Michel Houellebecq is a well-known French writer, his literary works have been translated into many languages, thus allowing the fame of the poet. Today, his books are being considered a renewal of French literature, and yes, many people criticize his novels, sales and copies continue to rise.
Who is Michel Houellebecq?
Michel Tomas is a French essayist and novelist, recognized by his pseudonym Michel Houellebecq. He was born in 1956, in Saint-Pierre, specifically on the island of Reunion. His father was René Thomas, a mountain guide, and his mother Lucie Ceccaldi, an important doctor of medicine and anesthesia.
According to the poet’s own stories, at an early age his parents began to lose interest in him and their relationship, causing a separation and his care was given to his maternal grandparents. However, this did not last long, as René Thomas regained paternity and entrusted his life to Henriette Tomas, his paternal grandmother.
Houellebecq completed high school in Meaux, which allowed him to attend Lycée Chaptal High School, located in Paris. In this institution, he received multiple abuses and bullying episodes, being beaten and insulted by his classmates, aspects that are widely mentioned in his books.
However, in 1975 he joined the National Agronomic Institute of Paris-Grignon, graduating 4 years later and obtaining a Specialty in Development of the Natural Environment and Ecology.
Later, Houellebecq experienced a period of unemployment, this made him start with professional literary creation, since he had previously written multiple poems. For this reason, he met with several renowned directors, for example, Michel Bulteau, who suggested that he join their projects and collaborate on the Infréquentables collection.
He then chooses to enroll at Ecole nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière, where they offer an arts education for those wishing to enter. In this way, he chooses the area of photography but ends up abandoning his studies before graduation. In 1981 he had a strong nervous breakdown, which caused him to rest until 1983, starting a career in Computer Science at Unilog.
After years of studies and work, he applied for an administrative assistant position in the National Assembly, this made Michel find the necessary peace in 1990 to start publishing his works.
Although, from a very young age, Houellebecq began to write poems and stories, his first work was published in 1991, a biography of H. P. Lovecraft, entitled Against the world, against life.
With the desire to dedicate himself exclusively to literature, he announces his resignation and prepares to publicize the poems of La Poursuite du bonheur, a collection that allowed him to win a prize and recognition in France.
Over the years he continued to publish different novels, such as: Enlargement of the battlefield-1994, Stay alive and La Peau-1996, La Ville-1997 and Le Sens du combat -1998.
That same year, The Elementary Particles came to light, considered to date the best novel by Michel Houellebecq and the one that awarded him numerous awards, including the National Literature Award for young talents.
From that moment, his next books made him a media star, recognized throughout the world. The novels are translated into more than 25 languages and his works are considered great influences of literature, causing many critics to determine his writing as white, due to the themes he addresses.
However, while he was accused of misogynistic, decadent, xenophobic and racist, this was not an impediment to continue writing. His tenacity and love of literature have made him the best living French writer today.
Take into account that art can transform people and that a book should not be judged by its cover, it is necessary to dive between its lines and later express an opinion about it.