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Rouge Brun or Counterrevolutionary? Another Look at Michel Houellebecq's Politics

Lane, Jeremy

Authors

JEREMY LANE jeremy.lane@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of French & Critical Theory



Abstract

Michel Houellebecq has gained a reputation for combining left-wing critiques of neo-liberal capitalism with reactionary laments at the decline of nation, religion, honest labour, and the patriarchal family. Critics typically thus either declare the novelist to be unclassifiable in political terms or to be a ‘rouge-brun’. Surveying Houellebecq’s novels, from Extension du domaine de la lutte (1994) to Sérotonine (2019), we argue that there is nothing unclassifiable, ‘rouge’ or left-wing about the author’s political worldview. On the contrary, his work needs to be understood as belonging to a tradition of French counterrevolutionary thought, personified by Auguste Comte and Charles Maurras.

Citation

LANE, J. (in press). Rouge Brun or Counterrevolutionary? Another Look at Michel Houellebecq's Politics. Modern Language Review, 115(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 4, 2019
Deposit Date Jul 15, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 30, -0001
Print ISSN 0026-7937
Publisher Modern Humanities Research Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 115
Issue 1
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2307439