On the way back to Amsterdam, I finished my reading of Michel Houellebecq’s ‘The map and the territory’. Definitely the best novel I read last year. Again an incisive description of the cogs that contribute to the functioning of our society. But instead of hope, like in ‘Atomised’, the ‘downward forces’ gain the upper hand in this book. These forces put an end to the world as narrative (the world …of novels & films, but more important, the identity of the world as narrative I assume). What remains is the world as parataxis. How should I live in the world as parataxis? Instructive in this respect is Houellebecq’s description of the protagonist of the book – Jed Martin – as a man who was never able to completely surrender to life.