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

He may have enjoyed the works of Faulkner, whose The Sound and the Fury accomplishes just that. The Legend of the Decadents. The protagonist reebours the book reminds me of those saints who debauched in their youth and then rejected their former lives to live in a kind of rarefied and refined world of ideas and artifice.

Looking for More Great Reads? Indeed, he will almost certainly meet himself when he rejoins society, for it is full of people just like him, who put on a jris-karl front to try to convince themselves that they are interesting, but who live hollow lives, providing nothing to the world, leaving nothing of worth to the future, and doing nothing in which they can take the least pride. Huysmans [Huysmans converted rebors reverted to Catholicism in Sure, some gets in, but our defenses keep a lot out.

The closest you can get to an art gallery of perfume jois-karl a wander in Liberty’s fragrance hall or similar in other major world cities but things are always there for the purpose of being sold.

That unwholesome mix of artificiality posing as the real thing is fully expressed in the prose itself, metaphors that don’t bother to limit themselves to one huysmanx of the equation and fully immerse themselves in delight and disgust. The references in Dorian Gray to specific chapters are deliberately inaccurate. It is a novel for people who like talking about novels — the plot itself is slim and of little importance. It could be called a piece of stove pipe, cut by a chimney-maker into the form of a pike head.


We are experiencing technical difficulties. View all 22 comments. The Mauldon translation doesn’t have such good reviews but I found it hypnotic from the first page, as the book should be.

Or should I have taken the review in the direction of Houellebecq’s Soumissionthe book I’d been reading when I picked up Huysmans’ work.

My own interest in Decadence begins with the fantastic proto-surrealist work of Symbolist painters like Odilon Redon and Gustave Moreau, both of whose paintings are of special importance to Des Essientes. View all 28 comments.

Against Nature (A Rebours) by Joris-Karl Huysmans | : Books

I mean, how strong must that impulse be to reject all these things that people tell us we are supposed to be? The hero of this book, Jean des Esseintes, is the last of a line of distinguished aristocrats. 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.

Return to Book Page. The world will never know. View all 47 comments. This page was last edited on 28 Novemberat Trivia About Against Nature. Since this book haunts me, and now that I’m recognizing it as an unsung precursor to the modern novel, I’ve elevated it to my favorites shelf.

View all 48 comments. Each book Des Esseintes mentions is described by its color, the make of its binding, the type of dye used, the provenance of the ink within, the typeset, but all this detail is to no purpose.

In them he entered into a perfect communion of ideas with their authors who had written them when their state of soul was analogous to his own. The ideal novel for people who hate novels. He has lived an extremely decadent life in Paris, which has left him disgusted with human society.


And I am so so glad I didn’t read this book in my teens. He becomes an eccentric dandy.

Against Nature (A Rebours)

The pleasure is ours in a classic fable about illusion and reality Chapt. I have learned an enormous amount from reading it. He withdraws into a solitary world of extreme artifice in an isolated country mansion, cut off from all humanity and life, with the idea of creating a perfect joris-marl world of his own making.

Manchester University Press, pp. Referring to society early on as “frightful clodhoppers”, this huyskans become the one and only time I laughed, because even though the overall mood is charming and elegant, there is also a lingering sadness for the solitude Des Esseintes chooses. When society takes a movement and sells it back to us, the ideas are the first things stripped out. In the last jori-karl of the book, he compares his return to human society to that of a non-believer trying to embrace religion.

He quietly returns home, “having seen what he wanted to experience” — and feeling the fatigue of a long journey. And the chapter on perfume. On the offchance anyone else who cares about such things is reading, the previous one was Bvlgari Black, and the current one is L’air de Rien. No experience is too perverse for him and he seeks out every extreme. Each time an amendment is made, the review gets reposted, so yes you’ve probably seen it before.

View all 16 comments.