Read The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq Gavin Bowd Online


The most celebrated and controversial French novelist of our time now delivers his magnum opus—about art and money, love and friendship and death, fathers and sons.  The Map and the Territory is the story of an artist, Jed Martin, and his family and lovers and friends, the arc of his entire history rendered with sharp humor and powerful compassion. His earliest photographsThe most celebrated and controversial French novelist of our time now delivers his magnum opus—about art and money, love and friendship and death, fathers and sons.  The Map and the Territory is the story of an artist, Jed Martin, and his family and lovers and friends, the arc of his entire history rendered with sharp humor and powerful compassion. His earliest photographs, of countless industrial objects, were followed by a surprisingly successful series featuring Michelin road maps, which also happened to bring him the love of his life, Olga, a beautiful Russian working—for a time—in Paris. But global fame and fortune arrive when he turns to painting and produces a host of portraits that capture a wide range of professions, from the commonplace (the owner of a local bar) to the autobiographical (his father, an accomplished architect) and from the celebrated (Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Discussing the Future of Information Technology) to the literary (a writer named Houellebecq, with whom he develops an unusually close relationship).   Then, while his aging father (his only living relative) flirts with oblivion, a police inspector seeks Martin’s help in solving an unspeakably gruesome crime—events that prove profoundly unsettling. Even so, now growing old himself, Jed Martin somehow discovers serenity and manages to add another startling chapter to his artistic legacy, a deeply moving conclusion to this saga of hopes and losses and dreams....

Title : The Map and the Territory
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307957450
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Map and the Territory Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2019-05-19 03:10

    ”I’ve known several guys in my life who wanted to become artists, and were supported by their parents; not one of them managed to break through. It’s curious, you might think that the need to express yourself, to leave a trace in the world, is a powerful force, yet in general that’s not enough. What works best, what pushes people most violently to surpass themselves, is still the pure and simple need for money.”Jeff Koons has made himself an objet d’art.Whenever Jed Martin calls his agent and says I’m ready to do an art show he is also saying I’m done with this particular artistic endeavor. He, for instance, took provocative photos of man made objects. Once he showed the world his creations:J'ai fini.He painted a series depicting bakers, waiters, and other blue collar workers as well as a few portraits of the rich and powerful. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates discussing the future was of more interest to his rich patrons than say a postal worker. He knew he was finished, well thought he was, with this series when he gutted a painting he was doing on Jeff Koons, stomped, sliced and turned it into a mangled pile of pulp. He knows, despite this last failure or because of it, that it is time to share the series with the world. His publicist convinced Jed that he needed to contact the writer Michel Houellebecq and see if he could be persuaded to write a piece for the show catalog. It is good timing because the writer has suffered some financial setbacks so he is motivated by ”the pure and simple need for money.” The French press has had a field day accusing him of all kinds of dastardly deeds and the bad press has certainly limited his opportunities to fix his pecuniary problems. The always controversial Houellebecq.There are readers who have an issue with a writer inserting himself so blatantly into the story. Of course writers put themselves in books, sometimes thinly disguised behind another name, and will deny if asked that a character bears any resemblance to themselves. This is a novel and now with the emergence of Houellebecq in the text it has become some kind of hybrid. What is to be believed? Is this a fictional version of Houellebecq? The way I look at history even the history of ourselves, within the confines of our own mind, is that our memories are a fusion of fiction and nonfiction. To label something one or the other is never completely correct. History is full of accounts that are sometimes a 60-40 split between truth and fantasy, but there are readers who want to feel the reassurance of a NONFICTION label. As if fiction doesn’t reveal as much truth as nonfiction. So let’s just say that Houellebecq, becoming a character in his own novel, does not bother me. When Jed meets Houellebecq he realizes he is not finished with the series. The final painting has to be this writer. Houellebecq is extremely hard on himself. His portrayal of himself is rather scathing. Note to self: if I prostitute myself as a character in a novel please remember to emphasis my better qualities. Bret Easton Ellis writes himself into the novel Lunar Park which I really enjoyed, though there are reviewers who fervently disagree with me. Martin Amis also inserts himself in the hilarious book Money. Three winners for this reader. Michel Houellebecq not at the top of his game as a fictional real person.Jed’s relationships with women are similar to his relationship with his art, only he isn’t always finished with them before they are finished with him. He has a prostitute girlfriend named Genevieve. ”As much as men are often jealous, and sometimes horribly jealous, of their girlfriends’ former lovers, and as much as they ask themselves anxiously for years, and sometimes until death, it it hadn’t been better with the other one, if the other hadn’t given them more pleasure, they easily accept, without the slightest effort, everything their women might have done in the past as a prostitute. As soon as it is concluded by a financial transaction, any sexual activity is excused, rendered inoffensive, and in some way sanctified by the ancient curse of work.”She leaves him for a client to have babies and settle down. Now he can be jealous?Houellebecq, the one outside the book I’m not sure about the one inside the book, usually brings up the themes of the politics of sex and the way lust motivates all aspects of our lives, but in this book he just settles for some philosophical musings on prostitutes. This is the third book I’ve read by him and this is the book he spends the least amount of time talking about sex… libido slowing down Mr. Houellebecq?So what makes a good artist Jed Martin? be an artist, in his view, was above all to be someone, submissive. Someone who submitted himself to mysterious, unpredictable messages, that you would be led, for want of a better word and in the absence of any religious belief, to describe as intuitions, messages which nonetheless commanded you in an imperious and categorical manner, without leaving the slightest possibility of escape--except by losing any notion of integrity and self-respect. These messages could involve destroying a work, or even an entire body of work, to set off in a radically new direction or even occasionally no direction at all….Jed begins a new series of photographing beautiful old Michelin maps and he meets a woman named Olga, a Russian beauty, who develops a real liking for the little Frenchman. She is desired by many and has her pick of the men of Paris, but she chooses Jed. He brings the maps alive making the art fresh with his own view of them. Her career with Michelin soon takes her back to Russia, but Jed stays in Paris afraid to get too far from the source of all inspiration...Paris. It was interesting to me that a man who is so willing to abandon success to move on to something new is unwilling to take the chance of finding new inspiration in such a vibrant country as Russia. The love of Paris and of France that Houellebecq feels, despite his travails with the French press, is readily apparent throughout this novel. Towards the later third of the novel Houellebecq introduces a new character, a police inspector named Jasselin. There is this momentary bobble in the universe where this reader wondered if the writer was overstepping himself, but there is a gruesome Jackson Pollockesque murder that needs to be investigated. Jasselin has interesting thoughts about children (he is not a fan), silicon breasts (he is a fan), and Bichon Dogs (a breed perfectly designed to please man). This novel drew me in even during those fleeting moments when I had doubts that there would be a definable plot or any resolutions. Houellebecq doesn’t shy away from those taboo subjects that we rarely discuss. Jed’s mom committed suicide and his father refuses to talk about it. The question that haunts the survivors is always why, but at the same time Jed’s not sure he wants to know why. When his father comes down with a terminal illness and is considering going to Norway for an assisted suicide, Jed has to deal with the consequences of such a decision. Suicide is a virus that once it infects a family it seems to have recurrences and ramifications for many, many generations. I always think of the five suicides in the Hemingway family that have haunted that line for four generations. Houellebecq by Thomas SaliotHouellebecq, as always, forced me to think about issues, some that have touched my life and some that may turn up like a bad penny in the future. His descriptions of the art world and the life of a famous writer gave me true insights into what it means to be creative, to be successful, and the struggles that everyone has to be happy. Although I have enjoyed his more sexually explicit novels it was nice to see him write a novel where his philosophies of life are not overshadowed by the controversy of what some would consider an obsession with deviant behavior.If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at:

