“I asked Houellebecq if Europe’s status as a largely post-religious society was a major factor in his writing. “Yes. I think it’s one of the most important points in the life of people, in society in general,” he replied. “And what do you think of a society that is post-religious, or not religious?” “I don’t ask myself if it’s better or no, because it’s not a choice. People don’t really choose to believe or not. I think it’s more difficult to live without a religion, definitely.” “Is that part of the unhappiness that you’re describing?” “Yes, certainly. I think after a certain number of generations you forget the hope itself. France is not the most interesting country [in that regard]. For example, Ireland is very spectacular — very quick decline of religion. It was one of the most Catholic countries in the world. The truth is nearly incredible if you examine it calmly. Nobody could have predicted it.””
From ‘L’Étranger in a Strange Land’, LA Weekly.