Sunday, June 16, 2013

Houellebecq on Art, Books

The following paragraph is taken from a review by Jeff VanderMeer in the "Review of Contemporary Fiction" of Michel Houellebecq's book on Lovecraft:

Houellebecq fares less well with statements like, "Those who love life do not read," reasoning that "the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world." Like most generalities about readers, books, or writers — and even if applied solely to Lovecraft — this statement seems more than a little suspect. While H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life provides a spirited introduction to an influential author, it falls short of being a definitive work because of such generalities, and in its perhaps overly kind portrait of Lovecraft the person.

This assessment of life, the arts,  and books reflects the stance of both Houellebecq and Lovecraft,  This view of art and life really recalls the philosophy of Schopenhauer more than anything else.  Of course, Schopenhauer understood and appreciated those who find solace in the arts rather than in the will-driven life of this world.     

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