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Michel Houellebecq and the International Sexual Economy
Douglas Morrey
PORTAL : Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies , 2004,
Abstract: This paper explores the notion of an ‘international sexual economy’ in the work of the French writer Michel Houellebecq, and particularly his latest novel, Plateforme (2001). Houellebecq suggests that, since westerners no longer have the time or the inclination to sleep with each other, and since those in the third world have nothing to sell but their bodies, the exchange of cash for sex on a truly international scale is likely to represent the most lucrative sector of the global economy in the coming century. Whilst acknowledging the objections to this idea, the paper shows how it is based in a serious analysis of global capitalism which has something in common with the theoretical work of Jean-Fran ois Lyotard, in terms of both the postmodern and the libidinal economies. The paper further suggests that the virulent anti-psychologism of Houellebecq’s often brutal worldview implies a (largely undeclared) kinship with Friedrich Nietzsche. Finally, it offers an analysis of the ironic narrative strategies in Plateforme that are interpreted as the consequence of trying to criticize the cultural economy without being able to position oneself outside it.
Intertekstualumas Michelio Houellebecqo kūryboje. L’intertextualité dans l’oeuvre de Michel Houellebecq  [PDF]
Inga Litvinavi?ien?
Literatura , 2010,
Abstract: L’article vise à élucider l’intertextualité dans l’oeuvre de Michel Houellebecq où on retrouve plusieurs traces des textes antérieurs. L’écrivain se dit le grand lecteur qui n’hésite pas d’interpréter, critiquer, polémiquer avec ses prédécesseurs. L’analyse proposée met l’ac-cent sur les liens intertextuels avec Balzac, Baudelaire et Schopenhauer qui s’avèrent très importants dans la compréhension de l’oeuvre houellebecquienne.Balzac et Houellebecq se rejoignent sur la conception zoologique de l’être humain. Ce c té animalier est présenté chez Houellebecq comme déterminé par la structure physiologique et psychi-que de l’homme. Les deux auteurs ont également la vision pareille sur la société, son déclin, la tyrannie de l’argent. Les personnages houellebecquiens évo-quent parfois, dans leurs propos, les êtres fictifs de la Comédie Humaine, tissant ainsi les parallélismes éloquents des vies.Dans les textes houellebecquiens on retrouve également l’influence baudelairienne qui se voit dans les motifs de la solitude, de la souffrance, de l’ennui, dans le sentiment de l’étrangeté. Cette thématique du spleen rejoigne celle de l’idéal qui prend de la confi-guration dans la possibilité de la création du monde nouveau, dépourvu de la souffrance humaine.Les oeuvres houellebecquiennes sont surtout im-prégnées des idées de Schopenhauer exposées dans son livre Le Monde comme volonté et comme repré-sentation. Schopenhauer est considéré par Houel-lebecq comme le ma tre spirituel. Les deux auteurs partagent la vision pessimiste, voire nihiliste du monde, centrée sur la prédominance de la souffran-ce. Le concept schopenhauerien de la volonté révèle l’origine d’un manque que les humains ne peuvent jamais satisfaire. Ce manque-là est bien présent chez Houellebecq dont les personnages sont constamment terrorisés par les désirs contradictoires, porteurs de la déchéance physique et morale.
“Littérature d’aveu” et prise en charge des valeurs dans Ennemis publics de Michel Houellebecq et Bernard-Henri Lévy Assuming Values in “Confession Literature”: Ennemis publics by Michel Houellebecq and Bernard-Henri Lévy  [cached]
Roselyne Koren
Argumentation et Analyse du Discours , 2010,
Abstract: L’échange épistolaire n’est pas le seul cadre discursif où l’on peut observer la fa on dont des croyances axiologiques se trouvent justifiées. Quels avantages a-t-il pu présenter aux yeux des deux auteurs d’Ennemis publics, le philosophe Bernard-Henri Lévy et le romancier Michel Houellebecq ? La prise en charge de vérités autobiographiques et la notion de littérature d’aveu occupent une place centrale parmi ces avantages : elles nous permettront de problématiser la question de la lettre, laboratoire de valeurs . Le questionnement éthique auquel ils se livrent les incite ainsi à s’interroger sur leurs conceptions de la nature du sujet, de la responsabilité, de l’engagement et de l’action. On analysera, chemin faisant, quelques tropes spécifiques de leurs visions du monde antithétiques et on tentera de rendre compte du fait que leurs débats permettent de partager une aventure heuristique qui défige leurs images publiques respectives, objets de critiques virulentes de la part de nombreux journalistes et de commentateurs. L’évocation polémique de ces critiques joue certes un r le important dans Ennemis publics, mais elle ne fera pas l’objet de cette contribution. On tentera ici de démontrer que cette correspondance met en uvre et concrétise quelques-uns des concepts et des questionnements majeurs inhérents à la réflexion philosophique sur l’éthique. The epistolary genre is not the only discursive framework in which the justification of axiological beliefs can be observed and analyzed. Asking why it was selected by the authors of Ennemis publics, philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy and novelist Michel Houellebecq, will enable us to present different aspects of their respective attitude towards the accountability for autobiographical truths. The ethical issues in which they indulge allow them to confront their own conception of the nature of the subject, of responsibility, of engagement and action. We analyze some specific tropes of their antithetical world views, while trying to show how their debates have enabled them to share a heuristic adventure aimed at enhancing their public image, but discredited by a “bunch” of journalists and hostile critics. This is not, however, the main interest of this correspondence which displays and embodies some of the concepts and major concerns inherent in philosophical ethical thought.
