in which he fought. A true reactionary, he followed Pétain and the Vichy Government in their retreat from the Allied Forces, then in jail. Céline ended up a bitter lonely man, tarred as a “collabo” while Houellebecq is just blasé and quite successful socially. There’s no point in believing in anything or fighting for anything. Just go with the flow. Everything will soon be over. Why not smoke more Gauloises until your lungs shut down and you can no longer breathe and then you die? Can’t say I blame him. France has turned to rot for good. 15% Muslim. Short of deporting the bastards, it’s game over. Islam wins by default.

    • Replies: @Ivy
    @BB753

    French introspection about WWII took on a more public appearance with the airing of a TV show called A French Village. So much of the "collabo" guilt was localized, with dark murmurings about which family had done what with the Germans. Semi-private retributions were the order of the day until the collective conscience could accept the televised assault. Each successive younger generation represents a more tenuous connection to historic French culture, as shown by Houllebecq and others.

    The TV series presents an unflinching view of human behavior in times of duress, so is instructive as a type of therapy and catharsis in addition to the historical and entertainment values. The Germans were forced to addresse their WWII issues much earlier, and perhaps the Japanese may at last begin to confront their own demons, although not soon enough to help Koreans, Chinese and others they victimized.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Un_village_français

    , @SFG
    @BB753

    History. Celine picked the wrong side.

    'Treason doth never prosper, for, if it doth prosper, none dare call it treason'.

    , @Harry Baldwin
    @BB753

    There’s no point in believing in anything or fighting for anything. Just go with the flow.

    Houellebecq has written a book which predicts a future in which France has surrendered to Islam and the book has engendered a lot of discussion as well as outrage. How is that not fighting for anything or going with the flow? How many writers have the guts to do what Houellebecq has done? We need many more like him.

    Replies: @BB753

    , @Cryptogenic
    @BB753

    Houellebecq's severe depression is what allows him to write so penetratingly. He simply is depressed first and foremost. Also, he is just as symptomatic of Western decline as he is a diagnostician of it, and he knows this and doesn't give a fuck. I've come close to twinning him with Celine but they are so far apart in tone, Celine being the mania to Houellebecq's catatonia.

    (Journey to the End of the Night is my favorite novel. "Just fanatics are the maddest of the lot!")

  43. @gwood

    Reading the rest of the excerpt in your link though confirmed my intention never to read Houellebecq, the style is clever but the tone and content is too relentlessly depressing.
     
    What did you expect from an admirer of H.P. Lovecraft?

    Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe

    “What did you expect from an admirer of H.P. Lovecraft?”

    Intellectually, I understand that there are probably men who visit this blog on a regular basis, who are not also admirers of H.P. Lovecraft, but what I don’t understand, is why they are not?

    • Replies: @SFG
    @Kevin O'Keeffe

    Since I assume most people here approve of his politics:

    -Overly florid prose style
    -Weak characterization
    -Predictability

    But yes, I admire the man who replaced the werewolf and the vampire with Cthulhu and the Deep Ones. What self-respecting geek can't love the man who mixed science fiction and horror, or appreciate the idea that true knowledge of the universe drives one insane?

    , @syonredux
    @Kevin O'Keeffe

    One sign of Lovecraft's visionary power:his name has become an adjective (Lovecraftian).That's a rare thing for an author.Writers as eminent as Fitzgerald, Thackeray, Pope, Dickinson, etc, have not achieved that distinction.

