Sunday, January 4, 2009


"The second Ministry representative is a middle-aged man with a fringe of beard, like the fearsome tutors in The Famous Five … He is a theoretician. His interventions will be so many calls to order concerning the importance of methodology and, more generally, of reflection prior to action. At this juncture I don't see why: the software is already paid for, there's no more need to reflect, but I refrain from saying so. I immediately get the feeling he doesn't like me. How can I gain his love? I decide that on several occasions in the morning I will support his interventions with a slightly stupid expression of admiration, as if he'd suddenly opened up astonishing perspectives for me, full of wisdom and breadth. He must, in the normal course of things, conclude from this that I am a young man of goodwill, ready to engage myself under his orders in the proper direction."

— Michel Houellebecq, Whatever, trans. Paul Hammond, 32-33