The infamous inspiration for the novel which slowly corrupts Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray is translated by Robert Baldick with an introduction by. : Against Nature: A Rebours (Oxford World’s Classics) ( ): Joris-Karl Huysmans, Nicholas White, Margaret Mauldon: Books. Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans is a novel in which very little happens; Huysmans’ great A Rebour (perhaps better translated Against the Grain), is a.

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View all 13 comments. It is the misanthropy of the problem child who does things he knows he mustn’t do–not because he enjoys them, but out of a desire to betray the image of authority he has created in his mind. That’s Des Esseintes for you, speaking of a boy-child he had granted three months of bi-weekly brothel visits to, for no other reason but a sudden whim to conduct a viciously abhorrent sort of social experiment. In hindsight, it is easy to see that Huysmans is on the road back to Rome.

In doing so, huydmans broke from Naturalism and became the ultimate example of ” decadent ” literature. Other senses, too, get close examination. Thus it was difficult to like this anymore than I did. Finally, this particular edition, the Baldick translation it’s superbcontains a fine introduction and notes P. The hipsters rebors right: Not only does he fail to see this, but his very obsession is like the turtle killing him.

To ask other readers questions about Against Natureplease sign up. He governs a life’s philosophy with the desire to subvert, and even supersede, nature. Trivia About Against Nature.

This is the arched, over-the-top language a reader will find on every page. 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 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.

He grows to scorn his fellow man: The extra weight on huysmns creature’s back causes its death. He reburs a garden of semi-pornographically described carnivorous plants. While he slowly drifted away from the Naturalists, Huysmans won new friends among the Symbolist and Catholic writers whose work he had praised in his novel.


This is a brilliant book.

How to rebuild a carburetor? Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans. The bulk of the book is a treatise, in the form of private discourses, on the pleasures of art and literature and sounds and scents, etc. However alone and unobserved he may be, his likes and dislikes are defined by an outside culture which he claims to have rejected, but which seems to rule his every thought.

He does show that staying at home doesn’t have to be boring though the richer you are the better in that respect.

A rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans

In another episode, he decides to visit London after reading the novels of Charles Dickens. View all 28 comments. View all 66 joris-oarl. Oftentimes, he’ll box himself up in snooty prejudices and hypocritical ideologies, but occasionally one will recognize measures of contemporary thought within his reminisces and desires, one of the most surprising instances occurring when he dwells upon the issue of abortion. Open Preview See a Problem?

Against Nature (A Rebours)

I can’t fault Huysmans, though, for the superhuman patience and diligence it must have taken to write such a book in such unbelievable detail. Incomprehensible successes had permanently ruined books and paintings for him which he had joriis-karl held dear; faced with widespread public approbation, he ended up discovering imperceptible flaws in works, and rejecting them….

So long as they’ve been around so for me really only since the early to mid ‘sI’ve always loved internet profiles full of great long lists of people’s tastes in everything. Jun 22, Annie rated it did not like it Shelves: This tampering with things already “perfect” kills the very poetry they already possess. He believes he can create a world better than nature; indeed, “against nature” as the title suggests.

View all 18 comments. He might be right. This is a deep, rich work, and–although it is a classic representative of joriz-karl fin de siecle–it transcends its age and has the ability to speak to ours as well.

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

This section needs additional citations for verification. As I scanned the pale grey italic font of this one, the names Jekyll and Hyde jumped out at me from the top of page thirty. In addition, in more than a few passages–Des Esseintes scheme for making a murderer out of a street boy is the most remarkable example–Huysmans obliquely reveals a consciousness of the plight of the poor that suggests a world of Christian compassion and duty beyond all this preciousness.


What’s the Name o Even in its less beautiful attributes, which I’d long forgotten about and was initially saddened by. Eventually, his late nights and idiosyncratic diet take their toll on his health, requiring him to return to Paris or to forfeit his life.

So it is completely different: Nelson, Robert Jay And these sections are as absolutely splendid as they should be. Yet, ironically, he also complains about how there is ‘nothing genuine’ left in the world, how it is all artificial for which he decries it despite the fact that he spends the rest of his time trying to live in another artificial world of his own making.

I’m not a great reader of introductions joriis-karl they are by the author – or the translator in the case of translated works. Already, he was dreaming of a refined solitude, a comfortable desert, a motionless ark in which to seek refuge from the unending deluge of human stupidity. Or at least the pleasures are what the sympathetic reader is inclined to remember… It is just as much joris-iarl how much he hates everything, and of how even many of his most trusted pleasures ultimately disappoint him.

View all hjysmans comments. We shame other people, we guilt them, we tease them, we make suggestions, we tell them little infectious phrases that are supposed to be helpful. His early works had been Naturalist in style, being realistic depictions of the drudgery and squalor of working- and lower-middle-class life in Paris.