Saturday, 9 January 2016
One Weed, Two Reads
Meanwhile, I find myself with more reading time than I expected on this holiday, and am reading in tandem Flannery O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away (her second and final novel) and Michel Houellebecq's Submission (his latest). An unlikely pairing on the face of it, but both are works of fiercely individual imagination that make no concessions or compromises - take it or leave it (and many, understandably, find both writers too strong meat). O'Connor's God-soaked world and Houellebecq's God-abandoned one are equally absolute; there is no way out of either. Oddly, however, religion does find its way into Submission, which is in its typically perverse way a kind of acknowledgment of the inevitable 'return of religion' - this time in the form of the near-future Islamisation of France. It's a fascinating book, and, as always with Houellebecq, horribly readable. I shall probably have more to say when I've finished it.
And I saw another Monarch in Central Park.