O desespero contemporaneo em Extens o do domínio da luta, de Michel Houellebecq
Gislene Maria Felipe da Silva Barral Lima
Revista Mal-estar e Subjetividade , 2003,
Abstract: In the contemporary society, dominated by money and unbridled erotization, human relations go toward to annihilation. The current period of evolution of the capitalist system characterizes itself by the substitution of merchandises by images as mediating of the human relations, and the spectacle became the most developed form of relation between people. In social spaces, individuals confuse themselves in amorphous crowds, without faces and feelings, unable to resist to the impositions and appeals of the scheme of the cultural industry, that reduces them to passive consumers of goods an images, incessantly produced. In this eschatological context, the narrator of the novel Extens o do domínio da luta, by the French writer Michel Houellebecq, moves himself, in a work that he classifies as a novel of learning of the disgust, and where he shows his disenchantment with humanity and his despair in respect to the proper life. In a world that promotes the individual massification, the literary writing represents a privileged space of manifestation of the subjectivity, as it is observed in the analyzed work. In it, the narrator gives his reply, from the condition of massacred by the dynamics of this world, to a homogenized society: in the fiction, the individual reigns free and solitary, but triumphant and concentrated in the experience of existing. Based in the chaos and the barbarity of the contemporary life, the language of the work absorbs the crudity of the content, synthesized in the disenchantment with a highly ruled, previsible and standardized quotidian in all its aspects. In this way, the literary text constructs a severe critical to the technological progress and to the informatization of everyday life, that bring in themselves a accented existential poverty, with the reification of man and the fossilization of the human relations, and take the narrator to a tension and despair situation.
Réactions à la réaction. Brèves considérations sur le sens de l'épiphrase dans Les particules élémentaires de Michel Houellebecq
José Domingues de Almeida
?édille : Revista de Estudios Franceses , 2007,
Abstract: The literary work of the contemporary French novelist Michel Houellebecq has been considered by some French criticism (and abroad) as the symptom of present French thought declinism.For many authors, his texts are am-biguous because they describe a decadent society, based on elementary relationship, but at the same time, they subscribe to the characters’ points of view.José Domingues de Almeida illustrates these contradictions in the novel Les parti-cules élémentaires.
Houellebecq and the Novel as Site of Epistemic Rebellion
Delphine Grass
Opticon1826 , 2006, DOI: 10.5334/opt.010609
Abstract: Michel Houellebecq is a writer who cultivates an incongruous literary garden, where the necessity of describing contemporary objects as equipment for the manufacture of individuals can be said to precede his concern for literary conventions. This has been at the centre of much criticism formulated around Houellebecq’s novels. One book in particular by Eric Naulleau called Au Secour, Houellebecq Revient! attacks his novels on the grounds that their success relies on his charming the reader by using recognisable elements of everyday life and incorporating them in the novels, in such a way that they could no longer be distinguished from the world of everyday life.
Per un umanesimo contemporaneo. Michail Bachtin e gli sviluppi della teoria del personaggio in Michel Houellebecq, John M. Coetzee, Javier Marías e Philip Roth
Chiara Lombardi
Enthymema , 2012, DOI: 10.6092/2037-2426/2692
Abstract: Questo contributo intende mettere in luce l importanza del pensiero di Bachtin e della sua teoria del personaggio nella definizione di un umanesimo contemporaneo e nei suoi sviluppi narrati-vi. Si riferisce perciò, senza pretesa di esaustività, ad alcuni romanzi di Michel Houellebecq, John M. Coetzee, Philip Roth, Javier Marías. A partire dai concetti bachtiniani di dialogismo e di extralocalità, si analizzano le forme dell intertestualità, i modi dell ironia e del paradosso, e la simbologia della morte come collocazione del personaggio sull estrema soglia.
Des poissons à la carte.
Iwan Le?Berre
EspacesTemps.net , 2009,
Abstract: La rubrique mensuelle La Carte s’intéresse, ce mois-ci, à une carte ancienne. Elle contient une information aujourd’hui disparue que des chercheurs actuels sont en train de réexploiter pour retrouver sa richesse et la rendre compatible avec les techniques actuelles. La carte pose le problème de deux disparitions : celle des locuteurs du breton vernaculaire et celle de certains poissons. La langue bretonne pouvait être très différente selon les localités et certaines formes du ...
The Possibility of a 'Dead Europe': Tsiolkas, Houellebecq and European Mythologies
Nicholas Manganas
PORTAL : Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies , 2007,
Abstract: This article posits that two constituent mythologies sustain and drive the EU integration process. The first is the tension between the twin narratives of “perpetual peace” and “perpetual suffering.” The second fundamental mythology of the EU project is the tension between the narratives of Europe as on the one hand “authentic” and as “cosmopolitan” on the other. Both of these constituent mythologies are essential in forming what is emerging as a pan-European, Europtimist raison d’etre. This article posits that two recent novels, the Australian Christos Tsiolkas’s Dead Europe (2005) and the French Michel Houellebecq’s The Possibility of an Island (2006) subvert these two mythologies and in the process undermine the legitimacy of recent works of Europtomist scholarship.
Vagues à la carte.
Jonathan Musereau
EspacesTemps.net , 2008,
Abstract: Carte des spots (Swell-line.com) . Le blondinet bronzé que l’on croise sur la plage la planche (qu’il appelle board ) sous le bras est aussi, le saviez-vous, un expert en cartographie. Nous explorerons ici, à travers différentes illustrations, le parcours essentiellement numérique qui s’impose à tous rider (traduisez : celui qui glisse sur les vagues) avant de pouvoir s’offrir une magic session (une ou deux heures de surf mémorable) sur son spot (l’endroit où il y a ...
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