Against Nature

Against Nature

With a title translated either as Against Nature or as Against The Grain, this wildly original fin-de-siècle novel 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 cla With a title translated either as Against Nature or as Against The Grain, this wildly original fin-de-siècle novel foll...

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Title:Against Nature
Author:Joris-Karl Huysmans
Rating:
Genres:Fiction
ISBN:À rebours
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:242 pages pages

Against Nature Reviews

  • Warwick
    Feb 06, 2013

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

  • Bill  Kerwin
    May 22, 2007

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

  • J.G. Keely
    Jul 14, 2009

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

  • Lee Klein
    Sep 30, 2010

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

  • Geoffrey
    Jun 02, 2007

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

  • Nate D
    Aug 11, 2010

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

  • Forrest
    Sep 11, 2013

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

  • Bettie
    Dec 27, 2015

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

  • Eddie Watkins
    Feb 03, 2014

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

  • Evan
    Jun 01, 2009

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

  • Stephanie Ricker
    Dec 09, 2011

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

    April 7th, 2016 I finished this book more than two months ago and it?s been lying unreviewed since, partly because I hadn?t time to review it and partly because I didn?t know how to review it. I could have just written a short account of how much I enjoyed reading the book, espe...

    Oxford World's Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this properly in one go... Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: I found it like the richest, most gorgeous cake imaginable. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was rea...

    Well, I can honestly say I've never read anything like it, nor have I encountered a character as oddly loveable and annoying as Des Esseintes. The last of a Hapsburg-esque line of ancestors, he's a misanthropic aristocrat ailing from generations of inbreeding and a life of excess and i...

    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,...

    An aging Parisian aristocrat, fed up with the usual, decides to withdraw from the world and live a solitary life. No plot, one character: just this guy, Des Esseintes (he has servants, but they're non-characters, he doesn't even talk to them). He ensconces himself in an isolated villa ...

    ?Thinking of the new existence he was going to fashion for himself, he felt a glow of pleasure at the idea that here he would be too far out for the tidal wave of Parisian life to reach him, and yet near enough for the proximity of the capital to strengthen him in his solitude. For,...

    I read this in 1978. I was a freshman at the University of Florida. I took it to a football game to read because I knew I would be bored without a book. I read a passage where Huysmans describes the glorious un-naturalness of the color combination of orange and blue. I laughed out loud...

    "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." Vanity isn't just gross, it's also pretty boring. Before Dorian Gray there was Des Esseintes, a man living in excess, obses...

    I read Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans, a copy of which I swiped years ago from a professor?s free-book shelf. Oscar Wilde was evidently fascinated by the book, and in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian reads this ?poisonous French novel? and is obsessed by it. What sort of...

  • Sam
    Oct 08, 2008

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

    April 7th, 2016 I finished this book more than two months ago and it?s been lying unreviewed since, partly because I hadn?t time to review it and partly because I didn?t know how to review it. I could have just written a short account of how much I enjoyed reading the book, espe...

    Oxford World's Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this properly in one go... Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: I found it like the richest, most gorgeous cake imaginable. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was rea...

    Well, I can honestly say I've never read anything like it, nor have I encountered a character as oddly loveable and annoying as Des Esseintes. The last of a Hapsburg-esque line of ancestors, he's a misanthropic aristocrat ailing from generations of inbreeding and a life of excess and i...

  • AC
    Apr 01, 2013

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

    April 7th, 2016 I finished this book more than two months ago and it?s been lying unreviewed since, partly because I hadn?t time to review it and partly because I didn?t know how to review it. I could have just written a short account of how much I enjoyed reading the book, espe...

    Oxford World's Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this properly in one go... Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: I found it like the richest, most gorgeous cake imaginable. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was rea...

    Well, I can honestly say I've never read anything like it, nor have I encountered a character as oddly loveable and annoying as Des Esseintes. The last of a Hapsburg-esque line of ancestors, he's a misanthropic aristocrat ailing from generations of inbreeding and a life of excess and i...

    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,...