  • Manny
    2019-05-11 07:12

    WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE DAVID CRONENBERG MOVIE MAPS TO THE STARSThis is an acidly cynical black comedy, and it's pretty funny, but that really doesn't tell you much about what it's like. I can see that many of the other reviewers are stuck too. Some of them have tried to explain by telling you about the plot, but since there are several rather excellent twists it doesn't seem right to reveal any of them. Luckily, we saw Maps to the Stars last night at the Grütli's Cronenberg festival, so I have the ideal comparison point: Cronenberg's depiction of the festering confluence of ego, money, sex and vacuous desire for fame that constitutes Hollywood is remarkably similar to Houellebecq's depiction of the world of modern art.As noted, La carte et le territoire is funny. It's as funny as a thirteen year old movie star boasting that he's now been off drugs for 90 days. It's as funny as his foul-mouthed girlfriends calling every woman over twenty a menopausal slut. It's as funny as Julianne Moore literally dancing for joy when her rival's toddler drowns in a swimming pool, so that she can finally get her dream role. And it's as funny as the ending, where Mia Wasikowska batters her to death with her Academy Award statuette and then symbolically marries her own brother before they both take fatal overdoses. Let's face it, this is the world we're living in; at least we might as well laugh at the absurdity of it all.Yes, it's pretty funny. But make sure your sense of humor is in good working order before you start.__________________[Update, Mar 4 2018]People interested in modern art and its relationship to festering confluences of ego, money, sex and vacuous desire for fame may also enjoy The Square.

  • Issa Deerbany
    2019-05-25 07:16

    شارل دورليان (( العالم ضجر مني وأنا كذلك منه .. ))ميشيل ويلبيك من خلال ثلاث شخصيات يظهر شخصيته (الكاتب، والرسام، والمحقق)يستعرض خلال احداث الرواية الحياة الثقافية والاجتمتاعية والتغييرات على الحياة في فرنسا.فالرسام الذي عشق التصوير في طفولته وكان اول معرض له لتصوير المناطق من خلال خرائط ميشيلان، والتي كانت سببا في ان يصبح غنيا,وبعد ذلك نجاح لمعرض الرسم الذي تعرف من خلاله على الكاتب ميشيل ويلبيك ويقوم بإهداءه رسما له تكون سببا في كشف جريمة قتل اصابت الكاتب الكبير. ولم يعرف بموته الا بعد يوين من الوفاة.الوحدة التي تصيب كبار السن بعد التقاعد والتي تجعلهم ينعزلون عن العالم ويبتعدون عن الاختلاط به. فالكاتب يعتزل في قرية بعيدة ويبتعد عن المجتمع. اما المحقق فبعد احالته على التقاعد يبتعد ايضا اجباريا ويعيش وحيدا. وكذلك الرسام الذي يعتزل المجتمع. ويغيش في مجتمع ريفي ويستعرض من خلاله كيف يتعامل هذا المجتمع مع الغرباء والتغييرات في هذا المجتمه من الاهتمام بالزراعة فقط، والتوجه الى السياحة ثم العودة الى الزراعة والسياحة معا.المؤلف يقتل نفسه في هذه الرواية بتنفيذ جريمة بطريقة فنية ويعجز البوليس عن حلها والدافع اليها الا بتدخل الرسام الذي يخبرهم باختفاء اللوحة التي رسمها للكاتب والتي اصبحت تبلغ الملايين الان.رواية جميلة ووممتعة

  • Lee
    2019-05-04 07:27

    Just finished the last thirty wonderfully flowing and surprising pages that end with the total domination of vegetation and then went back to the first lines namedropping Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst and said aloud "Ha, what a great book." I love how clearly he writes, with such unexpected analysis/insight, exaggerated generalizations asserted as truth (although toned down in this one -- not as much potentially politically incorrect stuff in general, and certainly not as much sex as the last two). I purposefully read nothing about this one and only knew it had been called an art world thriller -- which is half right. It's not a thriller and it's not so much about the art world as it is about how the nature of human industry relates to nature itself? A must for fans and a good introduction, too. No one else does genre-mashup semi-misanthropic nihilistic philosophy quite like him, although this did at times seem like a much better rendition of what BEE did in Lunar Park, genre-y literary fiction that includes the author as a character? But this novel doesn't devolve into spare plot mechanics -- the detective crimey bits are just as robust and typically swervy and "written" as the stuff that seems more literary. A nod, I think, to 2666 at one point but transposed to Thailand and the murders dropped from 300 to 30. Overall, an enjoyable weekend plus a few other sittings reading this. A softer, gentler (even accounting for the vicious murder and assorted body parts here and there), more mature Houellebecq, with his sharp, authentically Franch eye now a little more on the end of life (and the end of authentic/traditional French culture), although in this he spends 30 pages early on delivering the main character's backstory, something I don't remember in his other books, wherein characters are presented without much authorial worry re: their histories, like in genre books. Amazingly, there's even a strong-willed successful female character in this one who's not treated as a sex object! This book will probably be treated as news about contemporary (French and international commerce) culture that'll stay news in the future, or maybe like the old photos Jed films it'll fade with exposure to time and the elements, like Balzac before him? Houellebecq suggests that all he wants to do is account for what he sees, aspiring to the patient vision of plants. What he sees he presents as an inexact map of the thickety terrain of life, where all things change, except for ever-changing nature and the criminal motivations of sex and greed. Something like that. Anyway, a real good book. Might go back and read The Elementary Particles.

  • Fionnuala
    2019-05-19 10:14

    Finally a map of Houellebecq territory.When I read 'Plateforme' some years ago, I dismissed Houellebecq as being overrated, and a complete misogynist, but I've changed my mind after reading La Carte et le Territoire. There are some very original plot details, interesting takes on photography and contemporary art, a bit of a meander on architecture, and plenty of information on cartography for those of us who loves maps. But the most amazing thing is that in spite of a main character who is very uncharismatic and some other positively eccentric ones, I felt drawn in and compelled to see it through to the end - a bit like the hypnotic feeling I had reading Thomas Bernhard's 'Correction', also featuring an uncharismatic main character and equally bizarre secondary ones..

  • Tosh
    2019-04-29 10:21

    His best novel. The themes are basically the same, but Michel Houellebecq tells the tale again with great energy and in a large tongue in cheek manner. On one level it is about the rise of an artist who doesn't really want to participate in the art market. He has nothing against it, but his character is not one where he follows the market place. Yet he's extremely successful in what he does. The other textual parts are Houellebecq's fascination with what people do on their 'free' time - the need to be a tourist in 21st Century life as well as the issue of aging, fame, and the beauty of maps. in many ways, of all his novels, this is the most Situationist like. Houellebecq is for sure not Guy Debord, but he shares his sense of love (disgust?) at looking at culture and what that means to an artist/writer as well There are major plot turns that makes this narrative into a policer. The twists in the plot makes this a really fun read. "The Map and the Territory" is the best novel of the year and its January 3, 2012.

