As the world lauds France's dangerously brave commitment to free speech, another test of it arises: Michel Houellebecq's dystopian fantasy about France going Islamic in the near future: Is he xenophobic or prophetic? The UK's right-wing Telegraph sounds approving. I'm reserving judgment until I read the English edition, coming in September.
In 2020, Houellebecq told the not-unfriendly Paris Review:
"I've always liked Balzac's very insulting statement that the only purpose of the novel is to show the disasters produced by the changing of values. He's exaggerating in an amusing way. But that's what I do: I show the disasters produced by the liberalization of values."