    But Lovecraft has achieved the adjectival Olympus, and Lovecraftian now exists alongside Shakespearean , Miltonian, Dickensian, Faulknerian, Dantean, Homeric, Virgilian, etc

  44. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    This is what globalism will do your country. Poles don’t want mass immigration and want to preserve their culture and identity, but Polish elites, who are bought and sold by globalist power, are opening Poland wide open to mass invasion. Communism was bad but it preserved Poland. Globalist capitalism will lead to the erasure of Poland. Under US-dominated globalist capitalism, the elites of any nation are bribed or advised by Zio-Americans(Anne Applebaums and Victoria Nulands) who push open borders and the ‘gay agenda’ on every country.
    Did Poland survive centuries of Russian and Germanic rule and WWII and the Cold War to end up invaded by masses of Africans and Muslims? Apparently yes. All puppet nations of US-controlled globalism will end this way. Polish leaders have sold their souls to globalism, and Polish people are being brainwashed by Political Correctness that tells all gentile nations to surrender their culture and identity.
    Interestingly, though nations like Poland are pressured to take in Africans, Israel never is. Though Jewish-led foreign policy led to all the violence in North Africa and the Middle East, those who must pay the price are Europeans, not Zionist Israelis.

    Africa is a huge continent with tremendous resources, and Africans have their own nations. It is their duty to fix up their own nations. Instead, Africans mess up their own nations, have too many children, and then invade other nations and demand to be taken care of.

    Poland has NO MORAL RESPONSIBILITY to Africans who should fix their own societies instead of messing them up and then migrating to other nations. Poland didn’t mess up Africa. Africans did.

    http://whitegenocideproject.com/poland-stabbed-in-the-back-by-their-leaders-africans-on-their-way/

    • Agree: Romanian
  45. Cryptogenic [AKA "Mr. Zeepie"] says:
    @Dennis Dale
    @Cryptogenic

    I think Elementary Particles and The Possibility of an Island are brilliant. Suffocating? Maybe; he is relentlessly cynical and self-deprecating. But he's the one guy writing these books that need writing. I really don't understand the typical objections to Houellebecq; he's degenerate, he's depressing, he's a bigot. He's a caustic observer with a bitter sense of humor, but the stories he tells are those of a moralist and tragedian, lamenting the loss of that ideal people think he's pissing on--of a good society.

    I thought he was done after his last, The Map and the Territory, which features a supposedly non-fictionalized, pathetic version of himself in a story about the ultimate futility of art. Now that was depressing.

    Replies: @Cryptogenic

    Agreed on all points. What novelist, especially of brilliance, especially in France, goes anywhere near the subject of Western collapse as tragedy? Houellebecq should be part of dissident Right canon. Perhaps he is too drunk and perverted for conservatives, and too much of a realist and cultural pessimist for liberals?

    Aside from his novels I also enjoyed his little treatise on Lovecraft and the handful of translated poems in Collapse Vol. IV.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Cryptogenic


    What novelist, especially of brilliance, especially in France, goes anywhere near the subject of Western collapse as tragedy?
     
    The ongoing attempt to collapse the West is an atrocity, not a tragedy.

    Replies: @Melendwyr

  46. @B.B.
    The academic study of literature leads basically nowhere, as we all know, unless you happen to be an especially gifted student, in which case it prepares you for a career teaching the academic study of literature—it is, in other words, a rather farcical system that exists solely to replicate itself and yet manages to fail more than 95 percent of the time.

    King of the Hill also took a jab at this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JB_eEmtJek&t=4m05s

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    This shows again why Mike Judge is a genius.

  47. @Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta
    @Laguna Beach Fogey

    After seeing the interesting coverage of "Soumission" following it's publication in French, I went to discover Houellebecq as an author whose voice resonates with the times. After reading "Elementary Particles," I went on to "Whatever" and then the rest of his oeuvre so far... as well as even going on to read "Submission" in the German translation "Unterwerfung."

    It's probably not surprising that I've also enjoyed reading Tom Wolfe, who gets quite a bit of discussion in these parts.

    Perhaps any of you would share what others you might recommend?

    Replies: @jjbees

    Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin saga.