  • March
    2019-05-03 02:16

    OK, if I have to be completely blunt, Michel Houellebecq must be the most overrated contemporary author since Amelie Nothomb. The Map and the Territory has received so much publicity in the last year or two, and I’ve come across the title in news and write-ups so many times, not to mention enthusiastic comments I’ve overheard during social occasions, that it seemed like I am missing out on something big out there. Not only did the book seem to be in the cultural news every other day or something for the last few months, but it has also been awarded the “most prestigious literary prize in France” in 2010, and its author has been hailed as a unique and brilliant voice and an astute commentator on the world of contemporary art and culture. Yet here I am finishing it up (the first whole book that I read entirely on my Kindle, by the way) today and being completely baffled as to what in the world I missed and how come I didn’t feel not a hint of the ubiquitous excitement about this “fresh new voice.” Not that the book is completely horrible, but it is decidedly one of the most mediocre and dull things I’ve read, ever. The idea behind The Map and the Territory itself is perhaps not a bad one – attempting to present a picture, an analysis of current trends, of things here and now and in flux, is challenging, but at the same time, it is, I think, necessary and appreciated by those who nevertheless would like to make sense of the world around them, to hear the opinions of those who are an active part of the current (cultural) landscape and who can offer an insightful analysis, venturing to do it without the benefit of hindsight. When done well, such works can be really thought-provoking and can have a long staying power that enhances the reader’s being in the world and adds to the reader’s critical engagement with it. The problem of The Map and the Territory in being far from this kind of book lies largely, I think, with its execution.To start with, the plot of the book is, how to say, nothing to write home about. The story traces the life of an upper-class photographer-turned-painter in France as he goes from being a dull loner -- with no particular interests other than his art, which he doesn’t seem to be too excited about either -- to a superhighly paid dull loner snapping away pictures of decomposing industrial materials in his mansion (OK, nice point perhaps, not sure), until the time comes when he finally decides to present these mind-blowing images to a thankful and wowed world that’s surely been left in a sort of bereavement during the period since the artist’s going into reclusion. The events take place over a span of 20-30 years, from the 00s to the near future, the 2020s. Three events seem to mark the otherwise completely unexciting life story of Jed Martin (the book’s protagonist). In order not to give out spoilers, I am not going to go further into details on these three, except to say that I am still completely at a loss as to how two of those had any place in the book at all – the Olga bit and the episode with Michel Houellebecq, the character, didn’t bring anything to the story, in my opinion, in addition to being poorly written, hardly believable, and unmoving. I have to admit that, as the story of Michel Houellebecq the character developed, about two-thirds into the book, I really got tricked into believing that this book would finally start being interesting. Ha – at long last some stir, something to make you want to read further. Alas, the excitement lasted only a chapter or two, as M. Houellebecq the writer steered us back onto the tedious track, to completely evaporate by the time of the most anticlimactic and trite denouement.The protagonist himself I found completely unengaging and unlikeable. Not that characters need to be likeable in the cutesy, goody, righteous kind of way, of course not. But even normal or bad personages need to be full-blooded and complex enough for me to take them seriously. Jed Martin was simply stonecold. Things just kept happening to him, it seemed to me, almost as if he had no active part in what was going on, nor did he seem like he wanted to have an active part in anything. OK, Houellebecq the writer makes the point of Jed Martin being sort of excited about his art in the beginning of the book, but nothing like the fervor, pain, tribulations, and ups and downs that so often characterize artistic life ever emerges in the narrative, and so the whole idea of Jed Martin becoming an extraordinarily good artist is completely unconvincing. So, I had to share Jed Martin’s own cluelessness when his work ends up receiving a fantastic and unanimous critical acclaim that makes the protagonist the rather unwitting star of his artistic generation.Another problem – one that seems common in recent books that I’ve (attempted to) read, unfortunately, and that was particularly prominent in this one – is the tendency of the author, almost at any cost, to show his or her knowledge in a particular area, regardless of whether this adds anything to the story, or worse, sounds forced and foreign to the point of the reader almost picturing the author sitting there with an encyclopedia of, say, photography, and copying a passage about the latest model of Canon lenses and inserting it into a piece of dialogue. There are many ways in which an author, if they so wish, can work their research and expertise into a book to show how much they are familiar with the subject matter, but it takes some effort, if not talent, to do it so that it fits with the theme, style, and structure of the story in a seamless, nonintrusive way (see e.g. Michael Chabon). Michel Houellebecq the author’s detours into the history of avant-garde architecture or the mechanics of photography are just sloppily slapped onto any odd place within the story, making these parts cumbersome and quite irksome. Similarly, the author’s preoccupation with brand names and models very often felt to me completely out of place. Why go into the type of Lexus that Jed Martin could have bought and the type of Audi and its specs that he did buy, or the precise type of wine that he ordered in a restaurant, when meanwhile Jed Martin is presented as this clueless, nonchalant type that doesn’t seem to give a damn about these things and seems generally detached from worldly trifles such as these? For a brief moment, I also entertained the idea -- one that comes rather easily to mind -- that the “drawbacks” that I described above are actually perhaps M. Houellebecq’s making his point stronger, driving it further home, as it were. Presenting these shallow and cold characters and dotting the story with minutiae about brands and models and depicting an artistic process that is as bland and unpainstaking as a walk in the park is perhaps an integral part of M. Houellebecq’s comment on the art world today or something. However, that doesn’t seem right either, as it seems too easy an explanation in this particular case. For this idea to work, there must be something, a little something at least, to give a hint of the alternative, a reference point for what is worthy, for what is to be contrasted with, contrapuntal to, the other vision. And I find none of that in The Map and the Territory. I have to say, though, M. Houellebecq’s own phenomenal success with this book does seem like an interesting piece of irony and perhaps a good commentary on current culture/literature that the book itself fails to make.

  • Tony
    2019-05-19 05:21

    It was public knowledge that Houellebecq was a loner with strong misanthropic tendencies: it was rare for him even to say a word to his dog.Martin Amis did it before, in Money, when he introduced himself, 'Martin Amis', as a character in the book. Houellebecq replays the conceit here, with a similar pretension and expanded role for himself. In the spirit of literary self-flagellation, in addition to the epitaph offered above, Houellebecq does horrible things to himself. I would be plot-spoiling to say more.Yet the main character is not Houellebecq, but Jed Martin. Like Houellebecq's other protagonists, Jed has an ease with women despite himself and is utterly incapable of sustaining a relationship. The author Houellebecq does sex no better than the character Houellebecq:"I . . ." he croaked. Olga turned around and noticed it was serious: she immediately recognized that blinded, panicked look of a man who can no longer withstand his desire. She made a few steps toward him, enveloped him with her voluptuous body, and kissed him on the lips.230 pages in, the book becomes a murder mystery. Except it doesn't really.I suppose you could dissect this. Jed first photographed still life, then machine parts. He has an epiphany and begins to photograph Michelin maps. This is how he made his first millions. It's how he meets the delightful Olga. And it's how we have the supposed theme of this book, printed in capital letters in case we missed the significance: THE MAP IS MORE INTERESTING THAN THE TERRITORY.Not exactly ¿Le gusta este jardín, que es suyo? ¡Evite que sus hijos lo destruyan!, now is it?Later he paints people in different professions. He paints Michael Houellebecq: Writer, of course. Houellebecq, the character, doesn't seem to care. I thought, then, that Houellebecq, the author, was giving me, the reader, direction.This book has the same malaise, the same ennui as Houellebecq's earlier books. He just left out the sex this time. Instead, there was a gruesome murder. Which I was okay with. Especially because we learn photographs of the crime scene look like monochromatic Jackson Pollock paintings. But there was also a scene where Jed beats up a woman working in a Swiss Euthanasia clinic. Which really bothered me.

  • S.
    2019-05-10 03:05

    Frankly I read this because my 16-year old did, and considering the negative buzz surrounding Houellebecq I was wondering if she was polluting her beautiful young mind with misogynist pornography. I didn’t expect to like it. So it is with surprise that I bestow 5 stars upon it. A wonderful book - rich, true and wickedly funny. Now that I’ve looked into Houellebecq a bit more I see this was maybe an odd place to start; his other, more misanthropic, sexually-charged books are what got him all the attention. But I don’t care. This was a very satisfying read on many levels, from the narrative style to the prose, from the originality to the humor and insight. The main character is a painter named Jed Martin who is first launched to fame by a series he does using Michelin maps. On a trip with his father, they stop at a rest stop, where he buys a map.“It was then, unfolding the map, while standing by the cellophane-wrapped sandwiches, that he had his second great aesthetic revelation. This map was sublime. Overcome, he began to tremble in front of the food display. Never had he contemplated an object as magnificent, as rich in motion and meaning as this 1/150,000-scale Michelin map of the Creuse and Haute-Vienne. The essence of modernity, of scientific and technical apprehension of the world, was here combined with the essence of animal life. The drawing was complex and beautiful, absolutely clear, using only a small palette of colours. But in each of the hamlets and villages, represented according to their importance, you felt the thrill, the appeal, of human lives, of dozens and hundreds of souls ...”At some point later in the book, someone observes that the map is more interesting than the territory. Contemplating (and rendering) the world is more interesting than being involved in it. I loved the take on the art/literary world. I enjoyed the storyline with the father, the reflections on France and society, on death, on relationships. Houellebecq bringing himself in as a character was a master stroke and revealing. I adored the rant about Picasso. The way he did himself in was marvelous. To me it was a subdued joyride of a book, not in that it was uplifting, but because the author tugged the rip cord and let it rip.

