[-empyre-] Ontology again and sciece fiction

sdv at krokodile.co.uk sdv at krokodile.co.uk
Thu Oct 25 05:09:22 EST 2007


Let me recommend the perfect counterpoint Houellebecq in Naomi 
Mitchinson's Memoirs of a space women again, full of references to 
genetics, species, intelligence, linguistics and equality. I have always 
adored the utopian aspects and the idea of communication with the dogs, 
sadly "violence had to be used on the toads which was upsetting and 

Personally I like to think that it was utopian feminist novels like this 
that helped instantiate May68 along of course with the end of the 
postwar economic depression, but then i was only a teenager at the time...


dean wilson wrote:

> Steve, it was glib, I admit ... and yet ...
> Eugene conjured a fine and odd correspondence in citing Heidegger,
> Quine and Lovecraft above, since Houellebecq is pretty much devoted to
> the latter. So much has been written about Elementary Particles,
> especially in Europe where it was a kind of end-of-millenium event,
> that it seemed to infuse the whole thread without needing
> explicitation. But I would like to thank Jasper for bringing that
> brand political science fiction into the conversation. In
> consideration with his first novel (English title: Whatever, French:
> Extension du domaine de la lutte) several of the more resilient paths
> people have taken are relevant to points brought up in Judith's and
> Eugene's work, in particular, ethical/political/aesthetic questions
> attached to bodies and technology:
> "Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies,
> actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic
> universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a
> little fed up with the world."  (Michel Houellebecq, H.P. Lovecraft:
> Against Nature, Against Life)
> Houellebecq takes a lot of flack, but the two characters in Elementary
> Particles pull off a thorough-going roast of the fraternal utopias of
> May 68 and genetics. It's surpising, come to think of it, that neither
> the book nor the German movie (with the UK English title Atomised)
> have figured more prominently in this thread, but that may have to do
> with sexual politics as much as poetics per se. I would put Houllebecq
> firmly in the crank category with Beaudelaire. He also has a band and
> recites poetry in dramatically restrained but usually drunken,
> incantatory performances. It would be a stretch, but he's somebody
> that might offer a link between the Poetics of DNA and Victor Turner,
> deriving more from Sartre than Olatunji's Drums of Passion.
> Dean

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