H.P. Lovecraft: Contre le monde, contre la vie
Dans cet essai, Michel Houellebecq parcourt un itinéraire hors du commun et rend hommage à Lovecraft pour s'être situé dans cet "ailleurs absolu" et propose un plaidoyer pour une littérature vertigineuse. Lovecraft, l'un des maîtres du fantastique fut un être étrange à la mesure de ces récits terifiants. Un livre à ne pas lire sans tranqui...more
For Americans who don't know -- there's this French dude named Michel Houellebecq who a lot of Europeans are super pissed at. And that's because he's a writer, see, a brilliant one, who also happens to be a misanthrope, and who sincerely despises just about 98 percent of all humanity, and takes great care to detail all the ways they deserve his hatred in his provocative novels, which have all been b ...more
Update: A great remix of the Mountain Goats' "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" : http://youtube.com/watch?v=PvkMEoqmbBA
In H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life Michel Houellebecq, the bitterly cynical, oft-misunderstood French misanthrope and champion of 21st-century nihilism, attempts to demystify exactly what it is about Lovecraft's fiction that has allowed it to remain fresh and relevant after nearly a century.
And he succeeds in ways I never though ...more
Like certain kinds of good literature, Houellebecq renders his subject sympathetic precisely by revealin ...more
Also, it is fascinating to read something which is on one hand scholarly-like and on the other fiction (he claims that this is really his first novel); only a French author could get away with that, I think;-)
Contrary to many I quite like Stephen King's foreword to this edition--even if he makes the blunder of dec ...more
H.P. Lovecraft’s work and mind dissected by another novelist with a dark worldview, introduced by Stephen King, no less.
If you want further proof of H.P. Lovecraft’s fear of life, look no further than French novelist Houellebecq’s magnificent essay. No great lover of the world himself (here he describes life as “painful and disappointing”), Houellebecq is closer to the common experience of humanity than Lovecraft. He acts a bridge between the recluse of Providence and ourselves, and what insight ...more
And I really have to agree. Houellebecq approaches from his trademark people-are-shit viewpoint, and is ruthless (though always affectionate) about Lovecraft. HPL's racism isn't given an easy pass with that man-of-his-time apologies that're often bandied by his fans - it's instead giv ...more
Every horror stems from the shocking revelation of fear and fear always relates to the unknown. So what was the source of HPL's fear?
I had postulated that it might relate to the revelation of the breadth of our universe, the wideness and chaos of which were progressively uncovered in the 20th century through knwoledge developments such as quantum theory or psychoanalysis, which undermined th ...more
A brilliant study....first published in France in 1991 and translated into English a few years ago...evocatively written, like a novel.
Lovecraft created a great popular myth, which is rare in literature...of the Great Old Ones Houellebecq writes "they have heard the roars of the very first mammals and will know the howls of agony of the very last."
Contrasts the approach of H.P. Lovecraft with ...more
What he is is relentlessly obsessive, a compelling racist, a neurasthenic who managed to find mythic horror in the everyday. That's his great gift, an engaging paranoia that each new advance of human civilization, each new item in the newspaper, is the key to some devastating horror just beyond.
Lovecraft lived and died poor, without much r ...more
24:"In general, few authors, even amongst those most entrenched in fantasy literature, have made so few concessions to the real."
41: "And what is startling is that all attempts at [biographical] demystification have failed."
47: Astute observation: 'Supernatural Horror in Literature' doesn't take into consideration Lovecraft's own contributions to the genre.
61: "Obscurely and unpleasantly, there is also the fact that a novelist tackling the subject of life in general ...more
His shadow falls over many things I get intrigued by in life, and I have come back to him again and again. I am drawn to his hysterics.
I think Houellbecq gets quite a bit right about HPL, and enjoy his insight, even if I am not misanthropic. I think one thing he points to that I appreciate is the way Lovecraft's deliberate and unconscious limitations cre ...more
Ale czy tak jest w istocie? To dobry esej, nawet bardzo, ale mam poczucie niewykorzystanego potencjału. Houellebecq jedynie nadgryza temat, a resztę ciasta zostawia w lodówce. Szkoda, ale rozumiem, że jest to esej, w którym nie ma tyle miejsca co w biografii. Z książki nie dowiedziałam się niczego nowego, ale Lovecraft od dawna zalicza się do grona moich ulubionych p ...more