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Trump presidency 'good news' for the world, says controversial French author Houellebecq

AFP Archives | Michel Houellebecq in Frankfurt in October 2017. The controversial author has penned an article in praise of Donald Trump in Harper's Magazine.

Controversial French author Michel Houellebecq has again raised eyebrows with a quasi defense of the US president. Under Donald Trump, "America is no longer the world’s leading power," he said, adding: This is "good news for the rest of the world".

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Tension-stirring French writer Michel Houellebecq on Thursday published a defense of US President Donald Trump, calling him "one of the best American presidents I've ever seen."

In the essay printed in Harper's Magazine, a New York-based monthly, Houellebecq praises Trump for his protectionist trade policies, his disdain for the European Union and his willingness to negotiate with iron-handed leaders like Russia's Vladimir Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

"It seems that President Trump has even managed to tame the North Korean madman; I found this feat positively classy," Houellebecq wrote in the article translated from French.

While he kicked off by labeling Trump an "appalling clown," the French provocateur also argued enthusiastically that the US president has ushered in the end of American imperialism: "The United States of America is no longer the world's leading power."

"This isn't necessarily bad news for Americans," he wrote. "It's very good news for the rest of the world."

"The Americans are getting off our backs. The Americans are letting us exist."

The author -- whose nihilistic works replete with swingers' clubs, anonymous sex and misogynistic men have earned him global acclaim -- also cheered the Republican leader's threats to cut NATO funding.

"France should leave NATO, but maybe such a step will become pointless if lack of operational funding causes NATO to disappear on its own," he said. "That would be one less thing to worry about, and a new reason to sing the praises of President Trump."

The treatise drew mostly eye rolls on social media: "Michel Houellebecq liking Donald Trump is the least controversial position Michel Houellebecq has ever taken," tweeted New Yorker writer Alexandra Schwartz.

"You would have to know literally nothing about him to be scandalized by this."

Houellebecq's last novel triggered furor. In "Submission" he imagined the election of a moderate Islamist as president of France in 2022 -- a controversial tome published the same day jihadists attacked the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris in January 2015, killing 12 people including one of the writer's closest friends.

He has since said he would "stop writing political books." His next novel titled "Serotonin," slated for publication next month, is about love.

Despite commending Trump for his first two years in office, Houellebecq admitted he also empathized "with the shame many Americans (and not only 'New York intellectuals') feel."

"On the personal level, he is, of course, pretty repulsive."

But he concluded that "you have to get used to the idea, worthy American people: in the final analysis, maybe Donald Trump will have been a necessary ordeal for you."

"And you'll always be welcome as tourists."

(AFP)

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