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Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Charles-Marie-Georges Huysmans (February 5, 1848 – May 12, 1907) was a French novelist who published his works as Joris-Karl Huysmans. He is most famous for the novel A rebours (published in English as Against the Grain or Against Nature). He supported himself by a 30-year career in the French civil service. Huysmans' work is considered remarkable for its idiosyncratic use of the French language, large vocabulary, descriptions, satirical wit and far-ranging erudition. First considered part of Naturalism in literature, he became associated with the decadent movement with his publication of A rebours. His work expressed his deep pessimism, which had led him to the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. In later years, his novels reflected his study of Catholicism, religious conversion, and becoming an oblate. He discussed the iconography of Christian architecture at length in La cathedrale (1898), set at Chartres and with its catherdral as the focus of the book. La-bas (1891), En route (1895) and La cathedrale (1898) are a trilogy that feature Durtal, an autobiographical character whose spiritual progress is tracked and who converts to Catholicism. In the novel that follows, L'Oblat (1903), Durtal becomes an Oblate in a monastery, as Huysmans himself was in the Benedictine Abbey at Liguge, near Poitiers, in 1901. La cathedrale was his most commercially successful work. Its profits enabled Huysmans to retire from his civil service job and live on his royalties. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
I ordered this book because a fine painter who has read widely recommended it. There's one problem with this edition: the type is so small that it's a great strain to read it. Read morePublished 16 months ago by F. G. Stoddard
Against the Grain is a short novel (110 pages) where French author Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907) employs a torrent of baroque descriptions and unending streams of rococo... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of the very great novels of all times. I had read it twice before, but my copy was falling apart. I learned more about aesthetics from this work than having lived for 76 years.Published 18 months ago by zeleska
This is a spooky book, one only has to look at the cover. Its hero has retired from the world and sits back and examines his attitudes to life. Read morePublished on August 13, 2013 by Peter R. Wigley
The book starts off beautifully, with a wonderful turn of phrase and a delightfully absurd main character. Read morePublished on April 3, 2011 by Jadxia Lauron
If you are looking for plot, look elsewhere. "Against the Grain" is essentially a collection of essays- comparable to David Foster Wallace's non-fiction pieces or Umberto Eco's... Read morePublished on December 11, 2010 by PuroShaggy