Against Nature

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Penguin Books Limited, May 1, 2003 - Fiction - 288 pages
21 Reviews
The hero of this curious novel is des Esseintes, a neurasthenic aristocrat who has turned his back on the vulgarity of modern life and retreated to an isolated country villa. Here, accompanied only by a couple of silent servants, he pursues his obsessions with exotic flowers, rare gems, and complex perfumes and embarks on a series of increasingly strange aesthetic experiments, starting with the decision to give his giant pet tortoise a jewel-encrusted shell...

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Poquette - LibraryThing

Against Nature (A rebours in the French original, also sometimes translated as Against the Grain) concerns itself with a degenerate French aristocrat, Jean des Esseintes, the last of his line, who has ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - xuebi - LibraryThing

But I just don't enjoy the pleasures other people enjoy! With this exclamation, Jean des Esseintes, the sole character in Huysmans' Against Nature, sums up the central theme of the novel. Against ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Born in Paris in 1848 and acknowledged as a principal architect of the fin-de-siècle imagination, Joris-Karl Huysmans was a career civil servant who wrote ten novels, most notably A Rebours (1884) and Là-Bas (1891). Huysmans died in 1907. Robert Baldick (d.1972) translated widely from the French and wrote a biography of Huysmans. Patrick McGuinness is a Fellow and Tutor in French at St Anne's College, Oxford, and editor of Symbolism, Decadence and the Fin de Siecle (Exeter UP, 2000).

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