Transcendence and Immanence in Michel Houellebecq’s Les Particules élémentaires

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Juxtaposing Beauvoir’s view of sexual difference in The Second Sex with Michel Houellebecq’s representation of a flailing masculine hegemony in Les Particules élémentaires (Atomised/The Elementary Particles) elucidates how the novel’s main protagonists, Bruno and Michel, fall from transcendence to immanence as they navigate new performances of masculinity that are not anchored in traditional virile models. This article examines how this degradation of self occurs and how it can be read through the actions of the main protagonists of Atomised.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-246
Number of pages20
JournalSimone de Beauvoir Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 10 2022


  • Michel Houellebecq
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • degradation
  • immanence
  • masculinity
  • patriarchy
  • transcendence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • History
  • Gender Studies


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