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  • In fact I was going to post a journal entry about this. Being French, I do agree 100% with the Times here. (I don't like Camus very much, but at least he knew grammar, which is not the case of Houellebecq.)

    Quoting from the Gardian article :

    A petition being handed round by Sollers, the most assiduous self-publiciser among contemporary novelists, drew on the collective wisdom of an impressive legion of dead writers, beginning with Blaise Pascal and running through Montaigne, Voltaire and Lévi-Strauss, who have shocked by expressing outspoken views on religion.
    Hey, Lévi-Strauss (this genius) is not dead yet, AFAIK ! And comparing an anthropologist that worked on the process of evolution of myths and primitive religions with a short-sighted racist makes no sense. Houellebecq is just another poor writer, un pauvre crétin. He got some hype after the publication of his first books, due to some well-orchestrated media campaign; now he deserves this trial : somebody had to point out how untalented and stupid he really is.
    • I've read 'Plateforme' and 'Les particules élémentaires' (AKA 'Atomized'). Both are excellent especially the former and both were well-received by the critics in France. The fact that the author stated that Islam was the stupidest of religions or that sex tourism was a good thing have nothing to do with the quality of his work. I don't agree with him on those two points but I still think he's a very good writer. (BTW, I'm not French.)