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Michel HouellebecqHumanity and its Aftermath$
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Douglas Morrey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318610

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318610.001.0001

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Work and Leisure

Work and Leisure

Chapter:
(p.65) Chapter Two Work and Leisure
Source:
Michel Houellebecq
Author(s):

Douglas Morrey

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846318610.003.0003

Through the study of Plateforme (2001) and La Carte et le territoire (2010), this chapter presents Houellebecq as a singularly incisive analyst of the role of work in contemporary western culture. These novels suggest both that work has overwhelmed the lives and identities of westerners, yet at the same time that work continues to provide a source of dignity and pride, a question explored through the complex relationship between work and art in La Carte et le territoire. Meanwhile, the ambiguous value of leisure is interrogated through the satirical portrait of the tourist industry in both novels, examining the ways in which the culture of tourism seeks to commodify our time and our pleasure, just as it reifies and exploits national and regional identities.

Keywords:   Plateforme/Platform, La Carte et le territoire/The Map and the Territory, Work, Tourism, Sex tourism, Globalisation

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