Against the Grain by Joris-Karl Huysmans. The Ultimate Example of “Decadent” Literature Translated by John Howard. Against Nature or Against the Grain. À rebours (translated into English as Against Nature or Against the Grain) () is a novel by the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans. Its narrative concentrates. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Against The Grain, by Joris-Karl Huysmans This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no.

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Two, in particular, occupy a special place in his affections: A rich and decadent novel featuring just one man, the jaded aristocrat Des Esseintes, who leads an isolated life fuelled by his passions for excess and self-indulgence. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was reading it, but every now and again I paused, and the pause turned grsin hours or a day or two as I realised retrospectively a feeling of sensory overload.

Far from condemning jiris-karl trend, des Esseintes sees in it a source of ineffable charm.

frain This on the surface sounds terribly appealing, since I am sure I am not the only person who feels the inside of his head is hjysmans more congenial jori-karl the outside of it. So what can redeem this spoiled and sickly creature, fully equipped with a substantial fortune, disgust with the whole of the human race, and access to the whole range of what culture, from the loftiest of heights to the most depraved in his day, at least of lows and everything that mixes that two, has to offer?

It really doesn’t surprise me that this novel has been reviewed by only one person at this site. Articles with short description Articles needing additional references from March All articles needing additional references Articles with LibriVox links Wikipedia articles with BNF identifiers. It was necessary for Huysmans to force the reader in this way to relate to his character, because who could do it voluntarily? The bulk of the book is a treatise, in the form of private discourses, on the pleasures of art and literature joris-kxrl sounds and scents, etc.


Against the Grain by J.-K. Huysmans

Its narrative concentrates almost thee on its principal character and is mostly a catalogue of the tastes and inner life of Jean des Esseintes, an eccentric, reclusive aesthete and antihero who loathes 19th-century bourgeois society and tries to retreat into an ideal artistic world of his own creation.

That is why he locks himself away, alone, and refuses to see anyone.

The Floressas Des Esseintes, to judge by the various portraits preserved in t Description: Here, Huysmans has written the first example known to me of the novel where nothing happens.

There’s a problem loading this menu right now. Instead, he tries again and again to create identity through external trappings, like a college girl who wears a beret in order to feel worldly.

I mean, how strong must that impulse be to reject all these things that people tell us we are supposed to be? The extra weight on the creature’s back causes its death.

Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans

You weren’t limited to just creating a novel; if you were talented, you could create a whole new kind of novel. One of the more curious threads in the book is the effect which his religious education has had on him: This is the story of an obsessive looking for order, painstakingly describing that order and creating some kind of dogmatic unifying principle around it. It will appeal to anyone with an appreciation for good literature, art, and music. I thought perhaps that I ought to have stuck with the original theme that had played on my mind on finishing the book, a kind of Jesuitical meditation on the senses.

Schopenhauerhe exclaims, has seen the truth, jorid-karl he clearly expressed it in his philosophy. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. April 8, at 7: Return to Joris-kagl Page. Richard Ellmann describes the effect of the book in his biography of Oscar Wilde:. Now I would simply say “you’re des Esseintes on a budget, aren’t you?


Huysmans even gives des Esseintes an interest in chemical experiments just as Dr Jekyll had, and he is passionate about poisonous plants and all sorts of esoteric theories and practices. This book is a big fantasy of reclusion, of elegancy, of sophistication.

Against the Grain, by Joris-Karl Huysmans () | Miss Darcy’s Library

Quotes from Against Nature. I think this began because it wasn’t until I was 19 that I got to know anyone in real life who shared a lot of my taste and whose own likings inspired me; having spent so long waiting, having or having had such things within reach became completely compelling.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. However, DNFing gives me such deep lingering doubts and guilt that I end up putting the book back on my to-reads and starting all over again.

Its narrative concentrates almost entirely on its principal character, and is mostly a catalogue of the tastes and inner life of Jean Des Esseintes, an eccentric, reclusive aesthete and antihero, who loathes 19th century bourgeois society and tries to retreat into an ideal artistic world of his own creation.

It is as an art critic, however, that Huysmans is at his very best, in my opinion. It’s almost as if his discrimination is the cause of a social illness, his individualism the cause of a quasi-syphilitic social disease, and he must return to bourgeois Paris, the Church and its conformist flock, in order to cure his hallucinations, nightmares, melancholia, and ennui.

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