07 May 2008

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em

Regardless of how one might feel about the writing of Michel Houellebecq, I think most people would agree that he's not the cuddliest of characters. He's been accused of everything from gratuitous misogyny to generic and pedestrian attempts at shocking the bourgeoisie (actually, he sounds - and reads - rather like a Gallic Howard Stern), but there is a certain morbid fascination to his emotional trainwreck prose, and now that his mother has gotten in on the act by publishing her own equally scathing memoir, we can see a lot more clearly why.

She damns her famous offspring as an "evil, stupid little bastard," not to mention a "liar, an imposter, a parasite and above all - above all - a petit arriviste ready to do absolutely anything for money and fame," before telling an interviewer she'll "cane him round the face, that'll knock his teeth out, that's for sure. And [his publishers] won't stop me." When not hurling invective at his literary output, she's complaining about the quality of his baby poo. Still, having read (and partially enjoyed a couple of Houellebecq's books, I can't help thinking how thoroughly these two would appear to deserve each other.

1 comment:

Ted said...

I read "Platform" to see what the hype was about in literary circles. It was an enjoyable read, but not compelling enough to seek out his other works. I kind of put Houellebecq in the "one and done" pile vs. "I plan on reading the rest of their books (e.g. John Fante) when some elusive and great gift of time suddenly breaks through." So many other authors and books to read.