Tegen de wereld, tegen het leven. Over de verwantschap tussen Michel Houellebecq en Arnon Grunberg

Sabine van Wesemael


Critics often maintain that Arnon Grunberg is the Dutch equal of the widely read French author Michel Houellebecq. The aim of this article is to clarify this equality by analysing the relationship of both writers with postmodernism. The Dutch professor Thomas Vaessens recently published De revanche van de roman, a study on what he calls late postmodernism and in which he claims that writers like Grunberg, Februari and Zwagerman finish with postmodern ironic relativism by participating in the public debate. I agree with Vaessens that the position of these contemporary writers is an unstable one. Michel Houellebecq as well as Arnon Grunberg reject the experimental formalism of postmodern literature but at the same time their work is still strongly permeated by postmodern ideas and conceptions.

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© Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde | ISSN (print): 0040-7550 | eISSN (online): 2212-0521