An airplane that smells of gasoline then a "rebellion" led by a "pretty" thirty-year-old French writer Michel Houellebecq tried to explain why he had failed to hundreds of admirers who came to hear him Friday at Belgrade.
"It would take a long time to tell, it's a novel scene," he wrote to organizers of the literary festival Krokodil, in a message read Friday night to a crowded and incredulous hall, who had come to hear the writer read excerpts from his work.
Late the day before, when boarding Paris-Charles-De-Gaulle in the flight of Air Serbia, Michel Houellebecq notes "disturbing phenomena, especially a smell of fuels very clear".
"A kind of rebellion"
"There was a kind of rebellion of passengers, who demanded to get out of the aircraft", "it was a woman who took the lead of the rebellion, initially absolutely alone," says the author of serotonin.
"Black hair, thirties, pretty, I do not know if she was Serbian or French," he describes. "She said exactly what I wanted to say"; "It was she who had the courage to say it, not me", concedes Michel Houellebecq in this message projected on giant screen of the amphitheater Kombank Dvorana.
Certainly, the writer is "sad" not to have come to Belgrade, but "somewhere in the depths of (him)", "happy to have witnessed this manifestation of rebellion, which was just and healthy", to "this brief confrontation with the authority (which reminds him of the very long French episode of yellow vests").
"I really do not want to fly back"
Even if it is true, it is also "a little shameful not to have been at the origin". But "the writer, by nature, accepts a little too easily to be in the position of observer".
Yes, there are currently three daily connections between Paris and Belgrade and Michel Houellebecq could physically be present despite the cancellation of his initial flight. But "I really do not want to take the plane in the immediate future, it must cancel", loose Michel Houellebecq. "I'm sorry for all that, but I think it could have ended worse."
"We can not congratulate Air Serbia, and I hope at least they will refund the tickets, it seems to me the minimum," he judges.
In a statement, the Krokodil festival confirmed the cancellation of Thursday's flight and added that it learned by calling Air Serbia that the writer was "not on the list of passengers expected to arrive in Belgrade at 17:25" the following day. Solicited by AFP, Air Serbia did not respond. Michel Houellebecq (Misel Uelbek in Serbian) is considered in Serbia as a giant of contemporary world literature. His novels are all translated.