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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This didn’t feel like the book which meant so much to Oscar Wilde and numerous others, joris-,arl I’d been hearing about and been a little intimidated by since I was 14 or Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources. The narrative seems to exists mainly and is indeed sufficient to entirely submerge the reader in Des Essientes’ overwrought decorating daliances, symphonies of liquour and perfume, orchid gardens, and faux ship-cabin dining chambers.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Thus it was difficult to like this anymore than I did.

Against the Grain by J.-K. Huysmans – Free Ebook

But he must hurry to catch the London boat-train. As such, it’s a terribly useful record of cultural context, but fortunately the book’s pleasures extend beyond the academic and into sheer voluptuous descriptive prose. Thank you for your feedback. Naturally, a great deal must be attributed to the joriz-karl of the artist, but just as much is owed to the writer capable, not only of rendering the impression made upon him, but of seizing the imagination of the reader aggainst rendering in words the unique vision of the painter.

We are then told that for several generations the des Esseintes family married their cousins so that Jean, the final member of the clan, is a particularly anaemic character, who, as a result of some curious atavistic phenomenon, resembles most closely his sly and vulpine looking forebear. They do not point to some grander philosophy or understanding.

Finally, this particular edition, the Baldick translation it’s superbcontains a fine introduction and notes P. They are a subculture, but one that still feeds into brain supports the main culture. Huyemans Byron, British Romantic poet and satirist whose poetry and personality captured the imagination…. Huysmans writes about the sensuous with a style that has both jorus-karl economy and a sensuality of its own: I’ll just add a bit more to what the other reviewers at amazon have said.


I remember on first seeing his flat struggling to describe how amazed I was and that it was like something I’d always tried to imagine, actually brought to life Des Esseintes is the false iconoclast, the man who is obsessed with being different for its own sake, but who does not know himself.

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 much more congenial than the outside of it. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury zgainst has ever allowed oneself.

The book relates the againat and surprisingly resourceful experiments in aesthetic decadence undertaken by a bored aristocrat. April 9, at He doesn’t get any better through the course of the book; he is as capable of dwelling on the most beautiful of conjectures in full possession of his educated faculties, as he is of condemning the smallest aspect of life with all the spite and bigotry a human could possibly muster. 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?

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Return to Thhe Page. He reso It must have been so exciting to be a novelist in the second half of the nineteenth century.

In the last lines of the book, he compares his return to human society to that of a non-believer trying to embrace religion. Beware this is an expurgated version. His idea is to reject everything that is “natural” and concentrate on art grsin artifice. Manchester University Press, pp.

Against the Grain (A Rebours), J.-K. Huysmans ()

His heighten senses go further to invent new art forms: Des Esseintes is destined to climb as high as he had previously descended and to explore the mystical side of his nature, hand in hand with his author.


It scarcely admitted—in theory at least—any exceptions to the rule; thus it limited itself to depicting common existence, and struggled, under the pretext of being true to life, to create characters who would be as close as possible to the average run of mankind. Several other episodes stand out in the novel: Inspired by Dickens, he sets off for London to experience its rainy misty derelict nights but instead gets wasted on lagers ales and porters at an English restaurant in Paris, traveling to London in his imagination, returning jotis-karl fully exhausted from his “journey.

Translated by Donald Davie [10]. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here I also disliked all the passages on his illness, and the wealth of details he shares about his gastric system. His sense of identity is threatened–he has built it around these objects and movements, and his fondest wish is to keep them all for himself. It derives from the same determinist philosophy as Naturalism and has much in common aesthetically with Impressionism in that it focuses on subjectively perceived moments of physical experience,….

On a Symbolist “high,” the reclusive hero seeks “new perfumes, ampler blossoms, untried pleasures. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. They create identity based around ideas–and society doesn’t want to co-opt ideas. Wikiquote has quotations related to: Des Esseintes harps again and again on a desire to live in an artificial world of his own making–a virtual world.


Even in some of its more abstruse ways the book is comfortable: Another chapter goes on, and on, ayainst on about how Des Esseintes is going to decorate his new home, going methodically through the entire color spectrum in order to find the perfect one for his walls.