  48. @BB753
    Houellebecq reads like a modern-day Louis-Ferdinand Céline. But Céline was funnier and wittier, a true craftsman of the French language. You could also sense that Céline was mad at the world, crumbling around him after WWI, in which he fought. A true reactionary, he followed Pétain and the Vichy Government in their retreat from the Allied Forces, then in jail. Céline ended up a bitter lonely man, tarred as a "collabo" while Houellebecq is just blasé and quite successful socially. There's no point in believing in anything or fighting for anything. Just go with the flow. Everything will soon be over. Why not smoke more Gauloises until your lungs shut down and you can no longer breathe and then you die? Can't say I blame him. France has turned to rot for good. 15% Muslim. Short of deporting the bastards, it's game over. Islam wins by default.

    Replies: @Ivy, @SFG, @Harry Baldwin, @Cryptogenic

    French introspection about WWII took on a more public appearance with the airing of a TV show called A French Village. So much of the “collabo” guilt was localized, with dark murmurings about which family had done what with the Germans. Semi-private retributions were the order of the day until the collective conscience could accept the televised assault. Each successive younger generation represents a more tenuous connection to historic French culture, as shown by Houllebecq and others.

    The TV series presents an unflinching view of human behavior in times of duress, so is instructive as a type of therapy and catharsis in addition to the historical and entertainment values. The Germans were forced to addresse their WWII issues much earlier, and perhaps the Japanese may at last begin to confront their own demons, although not soon enough to help Koreans, Chinese and others they victimized.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Un_village_français

  49. @BB753
    Houellebecq reads like a modern-day Louis-Ferdinand Céline. But Céline was funnier and wittier, a true craftsman of the French language. You could also sense that Céline was mad at the world, crumbling around him after WWI, in which he fought. A true reactionary, he followed Pétain and the Vichy Government in their retreat from the Allied Forces, then in jail. Céline ended up a bitter lonely man, tarred as a "collabo" while Houellebecq is just blasé and quite successful socially. There's no point in believing in anything or fighting for anything. Just go with the flow. Everything will soon be over. Why not smoke more Gauloises until your lungs shut down and you can no longer breathe and then you die? Can't say I blame him. France has turned to rot for good. 15% Muslim. Short of deporting the bastards, it's game over. Islam wins by default.

    Replies: @Ivy, @SFG, @Harry Baldwin, @Cryptogenic

    History. Celine picked the wrong side.

    ‘Treason doth never prosper, for, if it doth prosper, none dare call it treason’.

  50. @Kevin O'Keeffe
    @gwood

    "What did you expect from an admirer of H.P. Lovecraft?"

    Intellectually, I understand that there are probably men who visit this blog on a regular basis, who are not also admirers of H.P. Lovecraft, but what I don't understand, is why they are not?

    Replies: @SFG, @syonredux

    Since I assume most people here approve of his politics:

    -Overly florid prose style
    -Weak characterization
    -Predictability

    But yes, I admire the man who replaced the werewolf and the vampire with Cthulhu and the Deep Ones. What self-respecting geek can’t love the man who mixed science fiction and horror, or appreciate the idea that true knowledge of the universe drives one insane?

  51. @George
    Hey iSteve, equal pay for equal work comes to tech.

    ...conduct an audit to ensure roles filled by women and men receive equal pay for equal work.

    GoDaddy pledges compensation parity during White House Demo Day

    http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/techflash/2015/08/godaddy-pledges-compensation-parity-during-white.html

    Replies: @Bad memories, @Harry Baldwin

    GoDaddy pledges compensation parity during White House Demo Day

    Is the White House also pledging compensation parity during White House Demo Day? It’s been revealed it doesn’t have it.

  52. @anonymous-antiskynetist
    @Cryptogenic

    It's actually not a wrist-slitter. It's about the inextinguishability of the will to survive and propagate under even the worst, most hopeless circumstances.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    I agree. I didn’t find The Road depressing for the reason you mention. The father has an indomitable will to live and to teach his son how to live, while his son teaches him about compassion. Sounds trite put that way, but it’s my favorite book by Cormac McCarthy.