  • Gerald
    2019-05-04 09:21

    I read The Map and the Territory because Jeffrey Eugenides admitted *he* was reading in in a NYT interview.No surprise why masterful American novelists would want to read this. The author, Michel Houellebecq, is unabashedly and unashamedly literary and intellectual. No doubt there's a certain penis envy in admiring a Gallic author who can be so brazen as to simply drop trou and masturbate with his mind for us all to watch. Those of us on this side of the pond who fret about novels and commercialism and fads and attention spans and the general lack of receptiveness for ideas must surely Jones for the opportunity to wax philosophical and not only get away with it, but also actually sell books.This is the story of a fine artist, Jed Martin, and the rationale behind various distinct phases of his work. It is also a policier, a procedural, about a ghastly murder. One connection is that the murder was performed in such a way as to create a work of art. This second story has very little to do with the main plot line of Jed's work life. Jed's difficult relationship with his aging master-architect father is a subplot upon which many heady sub-themes are hung, including the history and philosophy of architecture, the relationship between habitation and quality of life, and no less than the fate of civilization.In perhaps the most stunning stroke of hubris in a work chockful of it, occurring some way into the narrative so it's a surprise when it comes, Houellebecq makes himself a principal character. By name. The relationship between life and art is open to question - that is, between the physical description of the French novelist, his eccentricities, and his volatile temperament. The Houellebecq in the narrative is not what you'd call a nice person and certainly not someone you'd probably consider taking on as a friend. The author seems proud he's alienating you, else why talk so unashamedly of his body odor and atrocious manners?Martin's life is well-to-do Parisian, but mundane. He has an extended affair, off and on, with a Russian media executive named Olga. She is one hot babe, apparently, but even she can't hold his interest. She did abandon him for a time, and perhaps an infantile ego can never forgive the ultimate insult of abandonment.I'm somewhat mystified. I may reread it someday to study what I missed on first reading, which is probably a lot.This is the first Houellebecq novel I've read, so I am curious to investigate the others. I read in other reviews this isn't the one to start with. Ah, well. Houellebecq would no doubt approve.I do know that, based on his descriptions, I would love to visit a showing of Martin's paintings. I expect they would be photorealistic and iconic - reminiscent, say, of Chinese Communist propaganda posters. One of the delights of the book is imagining what these fictional works would look like. If they have an analog in the real world, I'd love to know it.

  • فهد الفهد
    2019-05-21 02:20

    الخريطة والأرض لسنوات كنت أرى رواية ميشيل ويلبيك (احتمال جزيرة) على رفوف المكتبات وأتجاوزها، ولكني حصلت على كتابه هذا مدفوعاً بنيله جائزة الغونكور، نعم !! من السخف أن ندعي أن الجوائز لا تؤثر على قراراتنا، كل ما في الأمر هو أننا نفقد الثقة بجائزة ما، عندما نكتشف أنها منحت لأعمال ضعيفة فنياً – البوكر العربي كمثال -. بدأ ويلبيك الكتابة لينتشل نفسه من الاكتئاب، كتب الشعر أولاً، ومن ثم الرواية، حتى جذب الاهتمام بروايته (المنصة) – لم تترجم إلى العربية -، والتي هاجمته بسببها منظمات إسلامية، رأت في روايته عنصرية ضد المسلمين، هكذا ترك ويلبيك فرنسا، وانتقل ليعيش في إيرلندا ومن ثم إسبانيا. كتب ويلبيك حتى الآن خمس روايات، ومجموعة كتب أخرى من ضمنها سيرة ذاتية لكاتبه المفضل (لافكرافت)، وترجم من أعماله إلى العربية هذه الرواية – ترجمة متواضعة للأسف من رنا حايك -، و(احتمال جزيرة) – ترجمها محمد المزديوي -، ولا أعلم هل ترجم له سواهما أم لا. في مراجعات سابقة، وصفت بعض الروائيين بأنهم يملكون فكرة أساسية جميلة لرواياتهم، ولكنهم لا يجيدون التعامل مع التفاصيل – ربيع جابر وعلي بدر كمثال -، ويلبيك على العكس، لا تكاد تمسك بفكرة أساسية، ولكنه يبهرك ببعض التفاصيل الجميلة والممتعة. بطل الرواية فنان من الجيل الجديد يدعى جاد مارتان، تائه نوعاً ما، لا يدري ما هو اتجاه الفني، ولا ما الذي يفعله بالضبط، تسقط عليه الأفكار اتفاقاً، ثم يقوم بتحويلها إلى مشروع فني يستغرق سنوات من عمره، وحالما ينجح ويصل، يفقد الحماسة، وينفض يده ويبدأ بالبحث عن مشروع فني جديد، فمن تصوير الخردوات، إلى تصوير ودمج خرائط شركة ميشلان الفرنسية مع الأرض – من هنا يأتي اسم الرواية -، إلى لوحات يرسمها لوجوه معروفة أو مجهولة، في خلال هذه الرحلة الفنية، نتابع تفاصيل علاقته الغرامية بالفاتنة الروسية أولغا، والأهم لقائه بالروائي الفرنسي فريدريك بيغبيدير – صاحب رواية 99 فرنكاً -، ولقائه كذلك بميشيل ويلبيك – نعم !! كما بورخيس وكونديرا وساباتو وأوستر، يضع ويلبيك نفسه في روايته، ولكنه يزيد الجرعة قليلاً -. تبدو الرواية وكأنها تقارن بين الخريطة والأرض، بين الفنان كما عاش وكما كُتب أو سيكتب عنه، في الخريطة نرى كل شيء بوضوح، يبدو كل شيء منطقياً، مترابطاً ونحن نراقبه من الأعلى، على الأرض يبدو المشهد مختلفاً، هذه هي حياة الفنان، هو بلا خريطة، من يضع الخريطة أو يلفقها لاحقاً هم النقاد، الذين يضعون النقاط ويصلونها بحيث تبدو حياة الفنان وكأنما كان يسير على مخطط واضح، بلا تردد، بلا شكوك. الرواية برأيي جيدة، ممتعة في بعض أجزائها، ربما سلبتها الترجمة الكثير.

  • Shota Gagarin
    2019-05-17 05:15

    ალბათ მიშელ უელბეკი უკანასკნელი დიდი ფრანგი მწერალია. მეტიც, არა მგონია, მაგის შემდეგ რომელიმე დასავლეთ ევროპელის ნააზრევი იყოს ასეთი მყარი არგუმენტი ადამიანთა მოდგმის უბადრუკობის შესახებ. უელბეკი ამ საქმეში რუსოზე წინ წავიდა. თუ ეს უკანასკნელი სულიერი ჰარმონიის დასაბრუნებლად ადამიანს ბუნებას უსახავდა ერთადერთ შესაძლო ალტერნატივად, უელბეკმა ბუნების წიაღიც კი ჩაკეტა ადამიანისთვის და გვაგრძნობინა, რომ ჰარმონია მხოლოდ იქ არის, სადაც ჩვენ არ ან აღარ ვართ.უელბეკი დიდი მწერალია, რადგან დიდი მწერალი სარკეა, რომლის წინაც ახალგამოღვიძებულები, შიშვლები ვდგავართ და საკუთარ არასრულყოფილ ნაკვთებს ვაკვირდებით. კარგი ლიტერატურა არასდროს ბადებს თვითკმაყოფილებას. ის ჩვენ იმედს გადაგვიწურავს. ნახევრად სავსე ჭიქის დასანახად ჩვენ უარი უნდა ვთქვათ ლიტერატურაზე. ნათელი მომავლის გარდაუვალობა რელიგიების და პორნოფილმების სფეროა. რატომ არის უელბეკი უკანასკნელი? მის შემდეგ ევროპული ლიტერატურული ტრადიციის ფარგლებში ყველა "ანტიადამიანური" ჟესტი უელბეკის უბადრუკი მიმიკრია იქნება.

  • Núria
    2019-05-25 03:15

    Debía llevar más de un lustro quejándome que Michel Houellebecq se repetía más que el ajo, que siempre hacía la misma novela y que parecía que escribiera con el piloto automático, casi como si estuviera parodiando la imagen pública de si mismo, repitiendo hasta la extenuación una fórmula que parecía funcionarle sin aportar nada nuevo. Así que os podréis imaginar cuál fue mi excitación cuando empezaron a salir críticas de ‘El mapa y el territorio’ que lo ponían por las nubes, diciendo que Houellebecq había madurado, que había dado un nuevo giro a su carrera y que ésta era su obra más personal. No discuto las dos primeras afirmaciones. Sí, Houellebecq toma un nuevo camino y se podría decir que ha madurado, pero también voy a decir que esto también quiere decir que se ha vuelto un soso aburrido. Ahora bien, ‘El mapa y el territorio’ me ha parecido su obra más impersonal. Es más, diré que es cuando Houellebecq se ha vuelto menos Houellebecq que más le han premiado y más le han alabado, porque sé que es una frase/idea que a él le gustaría. En el fondo, le tengo un cariño extraño a Houellebecq. Cierto, muchas veces lo odio, pero no deja de ser un odio lleno de ternura. Mi historia con Houellebecq empieza cuando estaba a punto de acabar la carrera y estaba leyendo su primera novela ‘Ampliación del campo de batalla’. Puede que la leyera en el momento adecuado, pero me llegó como nunca me había llegado ningún otro autor vivo (David Foster Wallace llegaría más tarde); el tedio, el asco y la alienación que sentía el protagonista ante la existencia, era el mismo que sentía yo. Y estas cosas marcan. Especialmente cuando eres joven. Así que quedé ligada a él para siempre. ‘Las partículas elementales’ no me pareció tan grande, pero me gustó, aunque me temo que si la re-leyera ahora me decepcionaría. Luego leí todas las que siguieron: ‘Plataforma’, ‘La posibilidad de una isla’ y ‘Lanzarote’. Y es lo que os decía al principio: me parecieron todas iguales y olvidables (quizás la única que salvaría sería ‘Lanzarote’, pero sólo porque era la más corta). Y ahora ‘El mapa y el territorio’ aún me ha gustado menos, pero sé que cuando saque una nueva novela voy a leerla. Las relaciones entre lectores y escritores siempre son complejas y la mía con Houellebecq lo es particularmente. Nunca se ha extinguido esa sensación de que me entiende y que si me conociera podría ver a través de mis múltiples máscaras con una sola ojeada. Y egocéntrica como soy, tengo la pretensión que yo también lo entiendo y que cazo sus trucos de escritor, sus trampas y su cartón. Os lo he advertido, es extraño: lo amo y lo odio, quizás porque me parezco más a él (o a su personaje) de lo que me gustaría. En ‘El mapa y el territorio’, el personaje que más me ha gustado y con el que más he empatizado ha sido la caldera. En serio. Lo más emocionante ha sido descubrir si la caldera, que lanza extraños gruñidos, va a estropearse o no; su lucha por la supervivencia me ha emocionado. Por otra parte, los personajes de carne y hueso me han importado un comino. Y eso que salía el propio Houellebecq como personaje, pero ni así. A ver, la novela es una especie de biografía de un artista, pero en ningún momento me llegó a interesarme ni su vida ni su obra. Es un alienado, como todos los personajes de Houellebecq, pero es que su alienación no tenía nada de particular ni de remarcable; parecía escrito con desgana, nunca llegué a sentir lo que sentía él (yo misma me pregunto si será por qué ya no siento esta misma alienación o por qué la siento ya demasiado). Pensé que la cosa se animaría cuando saliera Michel Houellebecq como personaje, pero ni así. Su personaje es demasiado personaje, demasiado tópico; se trata de una oportunidad desaprovechada, esperaba más ironía, más mala leche. Luego se produce un crimen y pensé que así se animaría el cotarro, pero ni así. El crimen sólo sirve para que salgan más personajes igual de planos que todos los demás. Sí, Houellebecq aprovecha para insinuar alguna que otra teoría sobre el arte y analizar/criticar el sistema capitalista, pero todo de una forma muy previsible y nada interesante. Esperaba más sarcasmo y más mala leche. ¿He dicho ya que todo demasiado plano? En ocasiones habrá alguna idea brillante y algún párrafo memorable, pero es todo muy escaso. Volvamos a la caldera. No lo decía en broma cuando decía que la parte que más me ha gustado es la de la caldera, cuando la caldera amenaza de estropearse definitivamente y cuando el protagonista busca alguien que pueda venir a arreglarla pero no encuentra a nadie. ¿Por qué? Pues porque es algo con lo que puedo identificarme. Así de simple. El resto de la novela cae tan lejos de mi experiencia y mis intereses que no me importa un pimiento. Pero tampoco es esto: un escritor puede relatar algo totalmente alejado a mí pero hacérmelo cercano. Simplemente Houellebecq para mí no lo consigue en esta novela. Claro que me interesa el arte, claro que mi padre también murió, pero la forma en que está tratado en este libro, no me interesa nada, me parece todo demasiado superficial, tópico, previsible, manido. Es como si Houellebecq escribiera con desgana. Y aún así, voy a leerme la próxima novela que publique. Debería ya estar acostumbrada a que todas las mujeres que salen en los libros de Houellebecq se note tantísimo que han sido escritas por un hombre. Son planas a más no poder y generalmente encarnan el mito de la santa-puta, es decir, una mujer que es muy buena y muy generosa y muy guapa y en la cama muy puta. Cada cual es libre de tener las fantasías que quiera pero otra cosa es estamparla una y otra vez en todas tus novelas para que los lectores una y otra vez tengan que tragársela. Es por eso que cuando escribo algo de ficción más o menos en serio intento centrarme sólo en personajes femeninos. También debería ya estar acostumbrada que en cualquier momento una novela de Houellebecq sienta el deseo de convertirse en ensayo, pero es que no me ha interesado nada las aventuras de utópicos relacionados con los pre-rafaelitas y es que, además, estas reflexiones están inseridas con calzador. Pero lo más descarado es cuando se me pone a explicarme cosas como la historia de no sé que raza de perros. Parece que me haya hecho un “corta y pega” de la wikipedia. Y aún así, voy a leerme la próxima novela que publique.

