& Recently . . .

Doing Our Part

Y.P.R. faithful, We’re rarely serious (ask our parents, bosses, wives, fiancées, roommates and the people at Starbucks who correct us when we insist upon ordering a “large” coffee rather than bow to their needlessly complicated coffee-ordering nomenclature), but there are…

Polish Fact

The 16 Voivodships (województwa)
Greater Poland Voivodship (Wielkopolskie),
Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodship (Kujawsko-Pomorskie),
Lesser Poland Voivodship (Ma³opolskie),
Lodz Voivodship (£ódzkie),
Lower Silesian Voivodship (Dolnoœl¹skie),
Lublin Voivodship (Lubelskie),
Lubusz Voivodship (Lubuskie),
Masovian Voivodship (Mazowieckie),
Opole Voivodship (Opolskie),
Subcarpathian Voivodship (Podkarpackie),
Podlasie Voivodship (Podlaskie),
Pomeranian Voivodship (Pomorskie),
Swietokrzyskie Voivodship (Œwiêtokrzyskie),
Silesian Voivodship (Œl¹skie),
Warmian-Masurian Voivodship (Warmiñsko-Mazurskie),
West Pomeranian Voivodship (Zachodniopomorskie)

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Monday, September 12, 2005   |    Non-Fiction

How You Say, “Michel”?


“For the new novel, however, having paid Mr. Houellebecq (pronounced WELL-beck) a reported $1.2 million advance, his publisher, Éditions Fayard, has taken no chances.”

The French Still Obsess Over Novelist of Despair” by Alan Riding, The New York Times, Sept. 9, 2005

“Houellebecq (pronounced wellbeck) may be the only writer alive to have been accused of being a Stalinist and a Nazi, not to mention a sex maniac and a drunk.”

L’Étranger in a Strange Land: Michel Houellebecq’s Weekend in L.A.” by Brendan Bernhard, L.A. Weekly, June 24, 2005

“Mr Houellebecq (pronounced Wellbeck) and Benny Hill would probably have got on well, since they are both represented as reactionary misogynists.”

Calling Islam Stupid Lands Author in Court” by Paul Webster, The Guardian, September 18, 2002

“Even his name is deceptive: it is pronounced “Welbeck”, which sounds English enough.”

English by Instinct” by Nicholas Blincoe, Telegraph, July 7, 2003

“After all, Houellebecq (pronounced “Well-beck”) makes disparaging remarks about Muslims. And Americans. And Europeans. And Asians. And Africans. And Latin Americans. And Russians. And Chinese. And artists, culture, politics, history, civilization, tourists, health faddists, leftists, rightists, capitalism, socialism, consumerism, corporations, religion, sexual liberation … did I leave anything out?”

One Nasty Frenchman” by Alan Bisbort, Hartford Advocate, July 31, 2003

“Just over a year ago, BBC Bristol, in the shape of arts producer Louise Wardle, came up with the rather brilliant idea of making a television documentary about Michel Houellebecq (pronounced Wellbeck), the French novelist whose books, Whatever (1994) and Atomised (1998), had, in Wardle’s words, ‘stunned a liberal establishment who didn’t know how to take him’.”

The Man Can’t Help It” by Suzie Mackenzie, The Guardian, Saturday August 31, 2002

“The colour applied by Houellebecq—the name is pronounced, of course, like my late grandmother’s telephone exchange, WELbeck—is more lurid.”

Unblinking, Even for a Second” by Frederic Raphael, The Spectator, Sept. 14, 2002

“Last August, Houellebecq (pronounced WELL-beck) published another novel, Platform, and gave an interview to a French literary magazine in which he called Islam ‘the stupidest religion’.”

The Close Reader: The Dark Side of France” by Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times, June 2, 2002

“In France, Houellebecq (pronounced WELL-beck) is famous for being a lot of things.”

Le Provocateur” by Emily Eakin, The New York Times Magazine, September 10, 2000

“Houellebecq (pronounced “Welbeck,” or “near enough”) is, according to some sources, a depressive, even disturbed, figure.”

Astrophysics, Orgies and Obliteration” by Bradley Winterton, Taipei Times, Sept. 15, 2002

“What the French writer Michel Houellebecq (pronounced Well-beck, by all reports) has in common with most of the people in all of these groups is very little.”

The Mooing of the Ruminant” by Sam Lipsyte, The Believer, September 2003

“For a writer whose novels cut across many genre forms to make an utterly unique and, according to The New York Times, “deeply repugnant” impression, Houellebecq (pronounced Wellbeck) looks about as dangerous as a deck of cards.”

“Offensive, Provocative, Humorous: His work is all that, but don’t ask Michel Houellebecq to discuss it.” by Reyhan Harmanci, San Francisco Chronicle, June 1, 2005

“It is a deeply repugnant read.”

Unsparing Case Studies of Humanity’s Vileness” by Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times, November 10, 2000