The Inventory of Martin Rehof

The Inventory of Martin Rehof

The Inventory Series is an ever-growing stockhouse of information and inspiration. An appreciation of all things creative. A place where creative professionals share resources for discovery and inspiration: the tools of creation.

Michel Houellebecq

Michel Houellebecq has been an influence on me lately. His books are sort of deconstructed novels that don’t follow any of the conventional rules of the genre. The main protagonist is usually someone depressed, with no aspirations, which has the effect that nothing really "happens" in his books — there’s usually no real plot. It’s like he’s chosen to write a story, only to show you that the novel, in it’s conventional form, can’t be authentically written today. For this reason, his books are in some ways magisterially boring, but also, for similar reasons, extremely funny (his style of combining depression and humor is quite unique). And on top of that there’s also usually a genuine cultural critique aimed at neoliberal capitalism underlying all of the meaninglessness he portrays.

Overall, I think what inspires me about him is his ability to manifest a critique of contemporary culture by collapsing the novel as a medium from the inside. It’s made me more self-aware about the medium I write through myself, and perhaps more willing to be critically inclined towards it.

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