Houellebecq, or, the carnival of spite

Diken, Bulent (2007) Houellebecq, or, the carnival of spite. Journal for Cultural Research, 11 (1). pp. 57-73. ISSN 1479-7585

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Despite their significance in social reality and in fiction, ressentiment and especially spite are surprisingly under‐researched topics. As the repressed other of the contemporary post‐political society, they often combine political impotence and enjoyment in passivity, two experiences that are closely related to the increasing transformation of the “city” into the state of nature, of politics to bio‐politics (or post‐politics) and of the “social” into the simulacra (the society of spectacle). The article discusses ressentiment and spite in Houellebecq's fiction, by taking point of departure in the way he depicts the contemporary society, combining this with a discussion of his artistic position and the affective economy of ressentiment and spite in his work. Finally it asks whether it is possible to imagine a sociality, a “city,” without spite.

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Journal Article
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Journal for Cultural Research
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06 Feb 2013 17:45
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 00:27