The 2010 winner of France's most prestigious literary award, the Prix Goncourt.
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France's most controversial novelist Michel Houellebecq has received what could be perceived as a backhanded compliment, winning the country's leading literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, for a novel in which a character named Houellebecq is brutally murdered.
Houellebecq's fifth novel, La carte et le territoire, was awarded the prize, which has great kudos but only a token 10, earlier today.
The writer has long polarised critical opinion in his native country, and elsewhere, for highly provocative works including Atomised and The Possibility of an Island. His critics have charged him with obscenity and misogyny, and his outspoken attacks on Islam, which he has called the most stupid religion, landed him in court in 2002 on a charge of inciting racial hatred, of which he was acquitted.
Houellebecq also hit the headlines after savage exchanges with his estranged mother Lucie Ceccaldi; he painted a deeply unflattering portrait of her in his novel Plateforme, and she responded by writing a book of her own in which she called him a liar and a parasite.
His new novel in English, The Map and the Territory, though the novel itself has yet to be translated has been described as part-thriller and part-satire. It features a reclusive, misanthropic artist, and a handful of actual French media celebrities, including author Houellebecq, an alcoholic with poor personal hygiene. The novel revolves around the investigation into Houellebecq's sadistic murder: the unfortunate man is decapitated.
The book brought more controversy when it was published by Flammarion in September, with Houellebecq being accused of copying passages verbatim from Wikipedia. The novelist responded that taking passages word for word was not stealing so long as the motives were to recycle them for artistic purposes, citing the influence of Georges Perec amongst others.
The prize win is thought to right a perceived embarassment within the French literary world that Houellebecq has achieved fame and wide readership outside his own country but had never won the Prix Goncourt. He narrowly missed out in both 1998 and 2005. --The Guardian
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Book Description Flammarion - PRIX GONCOURT 2010, 2010. Book Condition: Neuf. Bookseller Inventory # 9782081246331
Book Description Paperback Sep 03, 2010. Book Condition: New. 40 000 livres en stock. Envoi rapide et protégé. Bookseller Inventory # E5700461AD9E
Book Description Flammarion. Book Condition: Neuf. 1. Bookseller Inventory # AA_74661032
Book Description Flammarion, France, 2010. Couverture souple. Book Condition: Neuf. Prix Goncourt 2010. ( Il manque le bandeau) Si Jed Martin, le personnage principal de ce roman, devait vous en raconter l'histoire, il commencerait peut-être par vous parler d'une panne de chauffe-eau, un certain 15 décembre. Ou de son père, architecte connu et engagé, avec qui il passa seul de nombreux réveillons de Noël. Il évoquerait certainement Olga, une très jolie Russe rencontrée au début de sa carrière, lors d'une première exposition de son travail photographique à partir de cartes routières Michelin. C'était avant que le succès mondial n'arrive avec la série des « métiers », ces portraits de personnalités de tous milieux (dont l'écrivain Michel Houellebecq), saisis dans l'exercice de leur profession. Il devrait dire aussi comment il aida le commissaire Jasselin à élucider une atroce affaire criminelle, dont la terrifiante mise en scène marqua durablement les équipes de police. Sur la fin de sa vie il accédera à une certaine sérénité, et n'émettra plus que des murmures. L'art, l'argent, l'amour, le rapport au père, la mort, le travail, la France devenue un paradis touristique sont quelques-uns des thèmes de ce roman, résolument classique et ouvertement moderne. Bookseller Inventory # 001060
Book Description FLAMMARION. Paperback. Book Condition: NEW. FLAMMARION (03/09/2010) Weight: 424g. / 0.93 lbs Binding Paperback Great Customer Service!. Bookseller Inventory # 9782081246331
Book Description Flammarion, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P112081246333