Villa Vortex and Maurice Dantec

From: lightsearcher1
Date: Fri Dec 19, 2003 7:15 pm
Subject: Villa Vortex and Maurice Dantec

July 14, 2003


Maurice Dantec's new novel, Villa Vortex (in French only) is a stupendous book of over 800 pages, brilliant and obnoxious, exhilarating and exhausting, radical and reactionary—all of this in ways that are difficult to disentangle, or even to describe coherently.

The book starts out (after an introduction in which the narrator informs us that he is already dead) as a kind of police procedural, a cop investigating various gruesome serial killings, against the backdrop of world events from 1989 (the fall of the Berlin Wall) to 2001 (the bombing of the World Trade Center).

The cop has more philosophical ruminations than is usual for a police procedural—way too much Eurocentric whining about the decline of Western Civilization for my taste—but for a while it doesn't seem all that unusual.

But then, as the book proceeds, we get all sorts of unexpected genre shifts, strange discontinuities, and many amazing and wonderful individual passages (I especially loved the chapter where the narrator, strung out on methedrine, is hallucinating on Omaha Beach, where the Allies landed in 1944, thinking about, not only the carnage of that invasion, but of Hiroshima, Nagasaki as well, and beyond World War II of burning oil wells in Kuwait after the first Gulf War, and so on).

After that, there are all sorts of metafictional twists; the narrator comes to think he is really a character in an unwritten novel by a French journalist-photographer who died in Sarajevo covering the Bosnian war; we get more and more paranoid formulations of the narrator's general thesis about the "suicide" of Western Civilization (of which 9/11 is only the confirmation—Dantec sounds a lot like Baudrillard in places, despite his apparent dislike of Baudrillard).

And then—the narrator is killed (as foreshadowed at the start of the book) with over 200 pages left to go; and that's when things really get crazy, as the writing of the book itself is dramatized within the book as a messianic act capable of undoing and inverting history, by means of a comic book science-fiction narrative that combines the visceral experience of video games with theological speculation mixing Maurice Blanchot with the Kabbalah, with the 2nd-century Church Fathers Iranaeus and Origen, and with crackpot theorizing about the mystical powers of the DNA "meta-code."


On one page I will be blown away by the sheer excess of it all, and the weird, unexpected connections Dantec keeps on making; then, on the very next page, I will be irritated by inane rants about the evils of technological domination in the modern world, or about the need to stand firm with America in its fight against international terrorism.

All in all, I'd say that Dantec is taking some very particular gripes he has that are parochially exclusive to France in the 1990s, and blowing them up to world-historical proportions.

I'm also disappointed that Dantec seems to have dumped Deleuze (who was the main philosophical influence on Dantec's previous book, the brilliant, and also apocalyptic, Babylon Babies, which I wrote about earlier), instead, the key philosophical figure here is a French writer I know little about, Raymond Abellio, but who seems to have made a bizarre synthesis between phenomenology, on the one hand, and a Gurdjieff- or Rudolf Steiner-like mysticism, on the other.

(As far as I'm concerned, it's hard to decide which I find more boring, phenomenology or Gurdjieff/Steiner/etc).

In short, Dantec is "too French for his own good" (as Pauline Kael, I believe, once said of Marguerite Duras); in spite of which, Villa Vortex is filled with much that is audacious and wonderful.

(Not to mention that, in the French context, there's a lot to be said for a book that takes, as one of its key allegorical images of evil, the architectural monstrosity that is the Mitterand Library).

= = = = = = = = = = =

An Interview: Maurice G. Dantec - (29 September 2003)

Widely acclaimed author of 'La Sirène Rouge', 'Les Racines du Mal', and 'Babylon Babies', Maurice G. Dantec shook up the French literary establishment with the publication of his diaries in 2 volumes: 'Le Théâtre des opérations: Manuel de survie en Territoire Zéro' ('Theatre of Operations: Survival Guide for Ground Zero') and 'Laboratoire de catastrophe générale' ('Laboratory of Generalized Catastrophe') where he elaborates on his opinions, regarding politics and metaphysics, which are the antithesis of what is politically correct for the Paris Intelligentsia.

The literary critics were out in force for the publication earlier this year of his fourth novel 'Villa Vortex'. Dantec is now judged more for his political views than for his talent as a writer.

Maurice Dantec has been living in Montreal for the last 5 years. He was kind enough to take time out for a short interview with 'Merde in France' for which we are extremely appreciative.

(Thanks to for enabling the contact; English translation of interview by 'Merde in France').

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Do you think we have just witnessed the start of a definitive break between Europe and the US?

Yes, it's obvious, but it must be understood that what has happened - as a result - is also, and foremost, the definitive BREAK within Europe itself.

Between the newcomers to NATO, the ex-popular democracies of Eastern Europe having learned much from their experience with communism, and the neo-kollaboration Franco-Kraut which has learned absolutely nothing from the past, no 'historical compromise' is possible.

There are those who will fight totalitarian Islamism on the side of the free world, and those who have already slipped under the control of the (Arabic) oil kingdoms and Islamic killers, represented by a 'French Council of Islam' -- whose direction is composed of leaders belonging to radical organizations favorable to Sharia law.

Let me quickly remind you of a few figures: in 2002 11% of the French population is Muslim. The middle term projections are: more than double the figure in 15 years, triple in less than 25. The combined effect of demographics and migratory flows (the competent French abandon ship, third world populations flow in, it's pure social Darwinism.

