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This is a marvelous book about a daring subject -- a French election victory by the Muslim Brotherhood -- but it has been difficult for me to read. It was not just the fact that I was reading in French; I didn't know a lot of the slang for example, for sexual parts and functions , but Houellebecq's style is not especially difficult; I have read several chapters of Lorin Stein's translation as well, and it flows easily.
No, my major problem was unfamiliarity with the French political system and the numerous parties that seem to have sprung up in the last two decades. Stein simplifies where possible, but even so this seems to be a book that requires not merely translation but also annotation.
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The plot turns on the outcome of a French presidential election at an unspecified time in the near future although diary entries such as "Tuesday, 31 May" all fit the year , which would be the next presidential election but one ; Americans or Britons not familiar with the run-off system might not easily understand the backstage negotiations necessary to achieve a working majority, which may paradoxically result in a hitherto minority party coming into power.
Which is in fact what happens. Heated though the American debate on immigration can get, it is a very different situation from that in France and several other European countries, where it has dominated the political discourse.
Especially since it touches so many hot-button issues: Houellebecq has a record of causing scandals with his books, whether through sexual frankness or portraying real people in an unflattering light. But this time he has struck a real nerve, raising the real possibility to handing over the Republic to forces which many Europeans secretly fear.
Certain events in the middle of the novel suggest a coup, perhaps the prelude to a civil war. But they are temporary; this regime change comes not through revolution but through skilled manipulation of the electoral process.
Are you sure?
It is not a thriller, not even an Islamic , but something altogether quieter. In a word: There is another reason why it may be a difficult book for non-French readers. It does not take place in the streets, but as filtered through the secluded world of French academia. His subject is the 19th-century author J-K Huysmans, who is probably not read much outside France. Taking its time, the first part of the novel is a description of the professor's life and his serial liaisons with students -- pretty convincing given the author's confession that he has never studied at a university.
It opens in the ivory tower and it will end that way too, in a university much changed from the original, but no less privileged.
And Houellebecq's choice of Huysmans is no accident. Houellebecq seems to be setting the return to an almost medieval Christianity in the 19th century against a similar movement of religious fundamentalism in the Muslim world over a century later.
Again, submission: I notice that the cover of the English translation calls the book a satire that is often extremely funny. I have a poor nose for satire generally, and would not have thought the term appropriate, unless you define it as logical extrapolation from current trends.
There are certainly moments of irony and comic bathos, but nothing I found really funny. It would be truer, I think, to quote the French cover, which I attempt to translate here: His view of our aging civilization in this novel brings together a poetic intuition, moments of comedy, and a melancholy fatalism.
This book is a gripping fable, both political and moral. site Edition Verified download. Je souhaite que Soumission reste fiction, pure et dure Mass Market Paperback Verified download.
A near future dystopia I guess? The story is told in the first person by a misanthropic and apolitical academic.
Houellebecq soumission english epubs
This format makes the book easy to read and belies a great deal of thought on the topics of theology, aging, national identity, French politics and political correctness.
Houellebecq peppers the story with some predictable lurid discussions about sexual encounters and fantasies. The story wraps up a bit awkwardly and unsatisfactorily, but overall a highly entertaining read.
One person found this helpful. The author writes extremely well and it is a pleasure to read even mundane descriptions. There is a much action and hooks in the book as a lobster being slowly cooked in lukewarm water. That may be the slow take over France by Islam that the author wants to describe in his short novel. That doesn't necessarily make it a very exciting read Ever read a book where you can't stand the protagonist? This is one of those. It's disturbing and thought-provoking, but also sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, in a cynical kind of way.
The author has a compelling, quirky style.
I'm glad I read it. Scathing indictment of French pretensions to enlighten'lment, etc, such as liberte, etc. Shows how easily, and cheaply 'best and brightest 'of academic world can be seduced into 'submitting' to ANY ideology that promises creature comforts of coddling in career, kitchen and bed. I know I should admire this author but frankly I cannot read this book. After 20 pages I gave up.
Not his best work. But the topic is relevant to todays time. I would recommend reading it and thinking about its implications. Why do people make the choice's they do? When there is a void in thought and experience, how easy is it to manipulate people?
Is this a possible reality? IS there a higher good that people need to think about rather than just being for one's own self? See all 66 reviews.
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This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Untranslated. Skip to content. Submission Soumission: Share this: Like this: Like Loading Bookmark the permalink. January 7, at We must stop this assault on our Western values.
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Search for: Create a website or blog at WordPress. Post to Cancel.He claims to devote his life to literature but is unable to see much beyond the rebellious workings of his own body. Like Loading Unterwerfung, German translation, Dumont Buchverlag, Houellebecq has a record of causing scandals with his books, whether through sexual frankness or portraying real people in an unflattering light.