David Sexton

Michel Houellebecq may be honoured by the French establishment, but he’s no fan of Europe

The Continent has no common language, values or interests – ‘in short, Europe doesn’t exist’ – he says in one of many provocative essays

Michel Houellebecq. [Getty Images]

For many years, Michel Houellebecq was patronised by the French literary establishment as an upstart, what with his background in agronomy rather than literature, his miserable demeanour, his predilection for science fiction and his gift for unyieldingly saying the unsayable, especially about relations between the sexes.

That’s all changed now.

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