Monday, October 17, 2011
Bookmunch likes the next Houellebecq.
So, what’s it abahhhhhhhht, like? Well, it has an odd symmetry, starting as a straightforward Künstlerroman (Houellebecq’s favourite novel is Thomas Mann’s Bildungsroman The Magic Mountain), relating the life of artist Jed Martin and his rise to millionaire status and rival of Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. Jed begins his career by photographing ‘objects of human manufacturing’ – things, their ontic existence, the difference between Vorhandenheit and Zuhandenheit. In a comical interlude (typically for Houellebecq, following an extremely gruesome crime), a police officer visits the scene and drives along rue Martin-Heidegger and circumnavigates the Immanuel Kant roundabout: ‘a purely urbanistic creation of great aesthetic sobriety – a simple circle of totally grey tarmac which led to nothing’ – brilliant.
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