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Against the Grain by Joris-Karl Huysmans, Fiction, Classics, Literary, Action & Adventure, Romance Hardcover – July 1, 2006
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About the Author
Charles-Marie-Georges Huysmans (1848 - 1907 in Paris) was a French novelist who published his works as Joris-Karl Huysmans. He is most famous for the novel À rebours (1884, 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, he became associated with the decadent movement with his publication of À 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 cathédrale (1898), set at Chartres and with its cathedral as the focus of the book.
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Its atmosphere is very Gothic, gloomy, silent and full of beautiful things. The main character is a bit of a lunatic, but his bored and irritable personality has a touch of glamour. If you sometimes feel filled up with the world, if you sometimes fantasize about winning the lottery and then buying a big house full of the things 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.