The situation is Herzegovinian and Chiraq King of the Frenchies is riding the wave with 82% of the vote!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Do you believe that the French population is properly informed as to the differences that now separate the US and France?

The French population is brainwashed since at least 1981, the year that Mitterand rose to the throne of Francois-La-Francisque [Ed. Mitterand received the 'francisque' which was the Vichy regime's highest award], along with his 1968 style cultural revolution.

A program of generalized (public media) management, thanks to Propaganda Staffel of the leftists in control of the Press and the Television, stepped up to a decisive level with the second Intifada and 9-11 followed by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Saddamites in Iraq.

From now on, for a French prick (a fucking frogman), the USA is more dangerous than the verminous Al-Qaeda (I refer you to this past Spring's polls).

As you know, the response was immediate, and it was pronounced by Condoleeza Rice: we'll forgive the Russians, we'll forget the Germans, but the Frenchies will pay. Thomas Friedman's editorial in the New York Times, 'Our War with France' is the last nail in the coffin.

The French population is about as well informed as in 1940: at the time it was said that we didn't need to fight wars in order to win them. You know how that turned out.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The American public is not really aware of the hatred directed against the United States by the political and cultural casts in France. What advice would you give to American decision makers with regards to future relations with France?

On the political level: total isolation 'by all means necessary' of the Chiraq-Schroeder consortium.

On the cultural level: let the national Titanic navigate among its icebergs: serial gang rapes, Islamic gangstahs, pedophile literature, bullshit rap music, anti-establishment culture.

On the economic level: boycott EVERYTHING that can be boycotted, in both directions (imports and exports).

Choking the life out of today's French economy with its all sacred 35 hour work week, sub-Sahara standard hospitals, and its civil servant- artist youths, would be as simple as pushing the pillow down on an dehydrated elderly person. Just choose the right color for the pillowcase.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Do you read the French press since the fall of Baghdad and if so, what do you think of its way of presenting events in Iraq?

See above. From Edwy Plenel to J.M. Colombani to Serge July to Moulod Aounit, from Paris-Match to Libération, from the Green Party to the National Front, everyone says the same thing without fail. This is when we see that FREEDOM of PRESS is of no use to a POPULATION of SLAVES.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Religion has always played a very important role within all Presidential administrations in the United States (especially in the adminstrations of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton). Why does the Paris Intelligentsia criticize Bush for his religious beliefs?

Human-Rights-endorsed (French-)Republican Atheism is a secular religion even more intolerant than Islam or Communism, and this didn't start just yesterday in this Jacobin Republic built on the equality of one and all before the guillotine. Everything that evokes our civilization's multi-millennial Judeo-Christian values provokes a rash for our courageous 'Dhimmis'.

I might add that, very soon now, the seal of approval from the head of the Paris Mosque will be required before publishing a novel or a mere biography.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

'Survival Manual for Ground Zero', written in 1999, is a title which has a special meaning for many Americans. Do you have the sentiment that you have written prescient books with 'Survival Manual for Ground Zero' and 'Laboratory of Generalized Catastrophe' which was also finished before 11-9-2001?

There have been many prescient books SINCE 9-11. I wouldn't dare compete on their own territory with the Masters of Scoop, such as Marc-Edouard Nabe. We certainly live in an era of great prophets: Thierry Meyssan, Nick Mamère, the 'entertainers' of the anti- establishment culture such as Zebda. Largely sufficient to send Ezekiel back to Babylon !

To respond seriously to your question, in just a few words: to have seen Vukovar, Sarajevo, and earlier (and later) Beirut, Lebanon ... Knowing how to read a map, and a few books, is largely enough to have just the INTUITION that something FUNDAMENTAL was being prepared, and in the shadows quite obviously.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

How long after 9-11 did you start working on 'Villa Vortex'? [Ed. - English language book review of 'Villa Vortex' from a blogger.]

I started working on 'Villa Vortex' around February-March of 2001. Six months BEFORE 9-11.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Is there an English language translation planned for 'Villa Vortex'?

For the time being, no English language translations of any of my books are 'planned'. I am not Amélie Nothomb or Frédéric Beigbeder, and I am not the author of 'safe' best-sellers. I write with a view towards metaphysics, based on the theories of Reich, Deleuze, Whitehead, the Cabal, and genetical 'metacode', but I am not a 'leftist'.

I do not support Michael Moore, Howard Dean or Sean Penn, and as far as I am concerned a good Palestinian is from the East Bank of the Jordan river. On a cultural level I do not interest anyone on the other side of the 'pond' (now situated South of me) or in Great Britain (now to the other side of the pond for me).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

How do you feel about the new French literary season and they way it has taken inspiration from 9-11?

I have no opinion about the new French literary season. Every September, French writers rehash the same old question: how to talk about Nothingness.

Obviously it's the same problem, only worse, in Quebec.

= = = = = = = = = = = = =


Click to subscribe to anthroposophy_tomorrow

December 2003/January 2004

The Uncle Taz "Anthroposophy Tomorrow" Files

Anthroposophy & Anarchism

Anthroposophy & Scientology

Anthroposophical Morsels

Anthroposophy, Critics, and Controversy

Search this site powered by FreeFind