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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Montesquiou’s furnishings bear a strong resemblance to those in Des Esseintes’s house:.

Quotes from Against Nature. Thus it was difficult to like this anymore than I did. OK, no, that’s just a little joke.

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.

Every subculture becomes co-opted and sold back to the people for a profit, and the way corporations have maneuvered hipsters is brilliant. 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.

But of course, the real iconoclast doesn’t identify themselves with certain bands or aesthetics, with clothes or objects. Still, I’m confident they contain more tonic than virus. I mean, how strong must that impulse be to reject all these things that people tell us we are supposed to be?

Yet, even then, even in complete isolation, it is still not enough to let him discover himself. This fall is in fact all the narrative consists of, though the narrative occupies less than a quarter of the book. Indeed, the spiritual aspect of this book is so strong–particular in our hero’s love for the fullness of the Catholic tradition–that I’m almost surprised at the reaction to the book in conservative circles.

My reading life is determined to trigger link after link after link.

À rebours – Wikipedia

The novel goes into exhaustive detail about his pursuits of exceedingly refined, and ultimately cold, aesthetic interests. For one, the fact that this contrary soul is indeed human despite the weirdly grotesque passions that power it, and through all the oddities Des Esseintes surrounds himself one can still see the insolvable human condition that plagues every one of us.


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.

I’ve collected all of the art referenced in this novel that I could find here. With his sneering isolationism, extreme sureness of taste and cruel streak, never mind the home full of fascinating things, and Schopenhauer fandom the protagonist reminds me a great deal of an ex from seven years ago.

Ideas can be infectious, they can be viral, they prey on our hopes and fears, our prejudices and insecurities, but over time, we build up better and better defenses to recognize and root out these ideas. Novels by Joris-Karl Huysmans.

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

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 jjoris-karl 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?

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. Please try again later.

Oct 31, Sinem A. Rebkurs opening scene describes the portraits that still hang at the family ancestral seat, the Chateau de Lourps; the ancestors were all solid, well-built specimens, portrayed at the peak of their health and vigour.

Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. He considered the crabbed expressions of some, insulting. Read it Forward Read it first. It also reminds me of that great short story of Flaubert’s, “The Temptation of St. There is one telling and disturbing episode in the book in which the aesthete literally tries to improve on nature, a living thing, specifically a large turtle, by encrusting its shell will precious jewels.

It isn’t surprising that the work proved influential to men like Wilde, who had come to concentrate so fully on form over function that their wit consisted mostly of switching about common words in convoluted ways until they no longer meant much at all, an absurd style which lacks rbours bite–and that was the overwhelming impression Jorris-karl took away from Huysmans’ work: Huysmans even gives des Esseintes an interest in chemical experiments just as Dr Jekyll had, and he is passionate about poisonous plants and all sorts of esoteric theories and practices.


Even in its less beautiful attributes, which I’d long forgotten about and was initially saddened by. If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to “Dorian Gray,” a work marooned in the vanished aesthetic of the late nineteenth century. Want to Read saving…. Thanks for telling us about the problem. When society takes a movement and sells it back to us, the ideas are the huhsmans things jorks-karl out.

The protagonist of 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 joris-karo ideas and artifice. Huyssmans University Press, pp. Joris-Karl Huysmans, who no doubt has 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 text.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. The main character, Des Esseintes, is a former libertine who in his approaching dotage has rejected his unstructured hedonism and become an epicurean par excellence.

Against Nature

He pa Difficult to do this one justice. Looking for More Great Reads? They are a subculture, but one that still feeds into and supports the main culture. He governs a life’s philosophy with the desire to subvert, and even supersede, nature.

Views Read Edit View history. Rather suits this book in fact. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic koris-karl in the English-speaking world.