  • Manny
    Jul 24, 2010

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

  • Karen Witzler
    May 09, 2015

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

    April 7th, 2016 I finished this book more than two months ago and it?s been lying unreviewed since, partly because I hadn?t time to review it and partly because I didn?t know how to review it. I could have just written a short account of how much I enjoyed reading the book, espe...

    Oxford World's Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this properly in one go... Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: I found it like the richest, most gorgeous cake imaginable. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was rea...

    Well, I can honestly say I've never read anything like it, nor have I encountered a character as oddly loveable and annoying as Des Esseintes. The last of a Hapsburg-esque line of ancestors, he's a misanthropic aristocrat ailing from generations of inbreeding and a life of excess and i...

    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,...

    An aging Parisian aristocrat, fed up with the usual, decides to withdraw from the world and live a solitary life. No plot, one character: just this guy, Des Esseintes (he has servants, but they're non-characters, he doesn't even talk to them). He ensconces himself in an isolated villa ...

    ?Thinking of the new existence he was going to fashion for himself, he felt a glow of pleasure at the idea that here he would be too far out for the tidal wave of Parisian life to reach him, and yet near enough for the proximity of the capital to strengthen him in his solitude. For,...

    I read this in 1978. I was a freshman at the University of Florida. I took it to a football game to read because I knew I would be bored without a book. I read a passage where Huysmans describes the glorious un-naturalness of the color combination of orange and blue. I laughed out loud...

  • Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
    Dec 17, 2010

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

    April 7th, 2016 I finished this book more than two months ago and it?s been lying unreviewed since, partly because I hadn?t time to review it and partly because I didn?t know how to review it. I could have just written a short account of how much I enjoyed reading the book, espe...

    Oxford World's Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this properly in one go... Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: I found it like the richest, most gorgeous cake imaginable. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was rea...

    Well, I can honestly say I've never read anything like it, nor have I encountered a character as oddly loveable and annoying as Des Esseintes. The last of a Hapsburg-esque line of ancestors, he's a misanthropic aristocrat ailing from generations of inbreeding and a life of excess and i...

    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,...

    An aging Parisian aristocrat, fed up with the usual, decides to withdraw from the world and live a solitary life. No plot, one character: just this guy, Des Esseintes (he has servants, but they're non-characters, he doesn't even talk to them). He ensconces himself in an isolated villa ...

  • MJ Nicholls
    Mar 04, 2012

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

  • Aubrey
    Jun 25, 2011

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

  • Sketchbook
    Feb 03, 2011

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

  • Ian "Marvin" Graye
    Jan 29, 2016

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

  • Fionnuala
    Jan 28, 2016

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

    April 7th, 2016 I finished this book more than two months ago and it?s been lying unreviewed since, partly because I hadn?t time to review it and partly because I didn?t know how to review it. I could have just written a short account of how much I enjoyed reading the book, espe...

  • Antonomasia
    Jan 29, 2012

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

    April 7th, 2016 I finished this book more than two months ago and it?s been lying unreviewed since, partly because I hadn?t time to review it and partly because I didn?t know how to review it. I could have just written a short account of how much I enjoyed reading the book, espe...

    Oxford World's Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this properly in one go... Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: I found it like the richest, most gorgeous cake imaginable. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was rea...

  • Gary
    Nov 13, 2015

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

  • Anna
    May 08, 2013

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

    April 7th, 2016 I finished this book more than two months ago and it?s been lying unreviewed since, partly because I hadn?t time to review it and partly because I didn?t know how to review it. I could have just written a short account of how much I enjoyed reading the book, espe...

    Oxford World's Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this properly in one go... Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: I found it like the richest, most gorgeous cake imaginable. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was rea...

    Well, I can honestly say I've never read anything like it, nor have I encountered a character as oddly loveable and annoying as Des Esseintes. The last of a Hapsburg-esque line of ancestors, he's a misanthropic aristocrat ailing from generations of inbreeding and a life of excess and i...

    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,...

