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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One group, educated like himself in religious institutions, preserved the special marks of this training. His pursuit of idealized artistic perfection is almost fetishistic in its insistence on completeness. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.

I don’t see anything inherently unhealthy about the way he lives or husyman the tenets of aestheticism or decadence in general. If they stop consuming fashion, products, information, politics, music, and craft materials, they lose their identity. View all 21 comments. Difficult to do this one justice. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants.

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.

May 22, Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Anyway, I enjoyed reading this, and although I found it dull through many spots, these duller bits were consistently blown away by the superexceptional gems that stud the slow and plotless turtle shell of this “story.

What strength is left to him he expends obsessing over art, literature, design, and even gardening, in dissertations on artificiality and garish morbid splendor that compose most of the book. The book is worth reading for those pages alone! Don’t have a Kindle?

As a last resort, through prudence and fear of the harm he might effect, they permitted him to pursue whatever studies pleased him and to neglect the others, being loath to antagonize this bold and independent spirit by the quibblings of the lay school assistants. Though not a great Wilde fan, I couldn’t agree with him more on that point. Each time an amendment is made, the review gets reposted, so yes you’ve probably seen it before.


The book relates the varied and surprisingly resourceful experiments in aesthetic decadence undertaken by a bored aristocrat. Customers who bought this item also bought. 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. In another episode, he decides to visit London after reading the novels of Charles Dickens.

Against the Grain | work by Huysmans |

Whatever he attempted proved vain; an unconquerable ennui oppressed him. View all 12 comments. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Add both to Cart Add both to List. The Mauldon translation doesn’t have such good reviews but I found it hypnotic from the first page, as the book should be.

It is a novel for people who like talking about novels — the plot itself is slim and of little importance. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I huyzman reading it, but every now and again I paused, and the pause turned into hours or a day or two as I realised retrospectively a feeling of sensory overload. In the last lines of the book, he compares his return to human society to that of a non-believer trying to embrace religion. They change the world, they have an ineffable magnetism.

Already, he was dreaming of a refined solitude, a comfortable desert, a motionless ark in which to seek refuge from the unending deluge of human stupidity.

My reading life is determined to trigger link againsst link after link. April 8, at 7: Two, in particular, occupy a special place in his affections: It is not like reading a treatise of William Morris’ and coming to understand a particular aesthetic of how a book should be bound and why–it is a mere litany of excess, the dull and trashy kind of overspending which marks the parvenu.

Against the Grain by J.-K. Huysmans

For me, I love it, finding the lavish, ornate language yuysman many of the descriptions laugh-aloud hilarious. Stress againnst isn’t very good for the complex set of genetic diseases he has got from generations of inbreeding.


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. Or at least the pleasures are what the sympathetic reader is inclined to remember… It is just as much about how much he hates everything, and of how even many of his most trusted pleasures ultimately disappoint him. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is thhe to our final approval.

PaperbackPenguin Classicspages. There’s a problem loading this menu right now. Call this the Des Esseintes perfectionist strain in me. Please try again later.

It was a pile of Gothic trappings whose sheer weight broke through the roof of guysman old church to lay all in a shambles on the floor.

Against Nature

Huysmans was the ultimate modern artist, and had he not become a writer he would have assuredly become a painter. It scarcely admitted—in theory at least—any exceptions to the rule; thus it limited itself to depicting common existence, and struggled, under the pretext of being true to life, to create characters who would be as close as possible to the average frain of mankind.

This tampering with things already “perfect” kills the againstt poetry they already possess.

For while Proust is gorgeous and light and understanding of almost every nuance of the human condition, Huysmans is, well. Its narrative concentrates almost entirely on its principal character and is mostly a catalogue of the tastes and inner life of Jean des Esseintes, an eccentric, reclusive aesthete and antihero who loathes 19th-century bourgeois society and tries to retreat into an ideal artistic world of his own creation.