Houellebecq, Michel “Submission”

The special thing about literature, the major art form of Western civilisation now ending before our eyes, is not hard to define. Only literature can give you access to a spirit from beyond the grave – a more direct, more complete, deeper access than you’d have in conversation with a friend. Even in our deepest, most lasting friendships, we never speak as openly as when we face a blank page and address a reader we don’t know.

Essential book information

  • Author Michel Houellebecq
  • Name of the book: Submission
  • Corpus ACT (Russian edition)
  • 2016

Basic plot summary

France, 2022. Presidential elections are won by a Muslim candidate and the country transforms overnight.

My praise and critique

There are five parts to the book, however, for me, it has only two – before and after the presidential elections. the general disbelief that something like this would even be imaginable – before and a profound misunderstanding of how did this happen – after the elections. 

This book urged me to think. Not about the specific topic that is the main plot driver, though, being an expat and living abroad, cultural differences have become an integral part of my life. Mr. Houellebecq made me think of how we understand the world and of how little influence do we really have over the political machine that should be serving us by representing our interests but is setting up the rules and scenery of our lives instead.

My recommendation

Take your time and enjoy the reading. It is funny, satirical, ideological, little political and philosophical, it is written in a beautiful language.

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