Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Submission, the Book

Michel Houellebecq is a noted French writer, who got himself into big headlines yesterday in Germany.

To introduce him....I'd say he's a guy who has lived a dozen lives compacted into one.  His dad was a ski-instructor and mountain climber from France.  His mom was an Algerian-born French doctor.  He lived a couple of years in his youth in Algeria, and then got 'shipped-off' to his grandmother's house in France.  Grandma....was a fairly educated gal, and a communist.  He shows some wit and talent in his youth....gets through the right schools....and ends up as a writer.

To be honest, with over thirty years of writing....he's only written six books.  From the start....he writes four-star material.  "Whatever", his first novel....was an odd piece that drew readers.  It was a simple story of a solitary guy and his simple path of existence.  The character is one that is bound in frustrations over the act of making decisions.  Everything becomes a problem, which involves thinking and resolving.  It won awards and was widely noted in France.

The sixth book, released yesterday?  It is entitled "Submission".  The story revolves around France in 2022, which has finally become Islamic in nature and adapted to various Islamic expectations.  Frankly, it comes at a time when the general public in France, in Germany and throughout Europe....are questioning the Muslim growth and immigration issues.  In simple words....this fictional book is acting like "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and forcing people to take a fictionalized situation and assume some truth to it (it might be ninety-nine percent might be nine percent true).

For France, "Submission" comes at some window of opportunity and reflection.  French Presidential elections are roughly three years away.  Folks get peppy from books like this, and the anti-Islam wave might gain another five to ten percent of voters....if they think "Submission" reflects a truthful direction of the country.

For Germans?  This got major play-time last night on the nightly news.  I'd take a guess that at least twelve minutes were spent telling the story, using clips from Houellebecq's interview, and then injecting a panel member into the conversation.

My guess is that the book will be translated and quickly delivered into German book stores, and get hyped up over the next month or two.  Some German writer might come to view the same scenarios and devise a German-like book....similar to "Submission" and highlight the 2021 German elections.

There are dozens of books which have gone onto change the world that we live in.  Moby Dick killed off the whale industry.  1984 gave people the thought of 'big brother' and the harm he might bring.  A Christmas Carol solidified the holiday period with some expectations of tradition.  Grapes of Wreath gave the reader broad impressions of simple people, driven by the depression era.  Maybe "Submission" will fall into the same category....driving people to reexamine immigration and the future ahead.

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