Foreign Food, Foreign Flesh: Apathetic Anthropophagy and Racial Melancholia in Houellebecq’s Submission


This article explores the cannibalistic dimensions of racial disgust and desire in Michel Houellebecq’s Submission. Situated within broader discourses of French déclinisme, Submission offers a melancholic portrait of white nostalgia. Through the tastes and consumptive practices of his characters, Houellebecq depicts white identification as dependent on an ambivalent relationship to corporeal difference. Paying close attention to the mouth’s dual function as a site of ontological triage (sorting out the human from the non-human, the edible from the inedible) and ontological transformation (converting dead matter into living flesh), I argue that cannibalist desire is integral to white nationalist anxiety.

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