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Planet YouPorn: Pornography, Worlding, and Banal Globalization in Michel Houellebecq’s Work

Authors
  • marcus, gustaf
Publication Date
Mar 30, 2023
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/h12020031
OAI: oai:mdpi.com:/2076-0787/12/2/31/
Source
MDPI
Keywords
Language
English
License
Green
External links

Abstract

This article studies mediated erotic content, especially pornography, as a form of worlding in Michel Houellebecq’s work. Whereas love creates a space of alterity, pornography paradoxically combines the most intimate spatiality of the body with ever-expanding technological systems and global forms of mediation. This short-circuiting of space points to a new sense of being in the world, which is studied in selected passages from the novels La Possibilité d’une île and Soumission, as well as in the essay “Prise de contrôle sur Numéris.” With reference to Ulrich Beck’s description of “banal cosmopolitanism,” I argue that otherness is either reduced to free-floating objects of consumption or to an experience of absence in these texts. Furthermore, this duality is refracted as two “reflexively” interwoven discourses or voices in the work. One is associated with prose and with the bringing of the world to the body of the subject, and the other with poetry and the dissolution of the body into the space of the world.

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