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El mapa i el territori (2010)

de Michel Houellebecq

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

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1,4195010,074 (3.74)57
Having made his name with an exhibition of photographs of Michelin roadmaps - beautiful works that won praise from every corner of the art world - Jed Martin is now emerging from a ten-year hiatus. And he has had some good news. It has nothing to do with his broken boiler, the approach of another lamentably awkward annual Christmas dinner with his father or the memory of his doomed love affair with the beautiful Olga. It is that, for his new exhibition, he has secured the involvement of none other than the French novelist Michel Houellebecq. The great writer has agreed to write the text for the exhibition guide, for which he will be paid handsomely and also have his portrait painted by Jed. The exhibition - 'Professions', a series of portraits of ordinary and extraordinary people at work - brings Jed new levels of global fame. Yet his boiler is still broken, his ailing father flirts with oblivion and, worse still, he is contacted by one Inspector Jasselin, who requests his assistance in solving an unspeakable, atrocious and gruesome crime. Art, money, fathers, sons, death, love and the transformation of France into a tourist paradise come together to create a daringly playful and original twist on the contemporary novel from a modern master of the form.… (més)
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» Mira també 57 mencions

Anglès (25)  Francès (11)  Neerlandès (6)  Castellà (3)  Italià (2)  Alemany (1)  Danès (1)  Hebreu (1)  Totes les llengües (50)
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Both of the Houellebecq books I've read have been great, filled with a sort of resigned spirit of detachment yet very funny at the same time. I liked this one slightly more than The Elementary Particles though; Horace Walpole's famous line of "This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel" could have been its epigram (though its actual epigram of "The world is weary of me - and I am weary of it" is quite fitting as well). I wouldn't call his writing style "typically French" or anything, since he certainly doesn't have the same worldview that the other French authors I've read have, yet his subtle brand of humor seems perfectly suited to the changing French landscape that he explores here, as well as his other themes of abstraction and misanthropy.

I wasn't sure if the title was a reference to the famous map-territory relationship in Borges' story "On Exactitude in Science" or not - there's a later passage on p. 73 where a Chinese art reviewer attempts to catalog the main character's works that reminds me somewhat of the ancient Chinese animal classification scheme in the other Borges story "Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge's Taxonomy", but it could just be coincidence or a translation quirk. Anyway, the title is perfect because the relationship between things and their representations is the central idea of the novel, from the way protagonist Jed Martin's paintings of Michelin road atlases and famous people (and his earlier photographs of industrial objects) get valorized to the discussions of his sometime-girlfriend Olga and her job at Michelin of steering tourists to the "authentic France" via online reviews of hotels which may or may not be authentic at all. Houellebecq has some great passages discussing authenticity in that respect, as when the only people still interested in traditional French culture are foreign tourists, or even the entire concept of a painter getting famous by taking pictures of the French equivalent of a Rand McNally road map.

But the book is really moving overall, and the concept parts are secondary to the story. Jed is a somewhat numb, anhedonic fellow, but Houellebecq is able to bring out real feeling and tragedy in this guy's life. His relationship with Olga is extremely sad, a singular love affair that never lived up to its potential, yet it doesn't feel self-pitying or tear-jerking. Similarly, the stretch on p. 135 where his father talks about his failed childhood efforts to build nests for swallows and how that influenced his architectural career is magnificent, even when put up against the other strong father-son scenes.

One of the most remarked-on features of the book is of course Houellebecq's decision to write himself into the novel. It doesn't feel self-indulgent or Clive Cussler-ish at all - surely no writer looking to preen would treat himself as poorly as Houellebecq does his alter ego here - it's done to help Houellebecq get in some jabs at the Parisian literary scene (the real Houellebecq is an expatriate also) and also to bring into sharp relief the protagonist's loneliness, which is partly due to his own character and partly due to the culture he lives in. In the book France is past its glory days, becoming more and more a hollowed-out simulacrum of itself in order to please tourists, and there's a theme of capitalism as alienator and atomizer, although the book's ruminations are never polemical or vulgar-Marxist. In fact there is a great stretch of writing discussing one of Jed's paintings on p. 117 featuring Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as two different heroic faces of capitalism that could never have been written by a lazy or reactionary writer. That that bit was from an introduction to Jed's works written by the novel-Houellebecq makes it even more thoughtful in context.