  • Marc Nash
    2019-05-19 03:34

    Michel Houellebecq is the subversive satirist supreme. The diffident misanthrope who takes humanity to task for our natures, our systems, our ridiculous aspirations and our delusions. But he does so with light touch. He doesn't have to beat us around the head with our own foolish failings.Jed Martin is an artist of some repute. The one layer he misses on his palette is an ability with words, so he seeks after commissioning one Michel Houellebecq to write the programme notes for his upcoming exhibition (and my how this novel blows Patrick Gayle's lame novel of that name out of the water). As part of the deal, Martin offers to paint a portrait of the author. Both men are non-social beings. The Houellebecq portrayed in the novel has few redeeming features and is always tagged with some aspect of his bibliography, brand Houellebecq.So artist commissions writer, only the novel of course embodies an author writing about the fictional artist. In a few simple words, Houellebecq not only lances the pomposity of the art world, but conjures up marvellous canvases simply through his words: a painting entitled "Damian Hirst and Jeff Koons Dividing Up The Art Market" and something similar with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Satire delivered by steely rapier wit rather than floppy palette brush. Without our literary words constructing a title, such paintings would carry no weight. Arriving at Shannon Airport, Martin passes a gallery of photographed visiting Popes and US Presidents, yet is only struck by an oil painting of the first celebrity visitor JFK and gives the portrait due study. This from an artist who initially made his name through photographic art works.Houellebecq is either satirising or protesting the death of the old, traditional France within this novel (it's hard to prise his intent, seeing as he himself resides in exile in Ireland, having spurned France, or surrendered to being spurned by his native country, though this novel won the Prix Goncourt). Martin's photos were of Michelin maps of the French rural heartlands. Not the scenery, not the landscapes, nor the people living there, just the topographic maps, an ironic juxtaposition. The map evidently is the territory after all. Added to that a meditation on Michelin's guides having necessarily to change and adapt, from appealing to the French (who can no longer afford to holiday in their own country) and the Anglo-Saxons (who tour further afield) and now have to resonate with the tastes of Chinese and Russian tourists. The restaurants experiment with exotic fusion menus, only to discover the Chinese hanker for locally sourced pork sausages and France must contemplate returning to its bucolic traditions and away from multi-cultural influences. Just as the artistic Academies would look askance at the dominance of conceptual art of the likes of Koons and Hirst, so French cookery is under assault; lunch now being a rushed workplace half-hour, without the savouring of wine and fine gustation. Other Academie Francaise cultural touchstones are under threat from foreigners and globalisation in this novel. Not least the imposition of a smoking ban in line with the EU stipulation. Martin further chronicles this slow decay as he switches from photography to oil painting. His painting series is about the dignity of white collar labour. Such labour itself fast being stripped of any useful productive value. The irony strikes him that the captains of industry he paints, are those most rich and best capable of paying the large sums for his paintings. Martin is an artist with a good eye, but no ostensible love of what he does. He is unfazed during unproductive periods. He remains untroubled by doctrinal issues in art, or moral issues. He is even fairly detached from the money his job has rolling in. He is critiquing capitalism, which is why the fictional and real Houellebecq empathise with his work, yet he is happiest walking around the familiar aisles in a chain supermarket.In part 3 of the novel a terrible crime takes place and here Houellebecq offers up a pretty stylish police procedural genre part work. Some may feel the energy built up in the novel percolates away at this point, but I didn't see it as a problem. I rather enjoyed his take on a tired old genre, very French it was too since it puts one in mind of all those French detective movies that they no longer seem to make (another Academie loss in the face of globalisation of culture?). The author seems rather taken with the real-life police advisers who helped him, so much so they are awarded a very rare Houellebecq accolade of an acknowledgement, alongside his flippant doff of the cap to Wikipedia. He has confessed to lifting sections from Wikipedia and transplanting them into the novel, but then Burroughs did something similar with his cut-ups of the works of other authors. The subversion is still nestling within this third section, a brilliant little meditative riff on dogs and pets, turns into a heart-rendering cameo about the lack of posterity and childlessness.Houellebecq has somewhat of a curious style. There are points at which he freezes the action to riff or spout off about something in modern life that clearly grinds his gears. But he does faithfully embed it in the voice of his characters, so that he doesn't come across as ranting. In fact I'd venture that he actually wears his cynicism with rather good grace, as if he can't quite buy into his critique of modern society himself. Then the action is likely to veer straight back into either a profound welter of emotion through the interaction between characters, or its polar opposite, the drab, weary observations made by a totally isolated character out of kilter with everything and everyone in the world. Sometimes the switch between these three states and tones is a bit perplexing, but for me it does all hold together, underscored by a real wit and charm, however begrudging that charm is to both the characters and the reader. Could Houellebecq be cooking a snook at his readers? Quite possibly, but we accede graciously to his art. If you want something to sum up Houellebecq, then it's the early phrase "scarcely insufficient", very much a glass half-empty view of the world, where others might have posited "easily sufficient". I give you Michel Houellebecq, possibly literature's greatest living misanthrope.

  • Takisx
    2019-05-20 05:31

    Ο Καλός μου ο Μισέλ. Ο δύστροπος. Ο ευφάνταστός, που σου μιλάει για την τέχνη σαν να είναι ένα τίποτα.Που σε κάνει να νιώθεις συνένοχος του. Μην κοιτάς εγώ τώρα που το παίζω καλλιτέχνης, είναι σαν σου λέει,στο βάθος αίσθάνομαι ενα μπάζο. Εχει και τα δίκια του ο Δάσκαλος. Ισως γιατί βαθιά μέσα του ξέρει πως ο Καλλίτεχνης, αυτός που όριζε παλιά η κοινωνία, και τον όριζε κι αυτή με την σειρά της έχει παρέλθει οριστικά. Τώρα τα φράγκα και το σουξέ κάνουνε παιχνίδι. Τώρα ισως κανένας Μάριος Χάκκας, και κανένας Μούζιλ να μην χωράει στο τοπίο. Ισως να ναι καλύτερα έτσι. Οι άνθρωποι που δεν είχαν ούτε τουαλλέτα, και βγαίναν στα χωράφια να κατουρήσουν, ακόμη και σήμερα θα ήταν παρίες. Τελικά για όλα πρέπει να είχε δίκιο ο Χειμωνάς: η Τέχνη δεν είναι ούτε για τους λίγους, ούτε για τους πολλούς.Είναι για τον καθένα ξεχωριστά. Δεν ζει για να δει το πανηγύρι με τα φράγκα, αλλά ζει ο Ουελπέκ και παίρνει την εκδίκηση για λογαριασμό του γράφοντας αυτό το εξαιρετικό μυθιστόρημα παρωδώνταςκαι την Τέχνη αλλά και τον ίδιο του τον ευατό.Τι να πείς, ιδιοφυΐα.

  • Rich
    2019-05-17 03:22

    the bitter frenchman solidifies himself as one of my favourite authors. countless vicious soundbites that i had a lot of fun with on twitter --"They really don't amount to much, anyway, human relationships.""flowers are only sexual organs, brightly coloured vaginas decorating the surface of the world, open to the lubricity of insects""What can you reply, in general, to human questions?" "it was conceivably true, he thought, that France was a marvelous country - at least from the tourist's point if view" "the tables were taken by law students talking about rave parties or 'junior associates', in other words, those things which interest law students""It's his place in the productive process, and not his status as a reproducer, that above all defines Western man""Houellebecq, a man of rational if narrow mind""It doesn't amount to much, generally speaking, a human life""Sexuality is a fragile thing: it is difficult to enter, and easy to leave.""He had got a full sense of that mixture of deceit and laziness which sums up the professional behaviour of a lawyer""Her professional life could thus be summarized as teaching contradictory absurdities to social-climbing cretins""So that was it, thought Jed; his father now served as food for the Brazilian carp of Zurichsee."

  • Frédéric Bey
    2019-05-04 02:17

    A chaque nouveau roman, Houellebecq me surprend. Il n’écrit jamais ce que je pense qu’il va nous offrir, tout en faisant chaque fois la preuve de plusieurs constantes : une lucidité « visionnaire » sur notre époque, un humour aussi discret que décapant, un pertinence et une cohérence sur le fond, derrière l’histoire a proprement parler. Cette fois il est question à la fois d’art, de relation père/fils, de la mort et de la transmission, avec un belle métaphore : celle de la cartographie, du territoire et plus encore du terroir.Plus surprenant, Houellebecq se livre plus qu’à l’habitude en se mettant en scène dans son roman, avec humour et détachement.Je suis persuadé que Houellebecq sera un des rares auteurs français contemporains à passer à la postérité, comme il est déjà un des seuls à être traduit, publié et lu dans la plupart de pays du monde.« La carte et le territoire » est selon moi son livre le plus abouti et celui, sans aucun doute, qui m’a le plus touché au cœur.

