• Welcome to the website of the French Institute of South Africa!

  • Bienvenue sur le site de l'Institut Français d'Afrique du Sud !

"The Map and the Territory", Michel Houellebecq's last novel, waits for you at Dibuka in French and English!

Michel Houellebecq embodies a strange paradox among French contemporary writers. Hated and despised by artistic elites  for his alleged "lack of style" and "intellectual void" - he even published a book on the topic called "Public Enemies", along with Bernard-Henri Levi, another controversial figure - he remains, novel after novel, a best-selling author in France and abroad. This contradictory fate finally seemed to turn for the better in 2010 when the writer was awarded the prestigious Prix Goncourt for "The Map and the Territory", an original, bitter-sweet novel that has just hit the shelves of Dibuka (Johannesburg) in both French and English.

The book's main character is Jed Martin, a famous painter renowned among other things for his "tributes to human labour". His works bear names such as "The Palo Alto conversation", where Steve Jobs and Bill Gates discuss the future of the computer science, or "Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst sharing the art market", where the two contemporary masters evoke their respective clients. Despite his fame and fortune, Jed cannot help to feel unsatisfied about life - but, as a genuine Houellebecq's character, cannot explain why. His father death and other minor events will inexorably encourage Jed to think about his past and reconsider his present...

Houellebecq is at his best here, writing in his inimitable style made of detachment and irony counterbalanced by subtle touches of brief but always pertinent philosophical remarks. "The Map and the Territory" is a book about art, money and death set in a contemporary France reduced to an open-air museum ; a must-read for any one wishing to have fun - and, incidentally, to get to know one of France's best contemporary writer.

 

Books - Dibuka

  • donation-biblionef-RATP-201
    Dibuka

    Dibuka receives books from the Fondation RATP and the Biblionef association

    Thanks to the Fondation RATP, also known as the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens which is a state-owned public transport operator headquartered in Paris, France, the Biblionef association, a book donation non-profit organisation based in France and the French Institute of South Africa, Media… Read more
  • Dibuka

    The Rentrée Littéraire Comes to Dibuka!

    Discover a selection of books from the Rentrée Litteraire at Dibuka Library, the multimedia portal to French culture in Johannesburg. For the uninitiated the Rentrée Littérraire is the period of the year in France between August and November when publishing houses release most of their books as it… Read more
  • Dibuka

    Dibuka Library: Hundreds of New Books For All Ages

    What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is… Read more

Opening Hours

Monday: closed
Tuesday - Wednesday:  
9.30 - 12.30 | 14.00 - 19.30
Thursday:
8.30 - 12.30 | 14.00 - 19.30
Friday:
9.30 - 12.30 | 14.00 - 18.00
Saturday:
9.30 - 13.30

Contact

Tel. (+27) 11 646 1115
Fax. (+27) 11 646 1128

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Frenchlinks.sa.logo

According to your personal taste and interests, Frenchlinks helps you get in touch with the French speaking community and agencies in South Africa and Lesotho. Learn more...

Littératures africaines

2013-panorama-litt

Téléchargez le livret au format PDF en haute définition ou en basse définition