Houllebecq's searing critique of his native land
FICTION; Submission; By Michel Houellebecq; Translated by Lorin Stein; William Heinemann, €17.50
In Arabic, “Islam” means “submission” – “voluntary submission to God,” with added connotations of wholeness, safety, and peace. The word in English resonates rather differently.
When, in 2004, the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh and the Somali dissident Ayaan Hirsi Ali released a short polemical film about the treatment of women in the Islamic world, they called it Submission. Their intention was clear: “submission”, in English, is a posture...
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