Happy Birthday, Michel Houellebecq, born 26 February 1956
- The absence of the will to live is, alas, not sufficient to make one want to die.
- Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies, actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world.
- Anything can happen in life, especially nothing.
- Irony won’t save you from anything; humour doesn’t do anything at all. You can look at life ironically for years, maybe decades; there are people who seem to go through most of their lives seeing the funny side, but in the end, life always breaks your heart. Doesn’t matter how brave you are, or how reserved, or how much you’ve developed a sense of humour, you still end up with your heart broken. That’s when you stop laughing.
- The great advantage of a novel is you can put in whatever comes into your head – it has the same shape as the human brain.
- Not having anything around to read is dangerous: you have to content yourself with life itself, and that can lead you to take risks.
Michel Houellebecq is a French author, film maker, and poet. His books include Whatever, Atomised, and Platform. After a publicity tour for Platform, he was taken to court for inciting racial hatred, and he moved to Ireland to write for several years. In 2010 he published the Prix Goncourt-winning La Carte et le Territoire (published in English as The Map and the Territory).
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