  • Mattia Pascal
    2019-05-09 06:06

    Houellebecq'in okuduğum ilk romanı. Fransa'nın geleneksel toplum-mimari-sanat ve ekonomik yapısının füzyonlaşarak modern bir yaşantıya dönüşünün romanı. Felsefeyle, geleneksel üretim sistemlerinin eleştirisiyle, sosyo-ekonomik ve politik sorunlarla kafayı bozmuş, bunalımlı Fransa'nın yerini, kimliğiyle barışık, minimal ve teknolojiye entegre üretim sistemini kullanan, sanayicilerin yerini butik işletmelerin ve girişimcilerin aldığı, sanatın ağır-kapalı-sakınımlı ve felsefeye dayalı uzak, erişilmez bi' kule izleniminden çıkıp somut, klasik olanın önünde ve işlevsel bi' hinterlanda dönüştüğü, Sanayi Devrimi ile birlikte sanayi ürünlerinin referanslarıyla yönlendirilen toplumun yüzünü kırsala dönüp bireysel-pratik yaratıları yücelttiği ve merkezine aldığı, büyük fresk ve sütunlar üzerine inşa edilmiş figürcü mimarinin, simgesel sanatın ergonomik, daha faydacı minimal tasarıma teslim olmaya başladığı, doğanın felsefi veya somut tanımlamalardan uzak sadece öz olarak kabul edildiği, ağaçların ve çimenlerin mutlak zaferinin kaçınılmaz olduğu bi' Fransa alıyor.Yazarın, olayları genel olarak tipik fransız romanlarındaki Seine veya Champs-Élysées'den alıp, kırsal alanlara taşıması ve roman boyunca Seine ve Champs-Élysées'in isimlerini bile kullanmaması içerikte de yazarın klasikten bi' tür kaçış amacında olduğunu gösteriyor.Houellebecq, yazar olarak kendisine de yer verdiği ve kurguda vahşi bir cinayete kurban gittiği, tepkisiz, mutluluk veya mutsuzluk kaygısı olmadan yaşayan, anne ve babası intihar etmiş, zeki ve dingin kahramanı Jed ile sanat, mimari, mutfak, aşk konularında basit, yer yer ajitasyona kaçmayan yüzeysel bi' duygusallıkta ama çokça mekanik, derinliksiz bi' dille basit tespitlerle ördüğü romanında okura belli bir konuya yöneltmeden geniş ölçekli olarak yaşadığımız bugünü ve bizi bekleyen geleceği sorgulatıyor.

  • pax
    2019-05-24 08:05

    Ich weiß nicht einmal, was genau dieses Buch ist - eine lange, langsame Meditation über Kunst und Sinn des Lebens vielleicht? Und ein verletzliches Buch, im Gegenteil zu Houllebecqs vielen anderen (nicht weniger guten) verletzenden Büchern. Aber wenn ich an seine andere Werke zurückdenke, vor allem "Platform" und den atemberaubenden "Rester vivant" ("Lebendig bleiben") Essay, dann ist diese besondere Art von Verletztlichkeit nicht überraschendes.Ein langsames und langsam zu lesendes Buch, das viel Stoff zum Nachdenken über die Kunst und die Welt bietet und nicht unbedingt in dem Augenblick, in dem mensch sowieso am Sinn des Lebens zweifelt, gelesen werden sollte (aber es sollte doch unbedingt irgendwann gelesen werden).

  • Galina
    2019-05-02 06:34

    Много харесвам Уелбек и в частност този роман, но странните закони, според които съществува родното книгоиздаване, не дават възможност удоволствието от четенето да е издигнато на кой знае какво ниво...

  • Lisa Lieberman
    2019-05-07 03:25

    Too cold for my taste but terribly clever. I found his worldview coloring my own, which is a mark of how absorbing a writer Houellebecq is. I'm sure I would have enjoyed him more in my younger years, but I've become more generous in my late fifties, tend to cut characters more slack.

  • Eugene
    2019-04-30 10:20

    houellebecq is a supreme market analyst, not shying away from drawing a trendline even if it's more based on cynicism than data:They had several happy weeks. It was not, it couldn't be, the exacerbated, feverish happiness of young people, and it was no longer a question for them in the course of a weekend to get plastered or totally shit-faced; it was already -- but they were still young enough to laugh about it -- the preparation for that epicurean, peaceful, refined but unsnobbish happiness that Western society offered the representatives of its middle-to-upper classes in middle age. They got used to the theatrical tone adopted by waiters in high-star establishments as they announced the composition of the amuse-bouches and other appetizers; and also that elastic and declamatory way in which they exclaimed: "Excellente continuation, messieurs, dames!" each time they brought the next course (58)."inhaled it and enjoyed it thoroughly, but not his best (though maybe his most consciously ambitious). somehow it didn't appear to have the energy to finish what it started. the houellebecq character seemed to exist simply to settle scores and mock his own public image -- but after those tasks were (often, it's true, hilariously) done there ironically was a painful lack of development for this rather essential, important character. and the (d)evolution into police procedural i think was in some ways, even if premeditated and even if enjoyable, shark jumping.there are even moments of unfortunate false notes and unexpected sentimentality, for example when the main character tries to find meaning in his life so waxes nostalgic for the one that got away:The word passion suddenly crossed Jed's mind, and all of a sudden he found himself ten years previously, during his last weekend with Olga... Night was falling, and the temperature ideally mild. Olga seemed deep in contemplation of her pressed lobster. She had said nothing for at least a minute when she lifted her head, looked him straight in the eyes, and asked: "Do you know why you're attractive to women?... It's very simple: it's because you have an intense look in your eyes. A passionate look... If they can read in the eyes of a man an energy, a passion, then they find him attractive" (106-7).this is houellebecq writing?!and/but there's plenty to love... here's a favorite stand-alone bit. typical in its wry cultural observation, it ends with a quietly explosive insight:The Sushi Warehouse in Roissy 2E offered an exceptional range of Norwegian mineral waters. Jed opted for the Husqvarna, a water from the center of Norway, which sparkled discreetly. It was extremely pure -- although, in reality, no more than the others. All these mineral waters distinguished themselves only by the sparkling, a slightly different texture in the mouth; none of them were salty or ferruginous; the basic point of Norwegian mineral waters seemed to be moderation. Subtle hedonists, these Norwegians, thought Jed as he bought his Husqvarna; it was pleasant, he thought again, that so many different forms of purity could exist (80).

  • João
    2019-05-14 08:21

    Esta é a vida de Jed Martin que, como por acaso, fez fama e fortuna no mundo da arte. Jed não era ambicioso, nem sabia muito bem o que queria da vida, mas era obcecado e perfecionista: primeiro, decidiu fazer um inventário fotográfico de todas as ferramentas e utensílios do homem, chaves de parafusos, garfos e colheres, mesas e cadeiras,... depois, subitamente, apaixonou-se pelos mapas de estradas da Michelin ("o mapa é mais interessante que o território"), e passou dez anos a fotografá-los em perspetiva, iluminados lateralmente, parcialmente desfocados,... em seguida fechou-se anos a pintar todas as artes e ofícios (o talhante de carne de cavalo, o empresário no seu último dia de escritório, Bill Gates e Steve Jobs conversando,...) até que, já podre de rico, regressou à aldeia dos avós e se fechou numa propriedade cercada por uma rede de 3 metros de altura e encimada por um cabo de segurança elétrico.Parece demasiado simples e extravagante, mas a vida de Jed Martin não é mais que um pretexto que permite a Michel Houllebecq discorrer de forma brilhante, mas despretensiosa, entre outras coisas, sobre fotografia, sobre arquitetura (a desumanização de Le Corbusier e Van der Rohe vs o movimento Arts & Crafts inspirado por Charles Fourier e William Morris), sobre crítica de arte (aqui, cheio de ironia), sobre a morte (a vida, o suicídio, a eutanásia) e sobre a solidão. E sim, muitos dos personagens são pessoas verdadeiras, com a ficção a enredar-se na realidade, ao ponto de Michel Houllebecq ser ele próprio um dos personagens principais do seu próprio livro, o personagem que será central no capítulo "policial" deste romance! Sim, há mistura de géneros, e um capítulo inesperadamente policial, com um assassínio misterioso e um comissário de polícia a investigar! Será Jed Martin o assassino? Parecia um enredo simples, não parecia? Mas não é... é um livro inesperado, desconcertante por vezes, mas muito bem escrito, muito interessante e enriquecedor.

