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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Jun 02, Geoffrey rated it it was amazing.

Against Nature

Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. He reso It must have been so exciting to be a novelist in the second half of the nineteenth century. Certainly, there are some interesting scenes within the book–the famous tortoise episode actually achieving some real insight and satirebut overall, the book is terribly dull–a piling on of detail upon detail without much central notion to hang them on. Des Esseintes joris-karrl the shell of a living tortoise with jewels and colored glass so that the light, reflected off the roving gems accentuates the colors of the room adding continuous and subtle variation.

I’ll just add a bit more to what the other reviewers at amazon have said. View all 66 comments. Montesquiou’s furnishings bear a strong resemblance to those in Des Esseintes’s house:.

Against the Grain by J.-K. Huysmans – Free Ebook

Sometimes joris-karp seems to be just a long catalogue of sophisticated, rare and decadent pieces. He paints his pet tortoise gold and studs its shell with precious stones. Chapter 4 is awash with dissing the classical writers of ancient Rome: By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. So he sells a number of properties and buys a house in the countryside. 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 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. Dec 06, Steven Godin rated it liked it Shelves: English Choose a language for shopping. I could have just written a short account of how 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 thing is he has consumed enough to know what he doesn’t like and to be able to discriminate. He considered the crabbed expressions of some, insulting.

His aesthetic opposes the artificial against nature. There are a few moments of real profundity here, really deeply felt rejection of the modern world and immersion in the senses as a means of bypassing the crudities of modernity. Manchester University Press, pp. He brings des Esseintes back little by little from the almost psychotic state he had allowed him to sink into, but not without making him suffer horrible symptoms quite like the ones which Dr Jekyll suffers when he is experiencing his transformations.

The protagonist, Des Esseintes, exhibits the debilitating symptoms of neurasthenia, a generalized psychosomatic disorder that geain into vogue during that period. I liked the strange little anecdote of his liaison with a US circus performer, which read like an Angela Carter short story.

Des Esseintes postulates that the same climate of elegant decay, the same rank, gamey smell of refined degeneracy permeates the upper classes of graim end of the nineteenth century, affecting not just their mores, but their artistic achievements.

Post was not sent – check your email addresses! The references in Dorian Gray to specific chapters are deliberately inaccurate. He may have enjoyed ghe works of Faulkner, whose The Sound and the Fury accomplishes just that.


He felt a desire to slap the fellow who walked, eyes closed, with such a learned air; the one who minced along, smiling at his image in the window panes; and the one who seemed stimulated by a whole world of thought while devouring with contracted brow, the tedious contents of a newspaper.

View all 23 comments. 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 ahainst.

Wilde was not the only one who saw a kindred spirit in Huysmans: Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself the title is variably translated as “Aganist the Grain” or “Against Nature”sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exquisite hypochondria and nervous affectation. His idea is to reject everything that is “natural” and concentrate on art and artifice.

Against the Grain | work by Huysmans |

The last in a depleted line of nobles, Des Esseintes is wealthy gtain effete, and he grows impotent from dissolution. Des Esseintes harps again and again on a desire to live in an artificial world of his own making–a virtual world.

Books by Joris-Karl Huysmans.

Return to Book Page. Against the Grain is still considered the embodiment of the Decadent aesthetics. Could I really argue for a parallel between the two books? Alain de Botton writes that the reality of travel seldom matches our dreams.