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Against Nature (1884)

by Joris-Karl Huysmans

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,575743,598 (3.77)157
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Ã? rebours, Against the Grain or Against Nature in English, is an 1884 novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans. Anti-hero Jean Des Esseintes despises the bourgeois society he lives in and withdraws into the aesthetic and artistic ideals that he has created. Believing the novel would be rejected by both critics and public, Huysman declared: "It will be the biggest fiasco of the year - but I don't care a damn! It will be something nobody has ever done before, and I shall have said what I want to say..." The novel did receive great publicity on its release, but even though it was heavily criticized it also became influential with a new generation of writers and aesthetes.… (more)

  1. 80
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (roby72, Zeeko, JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Wie in Wikipedia zu 'Gegen den Strich' beschrieben: "Ein französischer Roman, der den Protagonisten in Oscar Wildes Roman Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray zu dekadenten Ausschweifungen inspiriert, wird häufig als Anspielung auf À rebours gedeutet. Wilde war - wie auch Stéphane Mallarmé - ein Bewunderer des Romans."… (more)
  2. 20
    Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach (defaults)
  3. 00
    Reading Writing by Julien Gracq (Eustrabirbeonne)
  4. 00
    Festins secrets by Pierre Jourde (Eustrabirbeonne)
  5. 00
    With the Flow by Joris-Karl Huysmans (arztriper)
  6. 00
    Submission by Michel Houellebecq (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: In "Unterwerfung" geht es um einen Professor der Literaturwissenschaften mit Schwerpunkt "Huysman". Entsprechend wird auch viel über Huysman gesprochen.
  7. 00
    Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin (TheLittlePhrase)
  8. 00
    Five Novels by Ronald Firbank (uncultured)
    uncultured: Firbank is the bridge between Oscar Wilde and Evelyn Waugh. Huysmans would approve.
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» See also 157 mentions

English (58)  Italian (4)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  All (1)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
‘Do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.’

A gloriously decadent piece of literature that spreads its rancour across all five senses. However, it certainly isn’t as evil as Wilde made it out to be - Des Esseintes is just a feeble misanthrope clinging onto antiquity. This work kind of struck me as a 19th century version of Ellis’ American Psycho to the extent that there are pages upon pages of vacuous minutiae concerning exotic plants, meticulous lighting, various perfumes etc. - I will be the first to admit that that is a crude analogy, but it works.

The exaggerated advocacy for the artificial over Nature found in here was also appreciated, serving as a spit in the face against the exsanguinated prose of Naturalism that was all the rage at the time of the book’s inception. It’s difficult to know whether to take it as Huysman’s own bitter condemnation of the Naturalist school of thought he had just left or as a fully fledged, detached satire. Either way it’s worth the price of admission just for the literary criticism of Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Poe that is strewn throughout. On top of these three figures there are also a whole litany of forgotten Christian and secular authors, giving ample material to the prospective reader to create a reading list that’s well off of the beaten path. ( )
  theoaustin | May 19, 2023 |
"Infatti, quando il tempo in cui l'uomo di talento si trova forzato a vivere è stupido e piatto, l'artista, anche a propria insaputa, è assillato dalla nostalgia di un altro secolo".

Ci sono libri che giungono come meteore nel percorso di un lettore e così è per me ora con À rebours, di fatto ignorato fino a ora e arrivato quasi per caso. Non solo decadentismo: un viaggio che potrebbe essere senza fine (in fondo il libro è breve, purtroppo) dalla superficie alla profondità delle cose, in cerca dell'essenza, guidati dalla mania, dal dettaglio. Quanto diavolo in questo libro! Un caleidoscopio di parole, una continua sorpresa. Un libro assolutamente fuori moda, che ricorda quanto manca un po' di Des Esseintes alla nostra vita quotidiana. ( )
  d.v. | May 16, 2023 |
"...las llagas mas incurables, mas vivaces, más profundas, abiertas por la saciedad, la desilusión y el desprecio en las almas ruinosas a las que el presente tortura, a las que el pasado repugna, a las que el porvenir asusta y desespera".

