Project Gutenberg · 58, free ebooks · 6 by J.-K. Huysmans. Against the Grain by J.-K. Huysmans. No cover available. Download; Bibrec. Against the Grain, novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans, published in French as À rebours in It was also translated into English as Against Nature. This web version of John Howard’s translation of Joris-Karl Huysmans’s À Rebours, whose title is rendered both “Against the Grain” and.

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Chapter 1, À Rebours [Against the grain; Against Nature] by Joris-Karl Huysmans

I do not doubt therefore that it was in the most admiring, sympathetic and sincere good faith that he retailed to Huysmans what he had seen during the few moments he spent in Ali Baba ‘s cave.

Both books are gems. On the contrary, he was absolutely incapable of construing two Greek words, showed no aptitude for living languages and promptly proved himself a dunce when obliged to master the elements agqinst the sciences.

Or even tried to relate it to Proust, given the parallels between the des Esseintes character and Proust’s famous Baron de Charlus, both said to be modelled on abainst real life Robert de Montesquiou. The rest, really, was essayistic, sort of like the chapters in American Psycho about Huey Lewis, Whitney Houston, Genesis, etc, but this takes place in the 19th Century so it’s all about Zola, Baudelaire, Poe, lots of Catholic art and really too many artists and artworks to even begin to list, thereby adding to the list of things I’ve never heard of but wouldn’t mind hunting down, like Ernest Hello or Barbey d’Aurevilly?

But there are also longeurs in the silliness of some of excursions into fields that Huysmans must have had some real experience in, but why any reader should be battered by the disquisition on late latin literature It is so good to see that it is still in print. Oxford World’s Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this huyysman in one go Several other episodes stand out in the novel: The artistic temperament has never been more dramatically expressed: Joris-Karl Huysmans, who no doubt graim a great pedigree for writing, does take the reader to far off places in the mind, there are episodes which are so arrestingly parabolic that they stand out when looking back at the train.

How ghastly geain were, and how captivating at once! The book is not unlike a laundry list: How to rebuild a carburetor? Sometimes it seems to be just a long catalogue of sophisticated, rare and decadent pieces.


I have learned an enormous amount from reading it. In hindsight, it is easy to see that Huysmans is on the road back hkysman Rome. Translated by Donald Davie [10].

Evidently the translator thought the homosexually-tinged “racy” bits were not worth reading though he had no trouble including the heterosexual racy bits.

The main character is a bit of a lunatic, but his bored and irritable personality has a touch of glamour.

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Sep 30, Lee rated it really liked it. April 9, at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Its atmosphere is very Gothic, gloomy, silent and full of beautiful things.

Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. He may be as easy to hate and be disgusted with as easily as he hates and is disgusted with everything beyond his luxuriously painted and perfumed bower, but he does have some measure of taste that one cannot help but take note of, and perhaps even sympathize with.

Huysmans is at his strongest in passages of sensual pleasure. Sometimes he went as far as the peat-bogs, to the green and black hamlet of Longueville, or climbed wind-swept hillsides affording magnificent views. I have been talking of little else for the past week, and my father, who is the main person at the receiving end of my effusions, is growing a little weary!

Against the Grain is still considered the embodiment of the Decadent aesthetics. 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 huysmaan mixes that two, has to offer?

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View all agaknst comments. Referring to society early on as “frightful clodhoppers”, this would 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. It was many years before I realised it consciously, but as far as my favourite people are concerned I often have at least as strong a relationship with their cultural stuff as with them as a friend, and in some cases it’s the artefacts that have been constant, when people moved on.

For what could [I] hope, if not new disillusionments? We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You are commenting using your Twitter account. For starters, it is an accomplished work of realism that turns realism on its thw. View all 48 comments. Again and again, he tells us that he despises this or that thing because a merchant’s wife likes it.


À rebours – Wikipedia

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Des Esseintes’ world is completely superficial, contrived.

From a literary point of view, you could assemble from the details of his library a reading list more erudite and filled with “the consoling beacons of ancient faith” than anything compiled by den Grossenlistengenerator Steven Moore view spoiler [ it’s telling that it could be said, even then, as now, that the compilers of such lists like the work of one of Des E’s idols, Ernest Hello have often “affected inordinate pretensions of profundity.

The book is worth reading for those pages againwt His mother, a tall, pale, taciturn woman, died of anaemia, and his father of some uncertain malady.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: 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. But despite huysmman efforts, they could not induce him to concentrate on studies requiring discipline. Des Esseintes harps again and again on a desire to live in an artificial world of his own making–a virtual world.

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.

A fleur de lis seemed the sole imprint on the soft pap of their brains. The act of doing this kills the creature, and Des Esseintes, for all his supposed poetic intelligence utterly fails to be moved by this or see the irony in his actions other than to be miffed that his plan was dashed.

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