An interrogation of art’s ability to face unpleasant truths. Michel Houellebecq, author of five novels including Atomised and Platform, has become possibly the world’s most famous literary pessimist. His work declares. Ben Jeffery’s Anti-Matter is the kind of intelligent, sophisticated response to provocative work that affirms criticism’s value as art in itself.
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Trenchant essay that highlights the tensions in Houellebecq’s work, namely what’s the point of producing art or doing anything really if his pessimistic vision of life – nothing matters in a cold, indifferent universe – is true. 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.
Comments are open to registered bookforum. The Meaning of Life. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long. Books by Ben Jeffery. Booth recognizes why these dogmas are seductive—they play into a disaffected worldview based on alienation from religion and politics—but he offers good reasons to reject them. An interrogation of art’s ability to face unpleasant truths.
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Nathan Jones rated it liked it May 03, Social Dreaming in the 21st Century.
However, I suppose the biggest takeaway is that, in the end, you must believe in something though that something will say everything about YOUreminds me of a brutally ontological poet I once knew–my mentor for a time, actually. Do men and women really speak different languages? What Does it Mean to be Human?
Jeffery notes that “the force and counter-vitality of Houellebecq’s writing is rather comforting evidence of literature’s continuing ability to resonate in hostile circumstances -which is to say that,at rewlism best, his work manages to feel true in a way that’s rare” p.
On an immediate social level, the enormity of published work has the effect of isolating readers. It’s a critical work on what I take to be the other side of the conversation, namely writers like Jean Philippe Toussaint and Jean Echenoz. Ben Jeffery whom I’d never heard of, but I guess he’s as obsessed with Reapism as I am says there’s a disparity between what Houellebecq writes, and that he writes, and that Houellebecq is fully aware of this.
The Millions: Anti-Matter: Michel Houellebecq and Depressive Realism by Ben Jeffery
Argues that the awkwardness of our age is a key to understanding human experience. You submitted the following rating and review. You can remove the unavailable item s now or we’ll automatically remove it at Checkout. Against the need for speed, Malign Velocities tracks acceleration as the symptom of the ongoing crises of capitalism.
Employing the usual depressive men-about-town Schopenhauer et al. Looking for beautiful books? Ruben Braeken rated it really liked it Jul 21, 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.
Tim Graham rated it really liked it Nov 30, I look forward to seeing more of your reviews. Houellebecq and Jeffery are skillful at articulating the malaise that often accompanies the search for meaning in contemporary life.
Buy this e-book at these online retailers: He edits Rrealism Quarterly Conversationan online periodical of literary essays and reviews. Also draws in David Foster Wallace as another writer who grappled with the same tensions but came out in a different place.
We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don’t care to know any more. How to Be Free. What you won’t have got in the televised debates, realissm manifestos, campaign trail propaganda and media coverage, portaining to Cameron the cipher and the social forces he represents.
The Expulsion of the Other. To ask other readers questions about Anti-Matterplease sign up.
Malign Velocities Benjamin Noys Against the need for speed, Malign Velocities tracks acceleration as the symptom of the ongoing crises of capitalism. Like anything that exerts power over us, great art has the capacity to unsettle if we cannot satisfactorily account for it. We dfpressive cookies to give you the best possible experience. Sharp and short on Houellebecq, DFW et alart, criticism, existance and the futility of life.
The title should be at least 4 characters long. Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness. William Pierce rated it it was amazing Nov 16, Anti-Matter is an example of the kind of rigorous and refined criticism that one rarely stumbles across these days.