By Michel Houellebecq. Translated by Frank Wynne. New York: Alfred A. The book has a dual focus, being the story of half brothers, Michel and Bruno, whose fates are closely bound up with the convulsive moral and spiritual sea changes of postwar France.
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Specifically, he underestimated the growth of individualism brought about by an increased consciousness of death. Individualism gives rise to freedom, the sense of self, the need to distinguish oneself and to be superior to others. A rational society like the one he describes in Brave New World can defuse the struggle. Economic rivalry—a metaphor for mastery over space—has no more reason to exist in a society of plenty, where the economy is strictly regulated. Sexual rivalry—a metaphor for mastery over time through reproduction—has no more reason to exist in a society where the connection between sex and procreation has been broken.
But Huxley forgets about individualism. The same is true of the desire for wealth. Why has the Swedish model of social democracy never triumphed over liberalism?
Why has it never been applied to sexual satisfaction? Because the metaphysical mutation brought about by modern science leads to individuation, vanity, malice and desire. Any philosopher, not just Buddhist or Christian, but any philosopher worthy of the name, knows that, in itself, desire—unlike pleasure—is a source of suffering, pain and hatred.
The Modern Novel
Start your review of The Elementary Particles Write a review Shelves: french , too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts , older-men-younger-women You can interpret this book in several different ways. A lot of people view it as a depressing, hate-filled rant, filled with a really startling amount of unpleasant sex. But I think there are more interesting ways of reading Les You can interpret this book in several different ways. He spends his days in a constant agony of unfulfilled desire.
The Elementary Particles Quotes
Its effect elsewhere, however, was far more muted. Houellebecq essentially has two points to make. The first is that much of what we do and who we are is purely controlled by science. The second and more controversial point is that much that has happened since the War — hippie culture, New Age, feminism, the sexual revolution — much of which came from the USA, is a bad thing. Houellebecq tells the story of two half-brothers, Bruno and Michel. She is a lousy parent, essentially abandoning her sons.
The Elementary Particles
Humans are proved, in the end, to be just particles and just as bodies decay a theme in the book they can also be created from particles. The story unfolds as a sort of framed narrative, so despite the events described therein having taken place mostly in , the story is essentially set some fifty or so years in the future. Michel is raised by his paternal grandmother and becomes an introverted molecular biologist, who is ultimately responsible for the discoveries which lead to the elimination of sexual reproduction. Bruno grows into a lecherous and insatiable sex addict whose dalliances with prostitutes and sex chat on Minitel do nothing to satisfy him, to the point where he finds himself on disability leave from his job and in a mental hospital after a failed attempt at seducing one of his students.
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