    An aging Parisian aristocrat, fed up with the usual, decides to withdraw from the world and live a solitary life. No plot, one character: just this guy, Des Esseintes (he has servants, but they're non-characters, he doesn't even talk to them). He ensconces himself in an isolated villa ...

    ?Thinking of the new existence he was going to fashion for himself, he felt a glow of pleasure at the idea that here he would be too far out for the tidal wave of Parisian life to reach him, and yet near enough for the proximity of the capital to strengthen him in his solitude. For,...

    I read this in 1978. I was a freshman at the University of Florida. I took it to a football game to read because I knew I would be bored without a book. I read a passage where Huysmans describes the glorious un-naturalness of the color combination of orange and blue. I laughed out loud...

    "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." Vanity isn't just gross, it's also pretty boring. Before Dorian Gray there was Des Esseintes, a man living in excess, obses...

    I read Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans, a copy of which I swiped years ago from a professor?s free-book shelf. Oscar Wilde was evidently fascinated by the book, and in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian reads this ?poisonous French novel? and is obsessed by it. What sort of...

    It took me a while to get into 'A Rebours', which was recommended by a friend for whom it is a bible. At first, it seemed like a hagiographic magazine piece such as you find in Vogue and Country Living, obsessively chronicling the lifestyle of some figure, treating them as a function o...

  • Vit Babenco
    Jan 24, 2016

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

  • Glenn Russell
    Apr 26, 2014

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

  • Steven Godin
    Dec 06, 2016

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

  • Michelle Curie
    Sep 08, 2019

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

    April 7th, 2016 I finished this book more than two months ago and it?s been lying unreviewed since, partly because I hadn?t time to review it and partly because I didn?t know how to review it. I could have just written a short account of how much I enjoyed reading the book, espe...

    Oxford World's Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this properly in one go... Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: I found it like the richest, most gorgeous cake imaginable. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was rea...

    Well, I can honestly say I've never read anything like it, nor have I encountered a character as oddly loveable and annoying as Des Esseintes. The last of a Hapsburg-esque line of ancestors, he's a misanthropic aristocrat ailing from generations of inbreeding and a life of excess and i...

    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,...

    An aging Parisian aristocrat, fed up with the usual, decides to withdraw from the world and live a solitary life. No plot, one character: just this guy, Des Esseintes (he has servants, but they're non-characters, he doesn't even talk to them). He ensconces himself in an isolated villa ...

    ?Thinking of the new existence he was going to fashion for himself, he felt a glow of pleasure at the idea that here he would be too far out for the tidal wave of Parisian life to reach him, and yet near enough for the proximity of the capital to strengthen him in his solitude. For,...

    I read this in 1978. I was a freshman at the University of Florida. I took it to a football game to read because I knew I would be bored without a book. I read a passage where Huysmans describes the glorious un-naturalness of the color combination of orange and blue. I laughed out loud...

    "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." Vanity isn't just gross, it's also pretty boring. Before Dorian Gray there was Des Esseintes, a man living in excess, obses...

  • Annie
    Jun 22, 2015

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

  • Tara
    Aug 22, 2017

    Did I really read this book forty years ago? Or did I just read the passages about the "perfume organ" and the jewel encrusted turtle and later assumed I had read the rest? If I did read it, I was completely wrong in my evaluation of this as a static, effete precursor to "Dorian Gray...

    ?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.? ? Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain Against the Grain (alternately translated as Against Nature) is a slim ...

    The hipsters are right: society is trying to destroy you--not your body, or your mind, but you, the part which makes an individual. That's what society is: the aspect of human life that is not the self, but is communal, the part that causes humanity to behave like a colony of ants. ...

    After feasting on an excessive orgy of oysters, smoked salmon, quail eggs, marinated lobster, rare partridge breast, honey glazed pig trotters and spiced wine, I followed with a desert consisting of apple strudel with clotted cream and sticky chocolate pudding in a warm orange sauce, I...

    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 nothi...

    If Proust composed his In Search of Lost Time without having read this book, I'll eat my hat. Of course, the similarities may have been unavoidable when considering that both authors concern themselves with the period of haute couture and Faubourg Saint-Germain culture, and even chose ...

