Skip to Content

French author Michel Houellebecq. YouTube

Literature: Houellebecq honored with the Austrian State Prize

French author Michel Houellebecq received this distinguished award seven years after novelist Patrick Modiano won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature.

Published: May 11, 2019, 8:32 am

    Read more

    Vienna

    This year has been an outstanding one for Michel Houellebecq. He was made the Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur on 18 April already, reported French daily Le Figaro.

    One of the most translated French authors sold abroad, Houellebecq was honored for his art of “provoking debate”, according to the statement by the Austrian Minister of Culture, Gernot Blümel.

    “He writes in a clear, precise and uncompromising manner on themes that move our European society and change it profoundly: from political radicalism to terrorism to biotechnologies and the dream of immortality,” the minister added in his statement.

    With this award, Michel Houellebecq collected the sum of 25 000 euros, becoming the fifth French winner of this prize, after Eugene Ionesco in 1971, Simone de Beauvoir in 1978, Marguerite Duras in 1989 and Patrick Modiano in 2012.

    The latter went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature two years later. In his seventh novel, Sérotonine , Michel Houellebecq plunged his readers into the heart of a rural and suffering France, in anticipation of the Yellow Vest crisis.

    Houellebecq published his first novel, Whatever, in 1994. His next novel, Atomised, published in 1998, brought him international fame as well as controversy. Platform followed in 2001. After a publicity tour for Platform led to his being taken to court for “inciting racial hatred”, he moved to Ireland for several years.

    A recurrent theme in Houellebecq’s novels is the intrusion of liberal economics into human relationships and sexuality. He often alludes to economic competition extending into the search for relationships with absolute winners and absolute losers. According to Houllebecq, modern society seeks the happiness that always eludes them through the path of sexual consumerism, in pursuit of narcissistic satisfaction.

    He currently resides in France, where he has been described as “France’s biggest literary export and, some say, greatest living writer”. In 2010 he won the prestigious Prix Goncourt and, in 2015, published his controversial novel on the Islamic invasion of Europe called Submission.

    On 7 January 2015, the date of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the novel Submission was published. The book describes a future situation in France (2022) when a Muslim party is ruling the country according to Islamic law, leading to heated accusations of “Islamophobia” against the author.

    On the same date, a cartoon of Houellebecq appeared on the cover page of Charlie Hebdo with the caption “The Predictions of Wizard Houellebecq,” eerily prophetic. The novelist lost a dear friend, Bernard Maris, in the shooting.

    For the second time, his fictional work appeared as prescient of real events involving Islamic terrorism. In an interview with Antoine de Caunes after the shooting, Houellebecq said that he was “unwell” and had cancelled the promotional tour for his novel.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Swedish ombudsman inundated with complaints about compulsory health pass

    StockholmSweden's Ombudsman, (JO), is currently drowning in reports from upset Swedes regarding the intended vaccine passes announced by the government and the Public Health Agency. In an interview, JO's information manager, Anders Jansson, admitted that about 6 300 reports have been received so far. He said he has never seen anything like it in such a short time.

    Vaccinated as the ‘biggest virus spreaders’ should be locked down

    BochumWhy should those vaccinated against Covid-19 be restricted in their movements and participation in society? Because vaccinated people are "the biggest virus spreaders", German doctor Kenan Katmer from Bochum explained.

    Basque Country court drops health pass requirement

    Vitoria-GasteizThe highest court in the Spanish state of the Basque Country has put an end to the introduction of the Corona pass. The local authorities want to introduce the pass for restaurants and cafes, among other things, but according to the court, the health pass is not necessary now that the Basque Country has a vaccination rate of about 90 percent.

    Dutch deaths more than 20 percent higher than previous year average

    The HagueLast week the number of deaths was more than 20 percent higher than usual for this time of year. The Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported 3 750 deaths, nearly 850 more than expected.

    Corona riots rock Rotterdam

    RotterdamHundreds of people protested in Rotterdam against the government's plans for stricter Corona rules on Friday. The police moved in to put down the uprising in large numbers, firing live ammunition at vaccine critics. At least seven people suffered injuries as a result.

    Member of German Ethics Council calls for travel ban on unvaccinated

    BerlinWolfram Henn, permanent member of the German Ethics Council, believes current and planned measures to force people to get the jab are still inadequate. The human geneticist appears not to be worried about the strange lapses spotted in the RKI's data sets.

    Austrian sports legend says he is ‘ashamed of the government’

    ViennaCourageous people who oppose discrimination against the unvaccinated and division in society still exist. At the risk, or rather the certainty of being the target of defamation and exclusion, Felix Gottwald has spoken up.

    Gothenburg rises up against medical apartheid

    Gothenburg An awakening is taking place where Swedes from the right and left of the political spectrum are coming together to fight for medical freedom and ownership of their health. While Sweden has mostly been spared draconian health interventions, many parts of the world have experienced the rise of tyrannical laws. In Austria, an apartheid system for the unvaccinated has been announced.

    Dutch cabinet preparing introduction of severe penalties for unvaccinated

    The HagueOutgoing Dutch Prime Minister Rutte and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge from the country's caretaker cabinet have been making preparations to introduce a 2G health apartheid system.

    Austria declares war on unvaccinated only days after a Soros visit

    ViennaAustrian Chancellor Schallenberg was the latest Austrian leader to warmly welcome a Soros family member. The Soros family have always enjoyed traveling to Austria and shaking hands with leading SPÖ and ÖVP politicians – especially these days, with those in charge of vaccine policy.

    Go to archive