Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the influence of Schopenhauer on the contemporary French author Michel Houellebecq. After surveying some biographical similarities between the two authors, it considers the significance of Schopenhauer’s thought, both his metaphysics of the Will and his moral philosophy, for Houellebecq’s literature. It is shown how Houellebecq reaffirms Schopenhauer’s Buddhistic diagnosis of “life as suffering,” but goes further to imagine possible worlds where the human condition has been overcome by techno-scientific interventions. In doing so, Houellebecq carries out a devastating critique of the present age from the standpoint of various post-human futures. Another theme explored is the omnipresence of desire and the sexual impulse with which both Schopenhauer and Houellebecq are deeply preoccupied.

Keywords: Schopenhauer, Houellebecq, Buddhism, post-humanism, science, technology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.