November 28, 2006
Between the two extremes is arguably his finest work Songs From A Room, an elegiac existential album bound together by a strange timeless bohemian atmosphere, songs that sound like they could have been sung in the fin-de-siecle bars of Montmartre back when the world was black and white. Detached from what was going on to the west his work took on an appealing outsider quality. There are no clumsy protest songs or embarrassing flower people nonsense in Cohen’s Sixties works precisely because, to all intents and purposes, he was in another century when he began to write them. You can hear in the maturity and grace of his lines that he has lived and that he has forged a certain wisdom far enough from the whirlwind. Darran Anderson on Leonard Cohen.
November 21, 2006
As a Lovecraftian protagonist sifts through press clippings and and deciphers the hieroglyphics to approach the horrible truth, so Houellebecq reads through the letters and the ‘great texts’ themselves, through the hideous sense of dread and peril, through Lovecraft’s love of strangeness and folklore, and meets the men driven by their zeal to madness (or near madness). Thus, the wild hills of Vermont, “the outpost of a frightful cosmic race,” seem more close in this ‘new dark age,’ and Lovecraft, the perfect posterboy for Houellebecq’s distaste for mankind. Susan Tomaselli reviews Michel Houellebecq's H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life.