Against Nature (A Rebours)
A wildly original fin-de-siècle novel, Against Nature follows its sole character, Des Esseintes, a decadent, ailing aristocrat who retreats to an isolated villa where he indulges his taste for luxury and excess. Veering between nervous excitability and debilitating ennui, he gluts his aesthetic... show more
A wildly original fin-de-siècle novel, Against Nature follows its sole character, Des Esseintes, a decadent, ailing aristocrat who retreats to an isolated villa where he indulges his taste for luxury and excess. Veering between nervous excitability and debilitating ennui, he gluts his aesthetic appetites with classical literature and art, exotic jewels (with which he fatally encrusts the shell of his tortoise), rich perfumes, and a kaleidoscope of sensual experiences. The original handbook of decadence, Against Nature exploded “like a grenade” (in the words of its author) and has enjoyed a cult readership from its publication to the present day. Features a new Introduction, chronology, and notes and reproduces Huysmans's 1903 preface Includes a section of contemporary reviews and responses from writers including Mallarmé, Zola, and Wilde
Publish date: February 24th 2004
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 288
Edition language: English
bookshelves: winter-20152016, jan-2016-litricher, e-book, france, books-about-books-and-book-shops, lit-crit, lit-richer, misanthropic, moral-high-ground, nihilism, satire, art-forms, beautifully-put, bellybutton-mining, cult-yah, doo-lally, feckless-procrastination, flowery-language, religion, rom...
On TBR from Manny's review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/113257800
This is a brilliant book. Not only is it interesting in and of itself, containing some magnificent writing, but it presents an original and fundamental analysis of the entire movement away from Naturalism (Huysmans began as a disciple of Zola) and into Symbolism (Mallarmé), Decadence, and (hence) in...
An ornate, sickly, claustropobic book, full of fascinating discussions about art and literature, and studded with items of outré vocabulary (I still haven’t worked out what mœchialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels – the plot itself is slim and of little importance. ...
It must have been so exciting to be a novelist in the second half of the nineteenth century. You weren't limited to just creating a novel; if you were talented, you could create a whole new kind of novel. Here, Huysmans has written the first example known to me of the novel where nothing happens. Fr...
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