Michel Houellebecq's pre-1968 nostalgia and imagined futures

Sophie Patrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The novels of Michel Houellebecq criticise the individualistic and consumerist nature of developed society, while remembering a time when communism was still taken seriously, the family unit was intact, women were nurturing and "natural", and religion played a moralising role. Nostalgia for a golden past, and contempt for the present, shape the imagined futures in four of Houellebecq's novels. This article examines this nostalgia for pre-1968, and how its rose-tinted memory and the perceived damage of the revolution's legacy influence i Iouellebecq's futures, wherein he first moves humanity further away from the idealised past in Les Particules elementaires and La Possibiliti d'une lie before attempting a return to those values in La Carte et le territoire and Soumission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-205
Number of pages17
JournalEssays in French Literature and Culture
Issue number55
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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