Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don’t care to know any more. Humanity, such as it is, inspires only an attenuated curiosity in us. All those prodigiously refined ‘notations’, ‘situations’, anecdotes . . . All they do, once the book has been set aside, is reinforce the slight revulsion that is already adequately nourished by any one of our ‘real life’ days.
Houellebecq, from his book on Lovecraft