Australian Journal of French Studies

Houellebecq’s France

Australian Journal of French Studies (2019), 56, (1), 24–36.

Abstract

This article starts from the observation that in La Carte et le territoire and Soumission, Houellebecq thematizes the current state of France more directly than he had done in previous novels. Focussing on La Carte et le territoire as the site where this development begins, the article examines how this novel represents France: not just what vision it offers of the country, but in particular, the techniques it employs to present this. Through detailed textual analysis, the article builds a picture of Houellebecq’s referential protocol as composed of invitations to synecdochic extrapolation punctured by moments of literal reproduction, and shows that the meaning of La Carte et le territoire resides in the relation between these two techniques.

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Author details

Crowley, Martin