Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Guénon mentioned in Houellebecq's new novel

The two bottom shelves were full of bound photocopies. These were dissertations from various European universities. As I browsed the titles, my eye was drawn to a philosophy dissertation, presented at the Catholic University of Loivain-la-Neuve, entitled "René Guénon: Reader of Nietzche," by Robert Rediger. I was just pulling it from the shelf from Rediger came back into the room. I jumped, as if I'd been caught doing something wrong, and tried to slip it back in place. He walked over to me, smiling. "Don't worry, there are no secrets here. And besides, why shouldn't you be curious about the contents of a bookshelf? For a man like you, that's almost a professional duty."
Coming closer, he saw the title. "Ah, you've found my dissertation." He shook his head. "They gave me my doctorate, but it wasn't much of a thesis. Nothing like yours, anyways. My reading was, as they say, selective. In retrospect, I don't think Guénon was influenced b Nietzche especially. His rejection of the modern world was just as vehement as Nietzche's, but it had radically different sources."
-Michel Houellebecq, Submission, pgs. 199-200.

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