Australian Journal of French Studies

Communion of the Flesh: Original Sin according to Michel Houellebecq

Australian Journal of French Studies (2013), 50, (3), 305–317.

Abstract

This article analyses the religious theme in two novels of Michel Houellebecq, Les Particules élémentaires and La Possibilité d'une Île. These two novels oppose the dying contemporary world with its future in a way that makes them mirrors of each other: they reinterpret Christian dogma in a technological fashion, giving birth to two opposed Utopias, the first achieving total success through a complete annihilation of the "old" humankind and the second representing the utter failure of its attempt to bring back the dead. Three theological themes are illustrated in Houellebecq's works: communion of the Saints, resurrection of the flesh, and Original Sin, whose role is central to the two novels. In La Possibilité d'une Île, it is precisely because the old humankind is resurrected as such, still in the throes of Original Sin, that the new world cannot arise.

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Author details

Boileau, Gilles