Thursday, 20 July 2006

The start of a new era; like everyone else in the world I have a blog. Excellent. I can satisfy my narcisstic longings, imagining that people are hanging on my every word when in fact no-one is bothered.

The clouds are building up, looking heavy. I wonder if there will be rain or if the promised break in the weather is to be delayed even further. The dark low clouds are thin and hazy and look as if they have been stuck onto the sky with cheap 70s CSO. Something bigger is building, and I suppose it might rain before I get to the pub.

I've just re-read Atomised and Platform by Michel Houellebecq. I still feel faintly sick, but I don't see him as either a genius or an evil reactionary. I am not quite sure what he is saying (beyond the obvious bits of course); he seems troubled by space, in all its different forms, whether we have too much or too little or the right kind; he is obviously troubled by love, but I don't think his books show any good or ideal kind of love. his characters love and suffer or don't love and suffer or ambivalently relate in a sexual but sort of loving way - and suffer. Someone should do a study on which characters (mostly minor) don't suffer in his work. Some of the scenes in Platform, which is less appalling than Atomised, have too much of a fantasy feel to them and don't really say much about the relationships themselves. There are a lot of sudden connections which make a kind of logical sense but only within the novel. (I don't understand how hippies lead to torture and murder, unless this is an elaborate joke on his part). There are gems or nuggets of truth - death is better than broken bodies - but not as many as it seems.

Heck, it is raining.

The end of Atomised intrigues me though. *spoilers* Bruno lives out his broken mind in a psychiatric ward. His problems affect no one else and his wasted life draws peacefully to an end. Michel's broken emotions bring about the end of humanity and the start of a new world. I would still rather buy Bruno a drink. But not a cocktail. I can't help thinking Bruno's world falls apart when he and Christiane dilute their relationship for the sake of pleasing an image of pleasure in (mostly) Bruno's mind. Platform's extended fantasy is literally shattered - so what? What comment is that making? Is that to do with Michel's realisation that the world is unhappy because people have forgotten how to give pleasure? And who cares about Platform's Michel, really? Still, I'd rather have Houellebecq put himself in his narratives like this than read Martin Amis appearance in Money again.

Tsk. It's stopped raining. A lot of clouds have gone. My tomatoes need some rain.