Houellebecq in 2008

Active people don’t change the world profoundly; ideas do. Napoleon is less important in world history than Jean-Jacques Rousseau.   Michel Houellebecq

Michel Houellebecq (born Michel Thomas; 26 February 1956 or 1958) is a French author, known for his novels, poems and essays, as well as an occasional actor, filmmaker and singer.  His first book was a biographical essay on the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Houellebecq published his first novel, Whatever, in 1994. His next novel, Atomised, published in 1998, brought him international fame as well as controversy. Platform followed in 2001. He published several books of poetry, including The Art of Struggle in 1996.  After an offhand remark about Islam during a publicity tour for Platform led to his being taken to court for inciting racial hatred (he was eventually cleared of all charges), he moved to Ireland for several years. He then moved back to France, where he currently resides. He has been described as “France’s biggest literary export and, some say, greatest living writer.”

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