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MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ QUOTES

It's a curious idea to reproduce when you don't even like life.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Elementary Particles

Love binds, and it binds forever. Good binds while evil unravels. Separation is another word for evil; it is also another word for deceit.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Elementary Particles

Beds last on an average much longer than marriages.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, Whatever

Everything is tacky, if you will. Music as a whole is kitsch, kitsch is art, literature itself is tacky. Every emotion is kitschy, almost by definition, but also any reflection, and even, in a sense, action. The only thing that is absolutely not kitsch, is nothingness.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Possibility of an Island

Humor won’t save you; it doesn’t really do anything at all. You can look at life ironically for years, maybe decades; there are people who seem to go through most of their lives seeing the funny side, but in the end, life always breaks your heart. Doesn’t matter how brave you are, how reserved, or how much you’ve developed a sense of humor, you still end up with your heart broken. That’s when you stop laughing. In the end there’s just the cold, the silence and the loneliness. In the end, there’s only death.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Elementary Particles

I think that there is a sharp contrast for most people between life at university, where they meet lots of people, and the moment when they enter the workforce, when they basically no longer meet anyone. Life becomes dull. So as a result people get married to have a personal life. I could elaborate but I think everyone understands.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Paris Review, fall 2010

Youth was the time for happiness, its only season; young people, leading a lazy, carefree life, partially occupied by scarcely absorbing studies, were able to devote themselves unlimitedly to the liberated exultation of their bodies. They could play, dance, love, and multiply their pleasures. They could leave a party, in the early hours of the morning, in the company of sexual partners they had chosen, and contemplate the dreary line of employees going to work. They were the salt of the earth, and everything was given to them, everything was permitted for them, everything was possible. Later on, having started a family, having entered the adult world, they would be introduced to worry, work, responsibility, and the difficulties of existence; they would have to pay taxes, submit themselves to administrative formalities while ceaselessly bearing witness--powerless and shame-filled--to the irreversible degradation of their own bodies, which would be slow at first, then increasingly rapid.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Possibility of an Island

I’m not sure that there are such an unusual number of sex scenes in my novel. I don’t think that’s what was shocking. What shocked people was that I depicted sexual failure. I wrote about sexuality in a nonglorifying way. Most of all I described a basic reality: a person filled with sexual desire who can’t satisfy it. That’s what people don’t like to hear about. Sex is supposed to be positive. Showing frustrated sexual desire is obscene. But it’s also the truth.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Paris Review, fall 2010

The terrible predicament of a beautiful girl is that only an experienced womanizer, someone cynical and without scruple, feels up to the challenge. More often than not, she will lose her virginity to some filthy lowlife in what proves to be the first step in an irrevocable decline.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Elementary Particles

I've lived so little that I tend to imagine I'm not going to die; it seems improbable that human existence can be reduced to so little; one imagines, in spite of oneself, that sooner or later something is bound to happen. A big mistake. A life can just as well be both empty and short. The days slip by indifferently, leaving neither trace nor memory; and then all of a sudden they stop.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, Whatever

You might get the impression that I have a mild contempt for storytelling, which is only somewhat true. For example, I really like Agatha Christie. She obeys the rules of the genre at first, but then occasionally she manages to do very personal things. In my case, I think I start from the opposite point. At first, I don’t obey, I don’t plot, but then from time to time, I say to myself, Come on, there’s got to be a story. I control myself. But I will never give up a beautiful fragment merely because it doesn’t fit in the story.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Paris Review, fall 2010

Tenderness is a deeper instinct than seduction, which is why it is so hard to give up hope.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Elementary Particles

It is interesting to note that the "sexual revolution" was sometimes portrayed as a communal utopia, whereas in fact it was simply another stage in the historical rise of individualism. As the lovely word "household" suggests, the couple and the family would be the last bastion of primitive communism in liberal society. The sexual revolution was to destroy these intermediary communities, the last to separate the individual from the market. The destruction continues to this day.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, The Elementary Particles

Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies, actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world.

MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life


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