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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

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