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Editorial Reviews. Review. A searching and eloquent consideration of one of the definitive bodies of work of our time, Anti-Matter is also a vital essay on the.
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For such a short book, Anti-Matter elegantly makes its case about l'enfant terrible of French letters. Of all the thinkers Jeffery draws upon, the one he gets the most mileage out of is, interestingly, David Foster Wallace, who pops up again and again in these pages. His legendary sincerity intertwines with analysis of Depressive Realism to impressive effect. Lastly, godbless Zer0 Books for publishing things like this.

Jun 02, ehk2 rated it it was ok Shelves: Jeffery notes that "the force and counter-vitality of Houellebecq's writing is rather comforting evidence of literature's continuing ability to resonate in hostile circumstances -which is to say that,at its best, his work manages to feel true in a way that's rare" p.

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He should be Anglo-Saxon. Maybe I am missing smt about Papa?! Returning to those quotations: For instance, on page 77, Jeffery quotes a paragraph from Pascal, which I am sure I have also read before in Houellebecq's book with BHL or in an article about his work.

Of course, that might seem irrelevant for an essay form; and honesty is not guaranteed for all of us. Or does he take all those quotations from here or a specialised collection? Feb 26, Tobias rated it really liked it. Trenchant essay that highlights the tensions in Houellebecq's work, namely what's the point of producing art or doing anything really if his pessimistic vision of life - nothing matters in a cold, indifferent universe - is true. Also draws in David Foster Wallace as another writer who grappled with the same tensions but came out in a different place.

Anti-Matter: Michel Houellebecq and Depressive Realism by Ben Jeffery

In this light, DFW looks not unlike Camus, an "existential humanist" who saw the nature of reality and rejected the old authorities that provided Trenchant essay that highlights the tensions in Houellebecq's work, namely what's the point of producing art or doing anything really if his pessimistic vision of life - nothing matters in a cold, indifferent universe - is true. In this light, DFW looks not unlike Camus, an "existential humanist" who saw the nature of reality and rejected the old authorities that provided meaning but still sought to find a new source of meaning.

Jul 28, Christopher Condit rated it it was ok. Along the way, most of his energy is spent trashing The Possibility of an Island, which I consider H's best novel. Portions skimmed, when he drifted too far off topic.

Not recommended unless you are writing a thesis on H. May 26, Johan Kronquist rated it really liked it. Sharp and short on Houellebecq, DFW et al , art, criticism, existance and the futility of life. Jun 24, Rutger rated it it was amazing. Apr 21, Shauna rated it it was amazing.

Anti-Matter:

Wow, this is such a cool little book. Sort of an argument against cynicism, but for a pessimism kept in check by the obviousness that pessimism itself is a form of logical inconsistency. It's pointing out the glaring contradiction in "depressive realist" novelist Michel Houellebecq's books: Ben Jeffery whom I'd never heard of, but I guess he's as obsessed with Houellebecq as I am say Wow, this is such a cool little book. Ben Jeffery whom I'd never heard of, but I guess he's as obsessed with Houellebecq as I am says there's a disparity between what Houellebecq writes, and that he writes, and that Houellebecq is fully aware of this.

We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don't care to know any more.

In lots of ways , cynicism and by extension, pessimism about art is not only very easy now, it's reasonable. Ben Jeffery Ben Jeffery lives in Chicago. His writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement and the Guardian.


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It's a critical work on what I take to be the other side of the conversation, namely writers like Jean Philippe Toussaint and Jean Echenoz. It's a fantastic read. Comments are open to registered bookforum. Please login to post. Don't have an account yet? Please click here to register for a free account.