“They Hate Me More Than I Hate Them” — Michel Houellebecq on Critics and the Press

INTERVIEWER

What about your critics? Can you just sum up briefly what you hold against the French press?

HOUELLEBECQ

First of all, they hate me more than I hate them. What I do reproach them for isn’t bad reviews. It is that they talk about things having nothing to do with my books—my mother or my tax exile—and that they caricature me so that I’ve become a symbol of so many unpleasant things—cynicism, nihilism, misogyny. People have stopped reading my books because they’ve already got their idea about me. To some degree of course, that’s true for everyone. After two or three novels, a writer can’t expect to be read. The critics have made up their minds.

From his Paris Review interview.

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