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Anti-matter: Michel Houellebecq and Depressive Realism by Ben Jeffery
  

Anti-matter: Michel Houellebecq and Depressive Realism

Synopsis

Anti-matter: Michel Houellebecq and Depressive Realism by Ben Jeffery

Michel Houellebecq, author of five novels including Atomised and Platform, has become possibly the world's most famous literary pessimist. His work declares that life is painful and disappointing, death is terrifying, and the human condition is a nasty sort of joke. He has been wildly successful - translated into over 25 different languages and hailed as the voice of a generation. Beginning with Houellebecq's novels, this book explores the concept of 'Depressive Realism' in literature and philosophy - the proposition that the facts of life are bleak and unkind. Ranging over work by David Foster Wallace, Susan Sontag, Fredric Jameson and Margaret Atwood, Anti-Matter surveys the case for pessimism, asks how a mass culture rooted in sentimentality and trivialisation manages to produce so much cynicism and apathy, and hunts for the space that remains for serious, life-affirming art.

Reviews

A searching and eloquent consideration of one of the definitive bodies of work of our time, Anti-Matter is also a vital essay on the more general difficulties of meaning-making for contemporary novelists and/or human beings. (Benjamin Kunkel, author of Indecision and co-editor of n+1 magazine)


About the Author

Ben Jeffery lives in London. His writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement and the Guardian.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th November 2011

Author

Ben Jeffery

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Publisher

Zero Books an imprint of John Hunt Publishing

Format

Paperback
105 pages

Categories

Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
Literary studies: from c 1900 -

ISBN

9781846949227

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