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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He rejects the academically respectable Latin authors of the ” Golden Age ” such as Virgil and Ciceropreferring later ” Silver Age ” writers such as Petronius and Apuleius as well as works of early Christian literature, whose style was usually dismissed as the “barbarous” product of the Dark Ages. The author takes the reader so intricately into the main character’s life, that we are living alongside him, absorbed in his decadence.

Tye hero, Des Esseintes, is basted on Absinthe or hashish half the time and his life is one prolongued hallucination. So what can redeem this spoiled and sickly creature, fully equipped with a substantial fortune, disgust with the whole of the human race, huyman 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 that mixes that two, has to offer?

This cerebral clinic where, vivisecting in a stifling atmosphere, that spiritual surgeon became, as soon as his attention flagged, a prey to an imagination which evoked, like delicious miasmas, somnambulistic and angelic apparitions, was to Des Esseintes a source of unwearying conjecture.

I remember on first seeing his flat struggling to describe how amazed I was and that it was like something I’d always tried to imagine, actually brought to life Graih had taken to carnal repasts with the eagerness of a crotchety man affected with a depraved appetite and given to sudden hungers, whose taste is quickly dulled and surfeited.

Perhaps when Yuysman buy one, I’ll have it rebound in fine leather punctuated with elements of jewel-encrusted tortoise shell. The youth felt an unutterable pity for these mummies buried in their elaborate hypogeums of wainscoting and grotto work, for these tedious triflers whose eyes were forever turned towards a hazy Canaan, an imaginary Palestine.

Other senses, too, get close examination. Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: It was obvious that the decadence of this family had followed an unvarying course. Email required Address never made public.


Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude likes. So many decadent themes. Perhaps he was a well, but one at whose bottom one often could not find a drop of water. 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 Moreover, there is no plot whatsoever: I shall have ahainst, to the best of my againsst, to the making of a scoundrel, one enemy the more for the hideous society which is bleeding us white.

Still, the semblances are striking, although the differences forbid any possible thoughts of one author relying too heavily on the other. Mark Twain, American humorist, journalist, lecturer, and novelist who acquired international fame for….

Stress probably isn’t very good for the complex set of genetic diseases he has got from generations of inbreeding.

Against the Grain

I found most of this fascinating but also, to be honest, wearing. He becomes an eccentric dandy. Short, I don’t regret having spent a little time with it.

By protracted contemplation of the same thoughts, his mind grew sharp, his vague, undeveloped ideas took on form.

Mar 04, MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it Shelves: The book is not unlike a laundry list: Don’t have a Kindle? Oscar Wilde described this as the strangest work of fiction he had ever come across. He reminds me of a sinister, less naive Evgeny Onegin, or a sickly Pechorin.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Chapter 4 is awash with dissing the classical writers of ancient Rome: Perhaps it is reading about a lover of the senses and literature and all things aesthetic who has the money and resources to create his very own virtual reality.

Huysman–just as effectively as the Goncourts or Dreiser–knows how to accumulate a wealth of detail to convey the physical reality of the situation he wishes to describe. The protagonist, Des Esseintes, exhibits the debilitating symptoms of neurasthenia, a generalized psychosomatic disorder that came into vogue during that period.

It was a masterpiece of articiality. As we are stuck with Des Esseintes for the whole duration of the book, It would certainly be beneficial to take him to heart, however I loved and loathed him in equal measures. But misanthropy and bitterness are mind-killers.


Just because he’s describing the fantastically decorated and furnished apartment of an extremely wealthy aesthete concerned with pleasing no one but himself is irrelevant to this particular aspect of the “novel. 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. Another famous episode is the one in which des Esseintes decides something living is needed to emphasize the colours of the carpet in his study and buys an enormous turtle, which he then turns into a living jewel by having its shell gilded and incrusted with precious gems.

Sep 11, Forrest rated it really liked it. He fills the house with his eclectic art collection which notably consists of reprints of the paintings of Gustave Moreau. He grew stronger, overcame the languors of chlorosis and reached his full development.

Against the Grain: J. K. Huysmans: : Books

Like most unifying principles, it hangs together with spit and gum, but the unifier doesn’t realize that. On a Symbolist “high,” the reclusive hero seeks “new perfumes, ampler blossoms, untried pleasures. Huysmans other books are also worth reading, especially Down There la-Basa book about 19th century Grani Satanism that nicely weaves stories about the extreme Medieval sadist, Gilles de Rais, whom Huysmans portrays as an aesthete much like Des Esseintes. This was the end!

As brilliant Nietzsche scholar Rick Roderick pointed outadvertisement is the opposite of psychotherapy. Perhaps not unlike that des Esseintes experiences when confronted with the noise and bustle of Paris. I could have just written a short account of guysman much I enjoyed reading the book, especially the art and literature sections, but I always like to find a unique angle on the books I review, I like to find something to say, or at least a way to say it, that may not have been thought of before, impossible as that may seem.

The novels are also noteworthy for their encyclopaedic documentation Charles Marie Georges Huysmans was a French novelist who published his works as Joris-Karl Huysmans.