Duffy, Larry (2012) Networks of Good and Evil: Michel Houellebecq’s Fictional Infrastructures. Australian Journal of French Studies, 49 (3). pp. 211-225. ISSN 0004-9468. (doi:10.3828/AJFS.2012.17) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)
A striking feature of Michel Houellebecq's fiction is the pervasive presence of infrastructure, whether consisting of nineteenth-century transport and administrative networks underpinning a national territory, or modern-day electronic networks underpinning those of distribution and exchange in a liberal economy. The former are presented in a largely positive light, and are depicted as creating bonds which connect a cohesive community; the latter, despite their overwhelming presence in all areas of social life, succeed only in disconnecting human beings. The network is thus for Houellebecq a means of establishing the ideological problematics of his work, which critiques the demise of community based on shared moral values, and the rise of an amoral individualism. It represents also a thematic link with other infrastructural networks: those of nineteenth-century fiction. In deconstructing the networks underpinning modern activity, and demonstrating their functioning - and collapse into dysfunction - Houellebecq constructs, like his naturalist predecessors, an epistemological infrastructure of the contemporary world.
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures|
|Divisions:||Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > French|
|Depositing User:||Fiona Godfrey|
|Date Deposited:||28 Aug 2012 15:40|
|Last Modified:||01 Feb 2013 09:32|
|Resource URI:||https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/30312 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)|