Write Like Your Mother is Dead
Classic fiction advice: write like your mother is dead. Good to think about, on this lovely American Mother's Day. However, be forewarned. There can be repercussions.

If you are a French, you may have to fight about it!

The novelist Michel Houellebecq recently wrote awful things about his mother which may or may not have been true, and now she is pissed off and is writing a book about the awful lies he may or may not have told.

"This individual, who alas! came out of my tummy, is a liar, an impostor, a parasite and especially, especially, a little upstart ready to do anything for fortune and fame," said Lucie Ceccaldi, the novelist's mother.


"...the author described her as a slut and said that she was dead.

Mrs. Ceccaldi is determined to prove that she is neither."

If you say your mom is a dead slut in order to sell books, and she finds out, you'd better kill her quickly, or plant wayward young tramps in her bed and drop a dime to the press.

Really, you have to pick one libel or the other -- dead or slut. One cancels out the other, but calling your mom both backs her into a corner. She's going to have to fight that. For Social Security reasons, perhaps.

Ceccaldi is not Houellebecq's only critic, however. In John Updike's review of Houellebecq's novel "The Possibility of an Island" (a review entitled "90% Hateful"), even Updike is disgusted by the Frenchman's self-righteous hedonism, offering this quote from the novel as an example of a stance with problems:

"Like all very pretty young girls she was basically only good for fucking, and it would have been stupid to employ her for anything else, to see her as anything other than a luxury animal, pampered and spoiled, protected from all cares as from any difficult or painful task so as to be better able to devote herself to her exclusively sexual service."

Updike finally dismisses the novel as inferior, saying: "the sensations that Houellebecq gives us are not nutritive."

Are you eating right, Michel? Why have you not found a nice girl to settle down with?

I do not think your friends are a good influence on you. And you are smoking too much. And you need a haircut.

You are not the man your father was. And your novels embrace a nihilism which is -- evidently -- unearned, affected, and quaint.


Posted by miracle on Sun, 11 May 2008 16:43:00 -0400 -- permanent link

The Gallery at LPR
158 Bleecker St., New York, NY
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

All content c. 2008-2009 by the respective authors.

Site design c. 2009 by sweet sweet design