Again, though, this is really much more of a human novel than anything ideological in the strict sense. The humorous parts - a surprising amount; the book is actually very funny overall, such whenever a character starts thinking about gadgets or supermarkets - battle with the stretches of pathos in Jed's life, until Houellebecq ends the novel seemingly perfectly, on exactly the right graceful note: "The work that occupied the last years of Jed Martin's life can thus be seen - and this is the first interpretation that springs to mind - as a nostalgic meditation on the end of the Industrial Age in Europe, and, more generally, on the perishable and transitory nature of any human industry. This interpretation is, however, inadequate when one tries to make sense of the unease that grips us on seeing those pathetic Playmobil-type little figurines, lost in the middle of an abstract and immense futurist city, a city which itself crumbles and falls apart, then seems gradually to be scattered across the immense vegetation extending to infinity... They sink and seem for an instant to put up a struggle, before being suffocated by the superimposed layers of plants. Then everything becomes calm. There remains only the grass swaying in the wind. The triumph of vegetation is total." ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
Exceptional and funny, Houllebecq tells a story about post-millennium life through stinging satire about the art world (via advertising, modernity and the end of rural life). An absolute treat of a book; a little slow in the second half but the weight of the writing hold it together throughout. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
”La carte et le territoire” de Michel Houellebecq suit Jed Martin, photographe et peintre, ses amours, ses échecs, ses succès, et son évolution dans le milieu artistique français où il côtoie, entre autres, Frédéric Beigbeder et... Michel Houellebecq. Jeu de miroir, mise en scène, mise en abîme, un roman plein d’autodérision et de sarcasmes, qui mêle images du père, figure de l’artiste, critique sociale et culturelle et description désenchantée de la solitude contemporaine. ( )
  Steph. | May 25, 2019 |
The third section initially gave me pause. It could've been mishandled. I had previously read a review in the UK press and was aware of this turn. The novel as with most of Houellebecq's other work is a chilling portrait of our reality, our naked humanity isn't what we'd hope for, it is slithering that way regardless. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
I went into this blind, suckered in by a Chip Kidd cover and that vaguely guilty feeling I get when I haven't read a 'new' new book in some time. I wasn't aware of Houellebecq's reputation, or the buzz surrounding this particular book. Both points worked in my favor.

At first 'The Map and the Territory' was simply a well-written, elegant depiction of an artist's development and, being French, ennui, as the novel extends into the faded but realistic future.

At first my enjoyment of the novel and the artist, Jed Martin, was attached to Houellebecq's craftsmanship (and the translators), but nothing about the story struck me. Even the post-modern inclusion of himself as a character didn't strike me as so unusual.

But then.

Houellebecq starts the last section of the novel with a scene from which it is impossible to disengage. The novel continues to be serene and poised, but the presence of that scene and the possibility of some conclusion makes the pages fly. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 50 (següent | mostra-les totes)
De kaart en het gebied is niet alleen een intrigerende aanvulling op het sowieso al rijke oeuvre van Houellebecq, het is bovendien een overwegend melancholische, bijwijlen grappige, maar steeds weer scherpe analyse van 's mens eeuwige zoektocht naar zingeving.
afegit per Jozefus | editaKnack, Bart van Loo (May 17, 2017)
 
Das ist vielleicht sein bester Roman! Denn Michel Houellebecq gelingt das Kunststück, eine Satire auf den gegenwärtigen Kunst- und Kulturbetrieb zu schreiben, einen echten Entwicklungsroman dazu, und das alles äußerst selbstironisch, völlig abgeklärt, voller Wärme, ja geradezu komisch.
 
[O]ok na vijf eerdere romans blijft het moeilijk de vinger te leggen op wat nu precies de magie is van Houellebecq. Zijn schrijfstijl is zakelijk, vlak, maar drijft daarmee juist ook de spot met iedere vorm van mooischrijverij. De compositie van zijn romans is doorzichtig, kinderachtig, soms met onhandige perspectiefwisselingen en cliffhangers, maar lijkt daarmee ook de vloer aan te vegen met al die goedwillende schrijvers die graag een gewrocht en intelligent ogend product afleveren. Wat Houellebecq-haters aanzien voor lelijkheid en onvermogen is natuurlijk juist zijn brille.
 

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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Houellebecq, Michelautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Keynäs, VilleTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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De wereld heeft genoeg van mij,
En ik al evenzeer van haar.


Charles d'Orléans
Dedicatòria
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Jeff Koons was net overeind gekomen uit zijn stoel, zijn armen uitgestoken in een enthousiast gebaar.
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De handelswaarde van lijden en dood was groter geworden dan die van genot en seks, dacht Jed, en dat verklaarde waarschijnlijk ook waarom Jeff Koons een paar jaar tevoren door Damien Hirst van de eerste plaats op de mondiale kunstmarkt was verdrongen.
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

Having made his name with an exhibition of photographs of Michelin roadmaps - beautiful works that won praise from every corner of the art world - Jed Martin is now emerging from a ten-year hiatus. And he has had some good news. It has nothing to do with his broken boiler, the approach of another lamentably awkward annual Christmas dinner with his father or the memory of his doomed love affair with the beautiful Olga. It is that, for his new exhibition, he has secured the involvement of none other than the French novelist Michel Houellebecq. The great writer has agreed to write the text for the exhibition guide, for which he will be paid handsomely and also have his portrait painted by Jed. The exhibition - 'Professions', a series of portraits of ordinary and extraordinary people at work - brings Jed new levels of global fame. Yet his boiler is still broken, his ailing father flirts with oblivion and, worse still, he is contacted by one Inspector Jasselin, who requests his assistance in solving an unspeakable, atrocious and gruesome crime. Art, money, fathers, sons, death, love and the transformation of France into a tourist paradise come together to create a daringly playful and original twist on the contemporary novel from a modern master of the form.

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Mitjana: (3.74)
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