Old age in the work of Michel Houellebecq: Aspect of the "society of the spectacle"

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In Houellebecq's novels old age is interrogated relentlessly, manifested by the refusal of the protagonists to accept the modification of the "aging" body. In what manner are old age and aging represented and why? How, surprisingly, does this perception eventually permeate all the texts and influence the very evolution of Houellebecq's writing? An essential principle clearly emerges in the texts: the cult of fetishized youth in the hedonistic culture, a phenomenon constantly nourished by fear of sexual deprivation, and finally by rejection of old age. This topic will be discussed referring to the philosophy of Guy Debord. This philosophy that condemns the merchandise and its domination over the human life and the "alienation" of the consumption society, and the individuation process of post-industrial society of the 1960s, is reflected in the novels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-454
Number of pages20
JournalLettres Romanes
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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