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Finance FictionsRealism and Psychosis in a Time of Economic Crisis$
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Arne De Boever

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279166

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279166.001.0001

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Michel Houellebecq, Finance Novelist

Michel Houellebecq, Finance Novelist

(p.129) Five Michel Houellebecq, Finance Novelist
Finance Fictions

Arne De Boever

Fordham University Press

From his very first novel Whatever, Houellebecq has taken on the representation of the contemporary economy and asked in particular whether it still allows for a novelistic realism. Those concerns are continued in Houellebecq’s much more recent The Map and the Territory, which once again develops the question of realism in parallel to an investigation into economic value. Exploring this question across visual art (photography and painting) and literature (the novel), and with an emphatic interest in work, industrial objects, and those who produce those objects, The Map and the Territory ultimately reveals itself to be a detective novel that follows the deductive logic of the genre while simultaneously challenging that logic—a challenge that, in the novel, is explicitly formulated in economic terms as well, in other words as a challenge about the predictability of the markets. Thus, The Map and the Territory opens up onto the question of narrative in Meillassoux’s philosophy as discussed in Chapter Four.

Keywords:   detective fiction, finance, Houellebecq, The Map and the Territory, realism, Whatever

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