February 22, 2012
"The Sushi Warehouse in Roissy 2E offered an exceptional range of Norwegian mineral waters. Jed opted for the Husqvarna, a water from the center of Norway, which sparkled discreetly. It was extremely pure — although, in reality, no more than the others. All these mineral waters distinguished themselves only by the sparkling, a slightly different texture in the mouth; none of them were salty or ferruginous; the basic point of Norwegian mineral waters seemed to be moderation. Subtle hedonists, these Norwegians, thought Jed as he bought his Husqvarna; it was pleasant, he thought again, that so many different forms of purity could exist."

Michel Houellebecq’s market analysis from The Map and the Territory, winner of France’s Prix Goncourt literary prize in 2010. 

After a short trip to Japan and Korea, I return home to really notice how one of life’s basic necessities can be marketed and sold at $3.50AUD+ for 600 mls. Is this not a modern rout to which we are held prisoners of branding and convenience?

The Map and the Territory is a joy to read despite it’s doom and gloom, decline of the West perspective from my favourite writer and stylist Michel Houellebecq. I highly recommend this piece of accessible literature, for Houellebecq is a master commentator/cynic about they way we live our lives post-2010. He is known to be a misogynist and his female characters are always two-dimensional objects that comply with his own and many a male fantasy, but this is not to be the focal point of his work. Read this book if you want a very clever and relevant commentary/parody of the art world, an absurd view on technology and consumerism, the death of tradition and a return to the fundamentals of nature. Classic Houellebecq for the newly and already acquainted.

— From Melbourne, thoroughly engaged.

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