Houellebecq on Houellebecq

I have already commented on how much I enjoy the fiction of Michel Houellebecq (see) so I am having a wonderful time reading his novel, The Map and the Territory. The story is of an artist who starts as a painter with little acclaim, switches to photography and becomes famous. and then successfully goes back to painting. Along the way he decides to have a gallery showing and wants to enlist the author, Michel Houellebecq, to write the brochure for the showing.

So the artist flies to Ireland where the author is living and spends some time with him discussing art, painting, photography, literature, critics, and how the Pakistani owner of an Irish restaurant doesn’t know how to cook a gigot of lamb. This entire exchange between the two men, written by the real author Michel Houellebecq, is fascinating and it allows the author to make several statements about art and the art world while still in the context of the novel.

Of course, this is fiction and it is the fictional Houellebecq that expresses his opinions about art and literature.

I know from the cover blurbs that this is a mystery and the artist is going to assist in solving the crime. The reading is fast and smooth and I am enjoying the novel immensely. If you haven’t read Michel Houellebecq, add him to your list.

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