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon," Wordsworth wrote in 1802, "getting and spending, we lay waste our powers." Joris-Karl Huysmans' fin de siècle novel, Against Nature (À Rebours), tells the story of an aristocratic dandy who finds the realities (more specifically, the vu...

    Decadent Rants and Harangues This 1884 novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. Something Huysmans says of another book of rants could apply equally to his own work: "Conceived as harangues, they contained a certain strong muscular energy and were aston...

    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 m?chialogie means). It is a novel for people who like talking about novels ? the plot itself is slim and of...

    The ideal novel for people who hate novels. And other people. ...

    Some top reviews on here already, let me point you towards Manny, Lee, and Nate for excerpts and analysis. I feel no need to review this one, so I shan?t trouble you for likes (Mike?I mean it!) In short, I loved the ornate, glissading descriptions of art, music, perfume, theologica...

    A dense drug trip. This celebrated work (1884) offers sensual and philosophic ruminations. There's no story. Each chapter has a theme: art, religion, literature, society, etc. Huysmans lauds painters Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon; writers Baudelaire, Mallarme, Poe. On a Symbolist "h...

    I don?t know intentionally or not but Against Nature is an absolute opposite of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and it is a complete denial of nature. ?Nature, he used to say, has had her day; she has finally and utterly exhausted the patience of sensitive observers by the revolting...

    If the hero of this novel had a more anglo-friendly name, it would be the byword for hyper-neurotic aesthete dandies, as Sherlock Holmes is in the world of detective. I don?t know how to properly pronounce des Esseintes, so I have always referred to him as that guy from Huysmans? n...

    Des Essientes, a debauched noble at the end of his line, in rebellion against the modern world, humanity, and nature itself (the title is variably translated as "Aganist the Grain" or "Against Nature"), sells the family manor and retreats to a country house in order to languish in exqu...

    One doesn't read A Rebours, one lives in it, like a ghost that is compelled to haunt a place even though it would rather leave behind the place in which it was murdered. Once the book is finally closed, one deals with the hangover caused by existentialist self-loathing for every luxury...

    Difficult to do this one justice. Took forever to read its 200+ dense pages. Well worth it, especially for the plush, precise, unexpected turns of the language, multi-phrase pile-ups on the Trans-European Translation Expressway. Mostly a catalogue of art, books, and music the main dude...

    Description: Des Esseintes is 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 jewel...

    Highly recommended for the adventurous! This is one of those books that you will either love or hate, and whatever reason you would have for either reaction I would completely understand and accept as valid. The book is not unlike a laundry list: if your laundry list happened to divid...

    It?s almost short enough to be called a novella but I read Godel, Escher, Bach (~12x this size) a few weeks ago in about half the time it took me to finish this. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. I don?t know what prompted me to pick...

    April 7th, 2016 I finished this book more than two months ago and it?s been lying unreviewed since, partly because I hadn?t time to review it and partly because I didn?t know how to review it. I could have just written a short account of how much I enjoyed reading the book, espe...

    Oxford World's Classics edition translated by Margaret Mauldon I finally read this properly in one go... Though when I say in one go, that was over a few days: I found it like the richest, most gorgeous cake imaginable. I could hardly imagine anything more wonderful whilst I was rea...

    Well, I can honestly say I've never read anything like it, nor have I encountered a character as oddly loveable and annoying as Des Esseintes. The last of a Hapsburg-esque line of ancestors, he's a misanthropic aristocrat ailing from generations of inbreeding and a life of excess and i...

    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,...

    An aging Parisian aristocrat, fed up with the usual, decides to withdraw from the world and live a solitary life. No plot, one character: just this guy, Des Esseintes (he has servants, but they're non-characters, he doesn't even talk to them). He ensconces himself in an isolated villa ...

    ?Thinking of the new existence he was going to fashion for himself, he felt a glow of pleasure at the idea that here he would be too far out for the tidal wave of Parisian life to reach him, and yet near enough for the proximity of the capital to strengthen him in his solitude. For,...