Tuesday, February 10, 2015

the last book I ever read (Michel Houellebecq's The Map and the Territory, excerpt ten)

from The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq:

“I know she wasn’t satisfied with our life,” he continued, “but is that sufficient reason for dying? I wasn’t satisfied with my life, either. I confess I was hoping for something more from my career as an architect than building stupid f*cking seaside resorts for dumb tourists, under the control of fundamentally dishonest and almost infinitely vulgar property developers. But, okay, it was work, a routine … Probably she just didn’t like life. What shocked me the most is what the neighbor, whom I’d only just met, told me. She was coming back from her shopping, she had probably just procured the poison—we’ve never known how, by the way. What this woman told me was that she seemed happy, incredibly enthusiastic and happy. She had exactly, she said, the expression of someone who is preparing to go on holiday. It was cyanide, and she must have died almost instantly; I’m absolutely certain she didn’t suffer.”

Then he stopped speaking, and the silence continued for a long time. Jed ended up slightly losing consciousness. He had the vision of immense meadows whose grass was waving in the wind, and the light was that of an eternal spring. When he woke suddenly, his father was still nodding his head and muttering, pursuing a painful internal debate. Jed hesitated; he’d planned a dessert—there were chocolate profiteroles in the fridge. Did he have to take them out? Or did he have to learn more about his mother’s suicide? He had basically almost no memory of her. It was more important for his father, probably. He decided to let the profiteroles wait a little.

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