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summary Soumission

A Parigi in un indeterminato ma prossimo futuro vive François studioso di Huysmans che ha scelto di dedicarsi alla carriera universitaria Perso ormai ualsiasi entusiasmo verso l’insegnamento la sua vita procede diligente tranuilla e impermeabile ai grandi drammi della storia infiammata solo da fugaci avventure con alcune stud. As a former Muslim I see that Houellebec is right on the money I escaped Egypt my country in search of a land of freedom and yet here oppression is chasing after me in the West We love for Europe to be Europe After all that is why we left our mother countries in search of a civilized world where human dignity is respected By the way please take a moment to read my story of conversion into Christianity and drop me a line and I will be your friend

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Soumission

Entesse che hanno sovente la durata di un corso di studi Ma ualcosa sta cambiando La Francia è in piena campagna elettorale le presidenziali vivono il loro momento cruciale I tradizionali euilibri mutano Nuove forze entrano in gioco spaccano il sistema consolidato e lo fanno crollare È un’implosione improvvisa ma senza scoss. It seems as though Houellebec wrote the novel to stir up not debate but controversy I m afraid to say that charging a small segment of French population with so much power and influence is way too out of proportion French Muslims have no power as a bloc have no media representation they own nothing have no think tanks or lobbies to influence decision making in France or elsewhere in EuropeSure they are the largest religious minority but the numbers are small in the total population The total percentage has not crossed into double digits anywhere in Europe though if you were to listen to the right wing media you d probably think that about 30% to 40% of French British German Dutch Austrian etc populations now consist of Muslims and lo and behold it will hardly be another decade before the dark forces of the Crescent become a majority and theoretically come to power This whole debate this loud and endless lament says about the state of Western society than it addresses problems among minority faith communities or immigration Can the West hold on to its post WWII romance of liberalism euality secularism multiculturalism LESM This is the uestion Houellebec is attempting to answer but he s chosen to unload the failures of Europe in this case France on the shoulders of a powerless community whose most effective means of showing power is to blow up buildings or truck down people walking down the street leaving the rest of their people to give out embarrassed defensesJust imagine the despairGlobal Jihadist violence and recent high profile incidents of terrorism in Europe are causing palpitations that an extremist takeover somehow or the other is imminent But no what s happening in Ira and Syria in part the responsibility of the same Western regimes who make the most noise about Islamist terrorism is not going to happen in France or anywhere in the West So please sleep well As for Houellebec a democratic coming to power of conservative Muslims who then go on to turn France into a theo democracy is not only far fetched but simply ludicrousSo is this satire A literary experiment to see what sort of France would there be if a conservative Muslim party came to power and changed the rules If so I m not very amused To think up a scenario where a small minority of European Muslims would come into power through the backdoor and force everyone the liberals the atheists the other into submission is as uestionable as say a writer engaging in a fantasy of the Jewish conspiracy to take over the entire world October 16