  • Marcello S
    2019-04-30 09:05

    I temi trattati sono un po’ i soliti presenti nei libri di MH, un po’ ammorbiditi rispetto al passato.Qui si parla molto di pittura e fotografia, certo, ma si parla soprattutto (al solito) della quasi impossibilità di creare rapporti reali tra le persone.Meno sesso. Meno disturbante. Comunque provocatorio.Stessa scrittura impeccabile, diretta, sincera. Densa ed evocativa.All’interno ci sono idee o trovate che sembrerebbero facilmente attaccabili. In realtà Houellebecq non è uno che inciampa facilmente e il suo mettersi a nudo è disarmante.E, da co-protagonista del suo stesso libro, si racconta ed esce di scena in modo terribile e meravigliosamente assurdo.Libro decisamente postmoderno: 1. Nel suo disquisire quasi enciclopedico su tecnologia, arte, genetica; 2. In una visione radicale della società contemporanea, privata di ogni senso (e sentimento);3. Nella ridondanza di riferimenti a personaggi viventi e a marche di qualsiasi tipo di prodotto.MH si conferma uno dei miei scrittori preferiti. Apocalittico senza chiamare in causa zombie o alieni. [75/100] Non ero assolutamente felice, sotto ogni punto di vista, nella vita, ma almeno avevo questo: a intervalli regolari potevo riacquistare un paio delle mie scarpe preferite. È poco ma è molto, soprattutto quando si ha una vita intima abbastanza povera.

  • Diogenis Papadopoulos
    2019-05-10 05:08

    Η περίπτωση του κυρίου Houellebecq (Ουελμπέκ - Γάλλος είναι- και όχι Γουέλμπεκ) είναι αρκετά ενδιαφέρουσα. Δυνατή και άμεση η γραφή του, αλλά και οι απόψεις του, που μπορούν να ξεκινούν από την άβαντ-γκαρντ τέχνη μέχρι την αγορά Mercedes C class ή τα εμφυτεύματα σιλικόνης. Το συγκεκριμένο μυθιστόρημα είναι ως επί τω πλέιστον για ανθρώπους που αγαπούν την τέχνη (αν και ο φόνος που συμβαίνει στο 3ο κεφάλαιο, μπορεί να αποπροσανατολίσει ορισμένους). Βιβλίο που θα το θυμάμαι για καιρό και συγγραφέας τον οποίο θα ξαναδιαβάσω, σίγουρα.

  • Jonfaith
    2019-05-20 07:15

    The third section initially gave me pause. It could've been mishandled. I had previously read a review in the UK press and was aware of this turn. The novel as with most of Houellebecq's other work is a chilling portrait of our reality, our naked humanity isn't what we'd hope for, it is slithering that way regardless.

  • Evgeniya
    2019-05-25 09:20

    4,5. Защото и този път дозата "Уелбек" ми подейства.

  • Philipp
    2019-04-26 04:09

    Modernity was perhaps an error, thought Jed for the first time in his life. A purely rhetorical question, that: modernity had ended in Western Europe some time ago.I once tried to get into Houellebecq [1], about 10 years ago, and back then his work seems to have been all about "here's a bunch of sex with various people, oh no this is not fulfilling, we need monogamy, the end". Not that interesting. The Map and the Territory does not fit into that pattern at all, luckily, it's more a character study of two sides of the same coin - Jed and Houellebecq himself, the first some kind of visual artist who drifts from photography to painting, the second a relatively successful French author who's hired to write the introduction to a catalogue of Jeb's work. Both are extremely similar with little attachment to "real life", both have little to no friends and are drifting through life. Both have found success without really aiming for it, both just made their art when it came to them with no real aim to become rich or famous with it. There was truly in Beigbeder, as far as he could remember, something which could arouse affection and, already, the existence of “loved ones”; something that did not exist in Houellebecq, nor in him [Jeb]: a sort of familiarity with life.France, culturally and linguistically, always feels like a bit of a self-imposed island to me - the French language is imposed by law, and French modern books focus more on navel-gazing than anything else. Houellebecq nearly walks into that trap with a bit of too much satire of the French cultural elite, but he luckily looks past France. There's a bit of history of computing and Silicon Valley, Tocqueville, especially surprising to find a reference to Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zone. He even touches Jack Womack's territory in a few lines where some areas in Paris have devolved into some kind of proto-anarchy; but where Womack then walks into these territories and stages laser axe-fights between hopped up 13-year olds and Robocops, Houellebecq just mentions them and immediately leaves to focus on his characters. I guess this is something H. revisits in Soumission, I yet have to read that one.The last third is a bit unnecessary, (view spoiler)[there's a brutal murder, and sadly the murder is resolved, and even more sadly the murderer is dead so that no (psychological) explanation is necessary (hide spoiler)], almost as if H. didn't know how to end the story.[1] That first "e" has no earthly business in a last name

  • Nicole
    2019-04-28 04:18

    Frankly, misogyny would be a step up. Misogyny I could tolerate if there were even the merest HINT of literary merit. But in fact, Michel Houellebecq would publish his grocery list if he thought you would buy it, read it, and give it a literary prize. And h's got your number, because apparently you will. This book comes close; he's thrown in some ingredeients that he thinks you and the Goncourt jury will swallow -- the author is a character!, it's writing about art!, he tells us every time he buys groceries, so I guess it's about consumerism!. Except that, if I take some eggs and flour and throw them at your car, that's not the same as me baking you a cake. That's not so much me cooking you a tasty treat as it is me being a huge asshat. This book is a hastily slopped-together pile of disorganized dreck, pretentious, self-involved, and disdainful of the reader. Michel Houellebecq is the beaujolais nouveau of the literary world. Everybody knows what it is, but if you try to actually drink some, it sucks because it turns out that a marketing gimmick does not make for good wine. French wine has better to offer, as does French contemporary fiction. Please, in the name of all that is holy, stop the madness and leave these books in the two for one bargain bin where they belong.

  • Ali AlQahtani
    2019-05-23 04:18

    لا تستغربون من استخدام ويليبك عبارة شارل دورليان (( العالم ضجر مني وأنا كذلك منه .. )) فالشخصية الرئيسية في رواية ( جان بيار مارتان ) الفنان الذي انتج في مسيرته الفنية معرضين الاول عن الخرائط المستلمهة من خرائط ميشلان والمعرض الثاني والاخير الذي رفع باسهم الفنان الى قمة السحاب والذي بيعت منه لوحة مسروقة أعيدت مؤخرا ل مارتان بحوالي ستة ملايين ...كقارئ يعجبني الكاتب الذي يزودني بمعلومات تزود من معرفتي وتجدني ابحث عنها عن صدقيتها وعن معلومات اكثر عنها لذلك جلست كثيرا في هالرواية العظيمة.. فوجدت نفسي اتوقف كثيرا لابحث عن معلومات كثيرة منها معلومات الوفاة في مدغشقر وعن المناطق الفرنسية وعن الموت الرحيم في سويسرا وعن معلومات كثيرة ستجد نفسك مجبور على البحث عنها بسبب طريقة الكاتب الجميلة جدا اذا كنت عاشق للفن والرسم والفن الباروكي سوف تجد ضالتك في هالرواية ايضا عجبني في الرواية وضع شخصية الكاتب ( ميشيل ويليبك ) كشخصية ضجره ايضا في الرواية .. الكاتب شرح حياته واسلوبه وايضا انتقد الكاتب وضع الفنانين في اوروبا وكيفية الاهتمام بهم.. والدليل عدم معرفة موته في الصحافة الا بعد مرور يومين من معرفة الشرطة وايضا عدم الاهتمام السريع بمعرفة القاتل باستجواب المعرفين للكاتب ولم يعرف القاتل الا بالصدفة... استمعت جدا بالرواية وسوف اسعى جاهدا لاجد روايته ( المنصة ) احب اشكر كل من حفزني لابدا في كتابة مراجعة شكرا من القلب