• Michel Houellebecq: The Elementary Particles


    Some years ago, when I had just finished reading The Elementary Particles, a friend of mine who hadn’t slept much for two weeks because of a flu, told me she had read about a dozen books and wondered how many books she could have read if she hadn’t smoked so much dope all her life. I have read many books and I often wonder how much I could have lived if I hadn’t read so much. In fact reading and work in general have often been an escape, or rather a substitute for what I wanted to do but couldn’t or didn’t dare to. I enjoyed almost all the books I’ve read, it has greatly enriched my life, but what life I often wonder? And in the end what does all the knowledge I have acquired through years of study buy me?