“Platform” by Michel Houellebecq


Reading Houellebecq, one can never be indifferent to his opinion, it`s a bipolar relationship of admiration or condemnation. His point of view is perplexed. To get a clear vision of his philosophy I needed to familiarize myself in deep with his works. The nuances of his novels are strikingly depressive, the characters – introvert loners, whose existence is defined by their sexual necessity. The pages are saturated with scenes of sexual conduction, in which vulgarity is manifested, yet non offensive. Well, at least, I think so.

“Platform” reminds me a lot of “The Stranger” by Albert Camus. The leading characters of both novels share identical social status, with the sole difference that Michel (“Platform”) is more contemporary than Mersault (“The Stranger”), two lonely bureaucrats that met love in the middle of their apathetic existence. Both characters pave similar paths of solitude, hope and decadence.

To end the short parallel between the novels, I would not conceal that the philosophic complexity of “Platform” embedded me with the impression that “The Stranger” was a fairytale.

In “Platform” one sinks. Houellebecq possesses the genius ability to describe quite accurately  the gray shades of modern society. I praise the organic way that he reveals the nature of sex tourism – the hedonistic aspect of it reflecting through the scenes of intimacy. Even after all the lust I did not feel violated. Amongst the lust there is love – tender love, reviving and unconditional.

The driving force of pleasure in the storyline coexists with  ideas of women’s emancipation, economic and political relations in corporate business, the relation between suffering and sexual extravagance and obvious despise of Islam.

Michel Houellebecq carefully sifts out the lumps of modern society through the sieve of his philosophical ideology and is  skillfully unveiling them. His findings highlight the unspoken, yet obvious dark sides of contemporary Western lifestyle. The author has no inhibitions in his outlook on life and I find this to be the reason why his works аrе scandalously frank.


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