  53. @BB753
    Houellebecq reads like a modern-day Louis-Ferdinand Céline. But Céline was funnier and wittier, a true craftsman of the French language. You could also sense that Céline was mad at the world, crumbling around him after WWI, in which he fought. A true reactionary, he followed Pétain and the Vichy Government in their retreat from the Allied Forces, then in jail. Céline ended up a bitter lonely man, tarred as a "collabo" while Houellebecq is just blasé and quite successful socially. There's no point in believing in anything or fighting for anything. Just go with the flow. Everything will soon be over. Why not smoke more Gauloises until your lungs shut down and you can no longer breathe and then you die? Can't say I blame him. France has turned to rot for good. 15% Muslim. Short of deporting the bastards, it's game over. Islam wins by default.

    Replies: @Ivy, @SFG, @Harry Baldwin, @Cryptogenic

    There’s no point in believing in anything or fighting for anything. Just go with the flow.

    Houellebecq has written a book which predicts a future in which France has surrendered to Islam and the book has engendered a lot of discussion as well as outrage. How is that not fighting for anything or going with the flow? How many writers have the guts to do what Houellebecq has done? We need many more like him.

    • Replies: @BB753
    @Harry Baldwin

    You're right. For a clinically depressed man, Houellebecq has done pretty well for himself just staying alive and writing about societal disease. His books have been more effective than anything written by the identitarians in pushing debate about immigration and Islam. My point is that deep down he doesn't care about those issues in a constructive way. He's just describing what is happening and nobody else is honest enough to discuss in polite society. He can get away with it like like a court jester can make fun of everything sacred and live another day to make another joke. Who knows where Houellebecq's heart really is? He's certainly not about to join the Front National.

  54. Cryptogenic [AKA "Mr. Zeepie"] says:
    @BB753
    Houellebecq reads like a modern-day Louis-Ferdinand Céline. But Céline was funnier and wittier, a true craftsman of the French language. You could also sense that Céline was mad at the world, crumbling around him after WWI, in which he fought. A true reactionary, he followed Pétain and the Vichy Government in their retreat from the Allied Forces, then in jail. Céline ended up a bitter lonely man, tarred as a "collabo" while Houellebecq is just blasé and quite successful socially. There's no point in believing in anything or fighting for anything. Just go with the flow. Everything will soon be over. Why not smoke more Gauloises until your lungs shut down and you can no longer breathe and then you die? Can't say I blame him. France has turned to rot for good. 15% Muslim. Short of deporting the bastards, it's game over. Islam wins by default.

    Replies: @Ivy, @SFG, @Harry Baldwin, @Cryptogenic

    Houellebecq’s severe depression is what allows him to write so penetratingly. He simply is depressed first and foremost. Also, he is just as symptomatic of Western decline as he is a diagnostician of it, and he knows this and doesn’t give a fuck. I’ve come close to twinning him with Celine but they are so far apart in tone, Celine being the mania to Houellebecq’s catatonia.

    (Journey to the End of the Night is my favorite novel. “Just fanatics are the maddest of the lot!”)

  55. @Cryptogenic
    @Dennis Dale

    Agreed on all points. What novelist, especially of brilliance, especially in France, goes anywhere near the subject of Western collapse as tragedy? Houellebecq should be part of dissident Right canon. Perhaps he is too drunk and perverted for conservatives, and too much of a realist and cultural pessimist for liberals?

    Aside from his novels I also enjoyed his little treatise on Lovecraft and the handful of translated poems in Collapse Vol. IV.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    What novelist, especially of brilliance, especially in France, goes anywhere near the subject of Western collapse as tragedy?

    The ongoing attempt to collapse the West is an atrocity, not a tragedy.

    • Replies: @Melendwyr
    @Anonymous


    The ongoing attempt to collapse the West is an atrocity, not a tragedy.
     
    The lack of a serious resistance from the West is a tragedy. Also at times a comedy, if you appreciate dark humor.

    For all the complaints I read on this site about what's happening to America, Canada, and Europe, it never seems to occur to people that none of it would be happening if the former majority was having children and keeping the riff-raff out.

    The death of Western Civilization isn't a murder, it's a suicide.
  56. @Harry Baldwin
    @BB753

    There’s no point in believing in anything or fighting for anything. Just go with the flow.

