Houellebecq’s detractors

I enjoy a revitalising cold environment–a windless day with the winter sun and Gustav Mahler in the background to ease heat within you. This is what I thought about at six a.m., and by the time it was twelve, the temperature rose, and I sweated like a pig in my winter coat.

It’s not quite autumn yet. I’ll give it a few more days.

If you ask me what I’d choose between catching up with friends and writing, I will choose writing. Catching up with friends would mean depressing them with my current view on things. The weekends are currently mine and mine alone.

I spend 45 hours at work during the week (-5 hours for lunch), and by the time I get home, it’s almost seven, and I spend about two hours writing before I go to bed at nine. It’s like back at school!

Exciting? Maybe, I do like getting up at five a.m., it’s calm, cool, comforting, but the horror begins on the train.

When I was at the Loafers Café, I didn’t realise that it was an open day. I found myself staring at all the newbies with pure envy. I was hoping to bump into a certain someone, catching his Tintin posture.

I was checking whether I could write effectively in public. I ended up writing 500 words in two hours. Didn’t I tell you that I was a slow writer? Words don’t just come like that in my head; I need a particular trigger emotion, thought, or tickle in the flesh. It takes time, for me, at least.

It’s because I’m not as eloquent as you. Your conversational voice is intellectual and poetic. I’m no native English speaker, after all. Yet, I do try to be articulate.

Apparently, at work, I don’t articulate myself clearly enough in my remarks and tour reports. But I have to communicate with the Japanese salespeople whose English is dreadful, and on top of that, they use tons of abbreviations (as they all do in this company), thinking that it saves time. It’s pure LAZINESS. I condemn everyone lazy, especially in the use of words.
And they say I don’t express myself clearly…

For your information, I’m not depressed, just angry, surrounded by idiots that don’t know what they’re doing. It’s either them or hopeless newbies who don’t know their way around. But I like watching newbies adapting to the London environment. I cried a few times, too, until a few months ago, I realised that this icky place deserves no tear. Still, I love and hate this place.

It has been somewhat terrifying reading Houellebecq for the past week. Although the book’s a year old, it’s still contemporary and foreshadowing an unpleasant future.

Often, you’d see the opposing image of Jobs and Gates with an emphasis on Jobs’s sad face. Then it took a slight Dorian Gray-turn in reference to art but involving financial aspects. The rest relates to Houellebecq’s view on society, customs, religion, apathy, decadence and dysfunctional love life. I was only interested in the art bit and his indifference to unrequited love. It’s the first time I noticed that about him. He doesn’t give a damn, and neither do I.

What he illustrates in the book is his own murder. And it’s not committed by the novel’s protagonist; I wouldn’t have thought so anyway. (The voice switches from third-person omniscient to free indirect style.) Although the protagonist is a male artist, I imagined being him when he meets Houellebecq at his house in Dublin. It’s no secret that I’m in love with this man’s ideologies. I’m not in love with him; it’s just that I understand the sentiments behind his words, which his detractors find revolting and obscene.

In terms of other contemporary elements, there’s a section where the protagonist’s father chooses to be euthanized in Switzerland. He thought the artificial anus was getting too ridiculous for life. I enjoyed the father-and-son story and how the protagonist, after the father’s “evaporation,” brutally beats up the Swiss woman in charge. I didn’t mean to write “brutally,” it was two hits. I would have smacked her up continuously.

In the novel, Houellebecq depicts himself as a wreck, but a wreck that produces great words. Then he writes about maggots popping out of his mouth.

One day we’ll feed our words to maggots because no one else will listen anymore. No detractors, no loved ones.

This makes me believe that even if you have enemies or detractors, no one will hate you more than you hate yourself. And you feel better this way. I’m not saying that hate is good, but I’m not explaining it to you.

Where was I? Ah yes, Switzerland.

Only lately, I thought of going there. They say it’s a clean country, calm and conducive. It’s a country where they practise euthanasia and keep anonymous bank accounts. However, I want to visit the mountains – maybe spend a few days in a cabin and get paranoid. It’s about time to say hi to the inner demons. I have to keep them coming to get rid of them. This is the course of my life.

To lessen your concern, I’m not Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, even though I understand very well.

These men are not granted love; they watch it slip or taken, which means nothing. Not anymore.

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