"Y vosotros utopistas sistemáticos, que haceís abstracción de la naturaleza humana; factores del ateísmo, alimentados de quimeras y de odios; emancipadores de la mujer, destructores de la familia, genealogistas de la raza simia; vosotros, cuyo nombre antaño era una injuria, bien podeís estar contentos: ¡habreís sido los profetas y vuestros discípulos serán los pontífices de un abominable porvenir!"

"¡Que época tan singular la que, invocando los intereses de la humanidad, trata de perfeccionar los anestésicos para suprimir el sufrimiento físico y prepara al mismo tiempo tales estimulantes para agravar el dolor moral!" ( )
  darioha | Jul 26, 2022 |
Damals sicherlich revolutionär, heute eher schwierig zu lesen, da das ganze Buch aus mehr oder minder getrennten Episoden der Dekadenz der Hauptperson - des Baron des Esseintes - bestehen. Mal bastelt er Duft- mal Schnapsorgeln und verliert sich ansonsten in seinen Ressentiments gegen die Welt. Ich bin froh, dass ich das jetzt abhaken kann.

Zitat: "Aber diese Extravaganzen und Tollheiten, in denen er früher seinen Ruhm suchte, hatten sich erschöpft."

ps.: Die Duftepisoden und der Stil haben mich mehrfach an "Das Parfüm" erinnert - könnte mir vorstellen, dass das Buch Süskind als Inspirationsquelle diente.

( )
  iffland | Mar 19, 2022 |
Should be essential reading for all arty nineteen-year-olds, for whom it can serve as either a script or a hoot. ( )
  AnnKlefstad | Feb 4, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (59 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Huysmans, Joris-KarlAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ascari, FabrizioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baldick, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bo, CarloForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Capsius, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dèttore, UgoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellis, HavelockIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacob, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
King, BrendanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGuinness, PatrickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nylén, AnttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Redon, OdilonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodin, AugusteCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sbarbaro, CamilloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sommermeyer, Joerg K.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Syrg, OrlandoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zaidenberg, ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Over two months elapsed before Des Esseintes could immerse himself in the peaceful silence of his house at Fontenay, for purchases of all sorts still kept him perambulating the streets and ransacking the shops from one end of Paris to the other.
If, in a cosy fantasy of cultural influence, one were to present one's young niece or nephew with their first nineteenth-century novel, only the most wicked amongst us would choose Joris-Karl Huysmans's Against Nature (in the original French, A rebours). (Introduction)
Judging by the few portraits that have been preserved in the Chateau de Lourps, the line of the Floressas des Esseintes consisted, in bygone days, of muscular warriors and grim-looking mercenaries. (Prologue)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Ã? rebours, Against the Grain or Against Nature in English, is an 1884 novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans. Anti-hero Jean Des Esseintes despises the bourgeois society he lives in and withdraws into the aesthetic and artistic ideals that he has created. Believing the novel would be rejected by both critics and public, Huysman declared: "It will be the biggest fiasco of the year - but I don't care a damn! It will be something nobody has ever done before, and I shall have said what I want to say..." The novel did receive great publicity on its release, but even though it was heavily criticized it also became influential with a new generation of writers and aesthetes.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Pubblicato per la prima volta in Francia nel 1884 e subito accolto da entusiasmi e polemiche per la sua originalità, "A ritroso" è spesso definito la "bibbia" del decadentismo. Profondamente innovativo nello stile e nella struttura narrativa, il capolavoro di Huysmans racconta la storia di Jean Des Esseintes, un giovane aristocratico disgustato dalla vacuità della vita parigina che sceglie di rompere ogni legame con la società isolandosi in una casa fuori città. Qui si immergerà in un caleidoscopio di esperienze stranianti ed eccentriche, logorandosi in uno sfinimento fisico e spirituale nel vano tentativo di trovare un senso alla realtà. Un'opera simbolo di un'epoca, perturbante specchio delle inquietudini che accompagnano il passaggio dall'Otto al Novecento. (*Could someone with an Italian-language LT account please transfer this there. These book descriptions aren't visable from one language site to another. See https://www.librarything.it/work/67888... Many thanks).

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