    Houellebecq has written a book which predicts a future in which France has surrendered to Islam and the book has engendered a lot of discussion as well as outrage. How is that not fighting for anything or going with the flow? How many writers have the guts to do what Houellebecq has done? We need many more like him.

    Replies: @BB753

    You’re right. For a clinically depressed man, Houellebecq has done pretty well for himself just staying alive and writing about societal disease. His books have been more effective than anything written by the identitarians in pushing debate about immigration and Islam. My point is that deep down he doesn’t care about those issues in a constructive way. He’s just describing what is happening and nobody else is honest enough to discuss in polite society. He can get away with it like like a court jester can make fun of everything sacred and live another day to make another joke. Who knows where Houellebecq’s heart really is? He’s certainly not about to join the Front National.

  57. @Kevin O'Keeffe
    @gwood

    "What did you expect from an admirer of H.P. Lovecraft?"

    Intellectually, I understand that there are probably men who visit this blog on a regular basis, who are not also admirers of H.P. Lovecraft, but what I don't understand, is why they are not?

    Replies: @SFG, @syonredux

    One sign of Lovecraft’s visionary power:his name has become an adjective (Lovecraftian).That’s a rare thing for an author.Writers as eminent as Fitzgerald, Thackeray, Pope, Dickinson, etc, have not achieved that distinction.

    But Lovecraft has achieved the adjectival Olympus, and Lovecraftian now exists alongside Shakespearean , Miltonian, Dickensian, Faulknerian, Dantean, Homeric, Virgilian, etc

  58. @Anon
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3183668/Riot-police-pelted-stones-2-100-migrants-storm-Channel-Tunnel-Calais-weekend-chanting-Open-borders.html

    Isn't 'diversity' just great?

    Europe is committing racial-cultural suicide.

    Replies: @Jefferson, @anon

    Europe is committing racial-cultural suicide.

    Europe’s political and media class are committing genocide.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    @anon

    This is more like it. While I agree with the underlying malaise that a (temporarily?) declining population might show, the real problem is how, at the first sign of trouble and for an illusory and temporary economic gain, the elites are selling out their country. They don't make any more of it. If they hold onto it, then France can be France even with a quarter of its current population, the same way it was during Louis the XIVth. You can look forward to a the appearance of some new animus, religious or not, or even the economics of labor scarcity and abundant real estate, to drive birth rates upward eventually. But not if you have completed the replacement of the population, and the crippling of affordable family formation for natives.

    Replies: @SPMoore8

  59. “…Lovecraft has achieved the adjectival Olympus, and Lovecraftian now exists alongside Shakespearean , Miltonian, Dickensian, Faulknerian, Dantean, Homeric, Virgilian, etc”

    Good point.

    There’s also Ballardian ie., indicative of the science-fictional milieu of J.G. Ballard. You don’t hear that one as often, but I’m partial to it, since I’m the guy who created its Wiktionary entry.

    • Replies: @Dirk Dagger
    @Kevin O'Keeffe

    Kafkaesque is so overused it has lost much of its meaning. Pops up in a lot of Sunday newspaper travel pieces on Prague for no real reason.

  60. Houlebec is an agent of demoralization so intentionally or not he is an enemy of the French people.

  61. @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "...Lovecraft has achieved the adjectival Olympus, and Lovecraftian now exists alongside Shakespearean , Miltonian, Dickensian, Faulknerian, Dantean, Homeric, Virgilian, etc"

    Good point.

    There's also Ballardian ie., indicative of the science-fictional milieu of J.G. Ballard. You don't hear that one as often, but I'm partial to it, since I'm the guy who created its Wiktionary entry.

    Replies: @Dirk Dagger

    Kafkaesque is so overused it has lost much of its meaning. Pops up in a lot of Sunday newspaper travel pieces on Prague for no real reason.

