Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans is a novel in which very little happens; its narrative concentrates almost entirely on its principal character. Against Nature fell like a meteorite into the literary fairground and there was astonishment and fury – Huysmans, Preface () to Against Nature. Joris- Karl. Credits. This web version of John Howard’s translation of Joris-Karl Huysmans’s À Rebours, whose title is rendered both “Against the Grain”.

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This often kills the iconoclast, or drives him mad, or makes him bitter and misanthropic–sometimes all of the above.

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. What is it about these Decadent authors — Baudelaire, Huysmans, Barbey himself — that despite their obvious dislike of religion, they all ended up going huysan to natue Catholic faith?

Quotes from Against Nature.

Over time, he fails to see that this existence is driving him mad along with compounding physical ailments that various artificial means fail to cure. View all 18 comments. Like those young girls who, in the grip of puberty, crave agaiinst and vile foods, he dreamed of and practiced perverse loves and pleasures.

Without telling anyone, he retreats to naturd house in the countryside. You get the sense that he’s aware of it somewhere in the back of his mind, yet consistently tries to ignore it, and it’s heartbreaking when he’s finally forced to recognize his own humanity.

These trappings invariably break down around him–they disappoint him, they do not live up zgainst his hopes. He gradually forsook them to make the acquaintance of literary men, in whom he thought he might find more interest and feel more at ease.

The main dude, also, is extraneurotic, extraordinarily rich, aestheticized to the extreme, and willfully isolated from the world. He keeps his favorite books under glass. It is a life without risk, a life where he does not have to confront anything uncomfortable or challenging, which will never hazard upsetting or drawing judgment from anyone–a pointless life of perfect safety which he romantically paints as fraught and challenging, because it allows him to imagine himself as the noble struggler against hardship–but solely on his own terms.

Sure, some gets in, but our defenses keep a lot out. This didn’t feel like the book which meant so much to Oscar Wilde and numerous others, which I’d been hearing about and been a little intimidated by since I was 14 nxture Another chapter goes on, and on, and on about how Des Esseintes is going to decorate his new home, going methodically through the entire color spectrum in order to find the perfect one for his walls.

Highly recommended for the adventurous!

I’m not agaihst great reader of introductions unless they are by the author – or the translator in the case of translated works. Society is uncomfortable, it wants to invade that mind, to break the siege and to remake the person as a useful ant under the status quo. Decadent Rants and Harangues This novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants.

À rebours – Wikipedia

Views Read Edit View history. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. His contempt for humanity deepened. In the open fields, under the shadow of high ricks, he would lie, listening to the hollow splashing of the mills and inhaling the fresh breeze from Voulzie. 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.

Towards the end, Des E proclaims, “I am certainly on the road to recovery. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. It also reminds me of that great short story of Flaubert’s, “The Temptation of St. As such, it’s a terribly useful record of cultural context, but fortunately the book’s pleasures extend beyond the academic and into sheer voluptuous descriptive prose.

Against The Grain, or Against Nature

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. Even in some of its more abstruse ways the book is comfortable: The men, gathered around whist tables, proved even more shallow and insignificant than the dowagers; these descendants of ancient, courageous knights, these last branches of feudal races, appeared to Des Esseintes as catarrhal, crazy, old men repeating inanities and time-worn phrases.

Occasionally a few general over-the-top swipes at humanity in this one, but mostly it’s an appreciation of the artistic excrescences of human existence.

We learn exactly what he likes and what he dislikes. And he felt that in not entirely closing the way, there was a chance that he would not be assailed by a wish to return to society, seeing that it is only the impossible, the unachievable that arouses desire. Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: Return to Book Page. He feels no need to venture into the world when there are exotic sea salt baths available in Paris, a fountain can sound like a flowing spring, and foreign wines age fashionably in his cellar.

A dense drug trip. These changes did not escape them. Thus it was difficult to like this anymore than I did.

Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans

They attended religious services, received the sacrament on Easter, frequented the Catholic circles and concealed as criminal their amorous escapades. Could someonr please tell me the name of the painting on this covet, and, if possible, by whom it was painted?

The idea of therapy is to take things that are hidden within your brain–biases, prejudices, hangups, fears, hab The hipsters are right: Jun 02, Geoffrey rated it it was amazing. Artifice against Nature One consequence of Des E’s lifestyle is that, the more he discriminates, the more he moves away from other people, until eventually he lives an aagainst hermit-like existence on the outskirts of Paris, surrounded only by the objets of his own afainst taste and artifice. After a year’s experience, Des Esseintes felt an overpowering weariness of this company whose debaucheries seemed to him so unrefined, facile and indiscriminate without any ardent reactions or excitement of nerves and blood.

Impelled by curiosity, idleness or politeness, Des Esseintes sometimes visited the Abainst family and spent some dull evenings in their Rue de la Chaise mansion where the ladies, old as antiquity naturw, would gossip of quarterings of the noble arms, heraldic moons and anachronistic ceremonies.