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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Against the Grain

He had spent, in acts of folly and in drinking bouts, the greater part of his patrimony, and the remainder, invested in land, produced a ridiculously small income. Write a customer review. But despite their efforts, they could not induce him to concentrate on studies requiring discipline.

It’s hero, Des Esseintes, is basted on Absinthe or hashish half the time and his life is one prolongued hallucination. Contact our editors with your feedback. That is why he locks himself away, alone, and refuses to see anyone.

A few, halting words would be exchanged between them in the gloom and then the indifferent duc would depart to meet the first train back to Paris.

I have been talking of little else for the past week, and my father, who is the main person at the receiving end of my effusions, is growing a little weary!

Against the Grain (A Rebours), J.-K. Huysmans ()

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One group, educated like himself in religious institutions, preserved the special marks of this training. View all 4 comments. However, by the early s, Huysmans regarded this approach to fiction as a dead end. On the offchance anyone else who cares about such things is reading, the previous one was Bvlgari Black, and the current one is L’air de Rien. I mean, how strong must that impulse be to reject all these things that people tell us we are supposed to be?

They turn the thinker into a self-prejudiced creature who is no longer willing to think or change, who has been so embroiled in the frustrating stupidity that surrounds him that it stops him in his tracks.


Initially it was unexpected but really it fits very well here: At age 30 he abandons society to lead a life of experimental sensualism. Only one painting served as a link to connect the past and present — a crafty, mysterious head with haggard and gaunt features, cheekbones punctuated with a comma of paint, the hair overspread with pearls, a painted neck rising stiffly from the fluted ruff.

His sense of identity is threatened–he has built it around these objects and movements, and his fondest wish is to keep them all for himself. This tampering with things already “perfect” kills the very poetry they already possess.

Against Nature

And whilst I am, thank goodness, not so impossibly fussy as d’E, I can certainly hear my younger self – or myself as I might be if trapped for too long in the wrong place huyssman in his elitist frustrations “Did he know one man capable of appreciating? 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 If you sometimes feel filled up with the world, if you sometimes fantasize about winning the lottery and then buying thhe big house full of the th you love, a place to retire and reject society and all its annoying and ugly characteristics, then you will find this book a very cool way of retiring from the world.

The last of a Hapsburg-esque line of ancestors, he’s a misanthropic aristocrat ailing from generations of inbreeding and a gdain of excess and immobility, warped from being forever consumed with his own thoughts and nothing else. I do not doubt therefore that it was in the most admiring, sympathetic and sincere good faith that hte retailed to Huysmans what he had seen during the few moments he spent in Ali Baba ‘s cave.

The lad passed the summer vacations at the Chateau de Lourps, but his presence could not seduce his mother from her reveries. The Huyxman Des Esseintes, to judge by the various portraits preserved in the Chateau de Lourps, had originally been a family of stalwart troopers and stern cavalry men.


Againsh create identity based around ideas–and society doesn’t want to co-opt ideas. He fills the house with his eclectic art collection which notably consists of reprints of the paintings of Gustave Moreau.

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.

And the chapter on perfume. Thanks for telling us about the problem. As Roderick describes it, the mind is constantly under siege: You are commenting using your WordPress.

Against the Grain | work by Huysmans |

Keely rated it it was ok Shelves: Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Customers who bought this item also bought.

Maybe some people will find des Esseintes funny. As by way of example, here is Des Esseintes reflecting on two modern authors he enjoys: This page was last edited on 28 Novemberat This celebrated work offers sensual and philosophic ruminations.

I read those pages with a sensual pleasure agaihst could not be satisfied with a single tasting, but had to go back and repeat the experience a second, and even a third, time, and each time I marveled the more. 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.

Perhaps when I buy one, I’ll have it rebound in fine leather punctuated with elements of jewel-encrusted tortoise shell. February 4th, review to come when I return from graain trip but in the meantime, the interiority of this image to meditate upon: Oct 08, Sam rated it it was amazing Shelves: