A nameless IT specialist, employed by a Parisian software company, goes to the provinces on a business trip. He describes precisely and with captivating rationally the stages of his isolation, "the progressive extinction of all human relationships", his disgust, his self-hatred – and the lust and desperation with which his sexually frustrated travel companion and colleague Tisserand regards the world and the female body. On Christmas Eve the situation escalates. After going to a disco, the two follow a young couple into the dunes...
"Economic liberalism is the extended battle zone, i.e. it applies to all age groups and social classes. Likewise, sexual liberalism means the expansion of the combat zone, and therefore its extension to all ages and social classes," writes Houellebecq in his novel debut. Whatever became a cult book overnight, and was both unreservedly praised and controversially fought over, first in France, and since 1999 also in Germany. Today, it is regarded as a trailblazing novel. Its title (in French and German) has become axiomatic: the battle zone is a synonym for the landscapes of the soul in our society.
Stage design Michael Graessner
Lighting Robert Grauel
8 September 2019