Neither a satire or provocative. Michel Houellebecq has long said Saturday its new controversial novel, “Submission” in which he imagines a France led by the head of a Muslim party. According to the writer, this “is a likely evolution,” he said in an interview with the journalist from France Culture Sylvain Bourmeau, published Saturday in English in the American literary magazine Paris Review, online in the German newspaper Die Welt and French on the blog of journalist hosted by Mediapart
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“Things not fundamentally false” . “Submission” begins at the end of the second term of Francois Hollande in France in 2022. In a fractured political system, the Muslim Brotherhood (the author invented party) beat Le Pen in the second round of presidential elections as a front Republican. The new head of state, Mohammed Ben Abbes, appoint Bayrou prime minister. It is a political implosion without revolution, apparently accepted by the majority. But which derives a radical change of manners. Patriarchy, polygamy, veiling, the women return home
“I conduct an acceleration of history but, no, I can not say that it is a provocation to the extent that I do not say things that I think fundamentally false, just to piss. I condense an evolution in my opinion likely, “says the writer about his 6th novel, to be published Wednesday by Flammarion and fired 150,000 copies. “I tried to put myself in the place of a Muslim, and I realized that they were actually in a completely schizophrenic situation. What could be a Muslim who wants to vote? It is not represented at all. It would be wrong to say that it is a religion that has no political consequences (…). So, in my opinion a Muslim party is an idea that is required, “he said.
“The Qur’an is better than I thought” . The writer, who said in 2001 “the most stupid religion is still Islam” ?, however, seems to have revised his judgment. “The Koran is better than I thought, now that I read it,” says Houellebecq, concluding that “the jihadists are bad Muslims.” The writer, who sees his book as “fiction”, a bit like a “thriller”, denies having wanted to publish a try. But “I do not believe that a company can hold no religion,” he says anyway. In this framework, and imagine a society in France Catholics and Muslims could reach agreement. Even see him die a philosophy of the Enlightenment, he now outdated.
“There is a destruction of the outcome philosophy of the Enlightenment, which has no meaning for anyone, or very few people. Catholicism he is doing quite well. I maintain quite positively that an agreement between Catholics and Muslims is possible, it has already seen. This can happen again, “he said in the interview .
A book that divides . For weeks, literary critics and intellectuals questioned the new French writer’s book and its final goal. New provocation? Ironic fable? First or second degree? Prediction which would threaten France? For the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, Houellebecq “his eyes open and do not be intimidated by political correctness.” Point of view is not shared by everyone. This novel “will remain as a landmark in the history of ideas, which will mark the emergence -or the Return- theses of the extreme right in the high literature” it “knights ideas of the FN, or those of Eric Zemmour, in the heart of the intellectual elite, “wrote Saturday as the director of Libération, Laurent Joffrin.
The book is meant to appear Jan. 7 in bookstores. But it is already available in illegal downloading on the Internet.