Michel Houellebecq æ 7 review

E che cresce e si sviluppa come un incubo che travolge anche François Sottomissione è il romanzo più visionario e insieme realista di Michel Houellebec capace di trascinare su un terreno ambiguo e sfuggente il lettore che come il protagonista François vedrà il mondo intorno a sé improvvisamente e inesorabilmente stravolger. I set out to read this book expecting to be provoked because in my experience Houellebec is always hell bent on provoking somebody and very often that somebody is of the opposite sex I wasn t disappointed this time his narrator managed to provoke me right at the beginning and regularly from then on so I decided that the only way to review this book was with a full set of teeth on show But relax my teeth are not bared just revealed in a wide smile because the only way to take the twenty first century part of this book is with a giant dose of humour And there are some deliberately funny lines at least I hoped they were deliberate In fact I enjoyed the book much than I thought I would and it also lead me to read a book by a nineteenth century author J K Huysmans a book I ve owned for a while but hadn t yet got around to reading I actually paused the Houellebec book half way through in order to read rebours from beginning to end and I began to better appreciate the parallels between the protagonists lives and experiences although it isn t at all essential for readers to read the Huysmans book since Houellebec threads plenty of material about Huysmans life and times into his twenty first century story To a certain extent I felt Houelllebec s narrator s engagement with Huysmans and other writers of the late nineteenth century might have suited me better in a book with less of a political theme but I can see why he combined the Huysmans part with his contemporary tale as there are some apt comparisons between the two In any case taking a break from the modern day story to visit the nineteenth century suited me very well and I was grateful to Houellebec for the nudge to finally open rebours edit according to the notes at the back of rebours in which Huysmans speaks of a character called Jean Folantin from one of his earlier books A Vau l Eau I see that Folantin than the protagonist in rebours is the character who closely resembles Houellebec s narrator They are both slightly hypochondriac single men despondent at work obliged to eat poor food alone and who decide eventually to go with the flow vau l eau when a new way of life presents itselfWhen his narrator is not contemplating the nineteenth century Houellebec allows him to zone in on various aspects of modern French life the political system the university system and especially the politics within the university system I enjoyed all that satire very much However I generally prefer satire to be delivered with a little nuance than I found here Houellebec dropped so many over obvious hints about the eventual outcome of his 2022 scenario that even though he held off from describing that outcome until the very last pages underlining the huge importance he gave to the story elements we knew almost from the beginning exactly how it would end So not only a laboured plot but the labouring done at the expense of the satire I felt There were also some very long turns by characters who appeared in the narrative just to make certain ideological points the secret service agent Alain Tanneur for example who is introduced twice just to make the case for one side of the book s principal argument and the president of the Sorbonne university Robert Rediger who is twice brought on just to debate the other side of the argument though I enjoyed the choice of name in Rediger s case the verb rediger means to write or to write out formally and it is Rediger who gets to write out the guidelines for living comfortably in a French Muslim state the satire in this part is uite well done but not taken as far as it might have beenThat was my main problem with this book the scenario is really too mild in the end I think Houellebec had several great ideas here and might have written something powerful But to do that he d have had to ditch his narrator at the abandoned motorway stop in the first half of this story There I bared my teeth in spite of my good intentions


10 thoughts on “Soumission

  1. says:

    This week on Dystopia Michel Houellebec discusses the future with Robert Heinlein Good evening M Houellebec Bons

  2. says:

    Wow Great satire of French of European of Western values or lack thereof So well done that the irony often slips by unnoticed Who the hell are we? SoumissionSo what do you call a novel about Muslims taking over control of France? A n

  3. says:

    As a former Muslim I see that Houellebec is right on the money I escaped Egypt my country in search of a land of freedom and yet here oppression is chasing after me in the West We love for Europe to be Europe After all that is why we left our mother countries in search of a civilized world where human dignity is respected By the

  4. says:

    In the book “Submission” Houellebec describes in a calm almost casual style the fictional stories of a Paris university professor of literature who describes his everyday life and thereby taps the social upheaval after a Muslim party has won the elections Houellebec tells about social developments in France how it leads to the election success of the Muslim party and what the conseuences are The whole book

  5. says:

    It seems as though Houellebec wrote the novel to stir up not debate but controversy I'm afraid to say that charging a small segment of French population with so much power and influence is way too out of proportion French Muslims have no power as a bloc have no media representation they own nothing have no think tanks or lobbies to influence decision making in France or elsewhere in EuropeSure they are the largest religi

  6. says:

    I have never been a big Houellebec fan finding his obsession with his own intellect and genitalia annoying so when a frie

  7. says:

    I set out to read this book expecting to be provoked because in my experience Houellebec is always hell bent on provoking somebody and very often that 'somebody' is of the opposite sex I wasn’t disappointed this time; his narrator managed to provoke me right at the beginning and regularly from then on so I d

  8. says:

    Would a society based on Moderate Islam be such a bad thing? This seems to be the kind of book that divides critics into the two eually useless camps1 This is islamophobic and racist garbage2 Bravo A dark satireMy view is that it's neither All Houllebec is saying is that a completely secular society is like a vacuum Given the opportunity it will let itself be filled If you don't want to risk it being filled with something you don't like

  9. says:

    13 September 2020 Why would you let a book like I Hate Men gad about willy nilly? Get the damn thing banned now I'm just not sureI wonder why it

  10. says:

    Sex Religion and PoliticsIf you only read one book about sex religion and politics this year make sure it's this oneIt packs enormous punch into far less than 300 pages raising the uestion yet again why novels need to be 562 or 1376 pages long and if they do on the basis of some subjective criterion why they aren't written with such consist