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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View all 66 comments. But of course, the real iconoclast doesn’t identify themselves with certain bands or aesthetics, with clothes or objects.

Against the Grain by Joris Karl Huysmans

What have they to look forward to? ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. View all 16 comments. This page was last edited on 28 Novemberat The bulk of the book is a treatise, in the form of private discourses, on the pleasures of art and literature fhe sounds and scents, etc.

He has a garden of semi-pornographically described carnivorous plants. Sep 30, Lee rated it really liked hhe.

Both books are gems. A neglected art with only niche enthusiasts because it is a so fleeting and b completely dominated by commercialism.

Against the Grain

I also love tea, roses, and my dogs, and seldom pass up an opportunity to slip them into the conversation. We are also provided exquisite detail of, among other luxurious, lavish, plush, extravagant belongings, his vast library of rare afainst, ancient and modern, and his marvelous collection of paintings and prints.

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Sep 11, Forrest rated it really liked it. Huysmans initially tried to placate him by claiming the book was still in the Naturalist style and that Des Esseintes’s opinions and tastes were not his own. His aesthetic opposes the artificial against nature. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

View all 22 comments. So this book has lingered on the edges of my consciousness for the last two months, not terribly present but not forgotten either. Like most unifying principles, it hangs together with spit and gum, but the unifier doesn’t realize that. 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 huysmanw taste and whose own likings inspired me; having spent so long waiting, having or having had such things within reach became completely compelling.


To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. It is so good to see that it is still in print. Finally, this particular edition, the Baldick translation it’s superbcontains a fine introduction and notes P.

À rebours – Wikipedia

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 I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was reading it, but every now and again I paused, and the pause turned into hours or a day or two as I realised retrospectively a feeling of sensory overload. He is not pursuing his own desires, he is not following his own thoughts and needs, and so he is never satisfied.

This book is a big fantasy of reclusion, of elegancy, of sophistication. What were all the evangelical pharmacopoeias beside his treatises agaonst spiritual hygiene?

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I guess I just came up in a different literary milieu. Even sex is described like a piece of art from his collection, something predetermined by its artist, void of any animal passion or instinct: 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.

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Each chapter has a theme: Perhaps not unlike that des Esseintes experiences when confronted Oxford World’s Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this properly in one go He resolves to withdraw to jorid-karl specially designed house in the country where he will live a life of contemplation, as far removed from reality as he can arrange.

On the day when he too had been afflicted with this longing, this craving which in fact is poetry itself, to fly far away from contemporary society he was studying, he had fled to an idyllic region where the sap boiled in the sunshine; he had dreamed of fantastic heavenly copulations, of long earthly ecstasies, xgainst fertiziling showers of pollen falling from the palpitating grxin of flowers; he had arrived at a gigantic pantheism, and with the Garden of Eden in which he placed his Adam and Eve he had created, perhaps unconsciously, a prodigious Hindu poem, singing the glories of the flesh, extolling, in a style whose broad againsy of crude colour had something of the weird brilliance of Indian paintings, living animate matter, which by its own frenzied procreation revealed to man and woman the forbidden fruit of love, its suffocating spasms, its instinctive caresses, its natural postures.


The protagonist, Des Esseintes, exhibits the debilitating symptoms of neurasthenia, a generalized psychosomatic disorder that came into vogue during that period. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Des Esseintes is a decadent, ailing aristocrat who retreats to an isolated villa where he indulges his taste for luxury and excess. 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.

Set up a giveaway. I had never seen the paintings in question, yet as I read the passage describing them I could see them brain shape before my eyes, I could see the colours spring vividly to life as if from the brush of the painter himself, and the figures, far from being frozen in stylized poses, were swept away in a jofis-karl of energy, were endowed with movement, emotion, and intent.

It will appeal to anyone with an appreciation for good literature, art, and music.