  62. @Anonymous
    @Cryptogenic


    What novelist, especially of brilliance, especially in France, goes anywhere near the subject of Western collapse as tragedy?
     
    The ongoing attempt to collapse the West is an atrocity, not a tragedy.

    Replies: @Melendwyr

    The ongoing attempt to collapse the West is an atrocity, not a tragedy.

    The lack of a serious resistance from the West is a tragedy. Also at times a comedy, if you appreciate dark humor.

    For all the complaints I read on this site about what’s happening to America, Canada, and Europe, it never seems to occur to people that none of it would be happening if the former majority was having children and keeping the riff-raff out.

    The death of Western Civilization isn’t a murder, it’s a suicide.

  63. @anon
    @Anon


    Europe is committing racial-cultural suicide.
     
    Europe's political and media class are committing genocide.

    Replies: @Romanian

    This is more like it. While I agree with the underlying malaise that a (temporarily?) declining population might show, the real problem is how, at the first sign of trouble and for an illusory and temporary economic gain, the elites are selling out their country. They don’t make any more of it. If they hold onto it, then France can be France even with a quarter of its current population, the same way it was during Louis the XIVth. You can look forward to a the appearance of some new animus, religious or not, or even the economics of labor scarcity and abundant real estate, to drive birth rates upward eventually. But not if you have completed the replacement of the population, and the crippling of affordable family formation for natives.

    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    @Romanian

    The Romans invited the barbarians into the border areas, the Polish Lithuanian kings invited the Germans, so did the Russians: Elites don't care about the composition of their lower classes as long as they continue to reap profits.

    The same pertains to stock market growth. Companies have to create profits and dividends for shareholders, if the profits do not grow enough then the operating costs are lowered by offshoring. and they get their profits that way.

    The problem then is that the lower classes today are also dependent on the "rich getting richer" since they require all kinds of government handouts in order to survive, the value of all of which is tied to the stock market and investment returns. That will include me, when I retire. At least I hope to avoid the indignity of rioting when my food stamp card network goes down; since I won't need an Access card.

    There is a House of Cards aspect to this. The risk is that there's always the possibility of the masses being attracted to a strong man who vows to reallocate resources. (Most of Europe in the 20th Century, including the two big bad guys.)

    I don't look forward to strife or ugliness but I expect it's around the corner, even in the brief 1, 2 or 3 decades I might have left. All you can do is ensure that your children know how to take care of themselves.

  64. @Romanian
    @anon

    This is more like it. While I agree with the underlying malaise that a (temporarily?) declining population might show, the real problem is how, at the first sign of trouble and for an illusory and temporary economic gain, the elites are selling out their country. They don't make any more of it. If they hold onto it, then France can be France even with a quarter of its current population, the same way it was during Louis the XIVth. You can look forward to a the appearance of some new animus, religious or not, or even the economics of labor scarcity and abundant real estate, to drive birth rates upward eventually. But not if you have completed the replacement of the population, and the crippling of affordable family formation for natives.

    Replies: @SPMoore8

    The Romans invited the barbarians into the border areas, the Polish Lithuanian kings invited the Germans, so did the Russians: Elites don’t care about the composition of their lower classes as long as they continue to reap profits.

    The same pertains to stock market growth. Companies have to create profits and dividends for shareholders, if the profits do not grow enough then the operating costs are lowered by offshoring. and they get their profits that way.

    The problem then is that the lower classes today are also dependent on the “rich getting richer” since they require all kinds of government handouts in order to survive, the value of all of which is tied to the stock market and investment returns. That will include me, when I retire. At least I hope to avoid the indignity of rioting when my food stamp card network goes down; since I won’t need an Access card.

    There is a House of Cards aspect to this. The risk is that there’s always the possibility of the masses being attracted to a strong man who vows to reallocate resources. (Most of Europe in the 20th Century, including the two big bad guys.)

    I don’t look forward to strife or ugliness but I expect it’s around the corner, even in the brief 1, 2 or 3 decades I might have left. All you can do is ensure that your children know how to take care of themselves.

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