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Fri Jan 4, 2019, 03:33 AM

"Serotonine" : Houellebecq, romantique comme jamais

Gilbert Chevalier | Radio France | publié le 04/01/2019 | 06:00

Le septième roman de Michel Houellebecq sort vendredi en librairie, à la fois "très houellebecquien" et novateur, selon une universitaire spécialiste de l'écrivain.

Sérotonine, le nouveau roman de Michel Houellebecq, sort vendredi 4 janvier en librairie. L'écrivain nous parle cette fois d’un homme qui quitte sa petite amie japonaise sur fond de France agricole en crise.

L'histoire se passe entre Paris et la Normandie. Le narrateur, Florent Claude Labrouste, est un ingénieur agronome d'une quarantaine d'années, fatigué, qui prend des antidépresseurs libérant de la sérotonine, hormone censée l'apaiser. D'où le titre de ce roman, pur produit de la plume houellebecquienne, selon Agathe Novak Le Chevallier, universitaire spécialiste de l'écrivain. "C'est à la fois très houellebecquien et il y a quand même des choses nouvelles, explique-t-elle. Des choses nouvelles du point de vue des thèmes, avec une très grande importance accordée cette fois-ci au monde de l'agriculture. Il y a aussi des innovations stylistiques. Les phrases de Houellebecq deviennent de plus en plus longues". Mais c'est toujours houellebecquien parce qu'"on rit beaucoup, c'est toujours un humour à froid."


France's Houellebecq foresees Yellow Vest unrest in new novel

By Mike Woods | RFI 03-01-2019

French author Michel Houellebecq’s seventh novel, Serotonin, is slated for release on Friday. Its depiction of a revolt of desperate inhabitants of the French countryside echoes the Yellow Vest protests of recent weeks, continuing the writer’s trend of anticipating the evolution of modern society in eerily prophetic fashion.

The novel, whose title refers to the mood-regulating brain chemical targeted by many antidepressant medications, will be released in France on Friday, though an English translation is not slated for publication until September.

Synopses and reviews indicate its protagonist, a 46-year-old suffering the effects of a spiritually vacuous urban existence, breaks from a relationship and job and returns to his rural Normandy hometown.

There, he finds farmers and former factory workers whose way of life has been devastated by the liberal economic policies of the European Union and who start blocking roads in angry desperation, leading to an ill-fated encounter with CRS riot police.


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Reply "Serotonine" : Houellebecq, romantique comme jamais (Original post)
ucrdem Jan 2019 OP
ucrdem Jan 2019 #1
ucrdem Jan 2019 #2

Response to ucrdem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2019, 12:48 AM

1. "Michel Houellebecq, superstar de la litterature francaise"

FRANCE 24 - Published on Jan 4, 2019

Génie littéraire, provocateur, figure médiatique, prophète… Michel Houellebecq est davantage qu’un écrivain. À l’occasion de la sortie de son dernier roman, "Sérotonine", le rédacteur en chef de "Livres hebdo" décrypte pour France 24 le phénomène Houellebecq.

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Response to ucrdem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2019, 03:35 AM

2. Guardian: Houellebecq's new novel predicts French discontent

Enfant terrible awarded Légion d’honneur as ‘scathing, visionary’ novel Serotonin is released

Angelique Chrisafis in Paris | Fri 4 Jan 2019 07.36 EST Last modified on Fri 4 Jan 2019 16.55 EST

Michel Houellebecq

He is idolised as France’s biggest literary export, a controversial poet-provocateur who holds up a mirror to the grim truths of contemporary France.

So when Michel Houellebecq’s long-awaited novel, Serotonin, hit French bookstores on Friday morning with a massive print run of 320,000 copies, translations in several countries, and the author for the first time staying silent and refusing any interviews or media promotion, it was proclaimed a national event.

The novel’s release was accompanied by the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest national honour, being bestowed on the 62-year-old enfant terrible for his services to French literature by the president, Emmanuel Macron.

Serotonin, the story of a lovesick agricultural engineer who writes trade reports for the French agriculture ministry and loathes the EU, has been hailed by the French media as scathing and visionary. The novel rails against politicians who “do not fight for the interests of their people but are ready to die to defend free trade”. Written before the current gilets jaunes anti-government movement began blockading roundabouts and tollbooths across France, it features desperate farmers in Normandy who stage an armed blockade of roads amid police clashes.

Houellebecq and his despairing, white, middle-aged, male narrators are seen as eerie predictors of the national mood. His last novel, Submission,which envisioned a France subjected to sharia law after electing a Muslim president in 2022, was published on 7 January, 2015, and was featured on the cover of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo just before terrorists stormed the offices of the publication and shot dead 12 people.

More: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jan/04/vanquished-white-male-houellebecqs-new-novel-eerily-predicts-french-discontent

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