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Against Nature (1884)

af Joris-Karl Huysmans

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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

? rebours, Against the Grain or Against Nature in English, is an 1884 novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans. Anti-hero Jean Des Esseintes despises the bourgeois society he lives in and withdraws into the aesthetic and artistic ideals that he has created. Believing the novel would be rejected by both critics and public, Huysman declared: "It will be the biggest fiasco of the year - but I don't care a damn! It will be something nobody has ever done before, and I shall have said what I want to say..." The novel did receive great publicity on its release, but even though it was heavily criticized it also became influential with a new generation of writers and aesthetes.… (mere)

  1. 80
    Dorian Grays billede af Oscar Wilde (roby72, Zeeko, JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Wie in Wikipedia zu 'Gegen den Strich' beschrieben: "Ein französischer Roman, der den Protagonisten in Oscar Wildes Roman Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray zu dekadenten Ausschweifungen inspiriert, wird häufig als Anspielung auf À rebours gedeutet. Wilde war - wie auch Stéphane Mallarmé - ein Bewunderer des Romans."… (mere)
  2. 20
    Brügge-den-Døde af Georges Rodenbach (defaults)
  3. 00
    Reading Writing af Julien Gracq (Eustrabirbeonne)
  4. 00
    Festins secrets af Pierre Jourde (Eustrabirbeonne)
  5. 00
    With the Flow af Joris-Karl Huysmans (arztriper)
  6. 00
    Underkastelse af Michel Houellebecq (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: In "Unterwerfung" geht es um einen Professor der Literaturwissenschaften mit Schwerpunkt "Huysman". Entsprechend wird auch viel über Huysman gesprochen.
  7. 00
    Jevgenij Onegin af Alexander Pushkin (TheLittlePhrase)
  8. 00
    Five Novels af Ronald Firbank (uncultured)
    uncultured: Firbank is the bridge between Oscar Wilde and Evelyn Waugh. Huysmans would approve.
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» Se også 155 omtaler

Engelsk (59)  Italiensk (4)  Hollandsk (2)  Fransk (2)  Alle (1)  Portugisisk (1)  Catalansk (1)  Svensk (1)  Finsk (1)  Alle sprog (72)
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‘Do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.’

A gloriously decadent piece of literature that spreads its rancour across all five senses. However, it certainly isn’t as evil as Wilde made it out to be - Des Esseintes is just a feeble misanthrope clinging onto antiquity. This work kind of struck me as a 19th century version of Ellis’ American Psycho to the extent that there are pages upon pages of vacuous minutiae concerning exotic plants, meticulous lighting, various perfumes etc. - I will be the first to admit that that is a crude analogy, but it works.

The exaggerated advocacy for the artificial over Nature found in here was also appreciated, serving as a spit in the face against the exsanguinated prose of Naturalism that was all the rage at the time of the book’s inception. It’s difficult to know whether to take it as Huysman’s own bitter condemnation of the Naturalist school of thought he had just left or as a fully fledged, detached satire. Either way it’s worth the price of admission just for the literary criticism of Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Poe that is strewn throughout. On top of these three figures there are also a whole litany of forgotten Christian and secular authors, giving ample material to the prospective reader to create a reading list that’s well off of the beaten path. ( )
  theoaustin | May 19, 2023 |
"Infatti, quando il tempo in cui l'uomo di talento si trova forzato a vivere è stupido e piatto, l'artista, anche a propria insaputa, è assillato dalla nostalgia di un altro secolo".

Ci sono libri che giungono come meteore nel percorso di un lettore e così è per me ora con À rebours, di fatto ignorato fino a ora e arrivato quasi per caso. Non solo decadentismo: un viaggio che potrebbe essere senza fine (in fondo il libro è breve, purtroppo) dalla superficie alla profondità delle cose, in cerca dell'essenza, guidati dalla mania, dal dettaglio. Quanto diavolo in questo libro! Un caleidoscopio di parole, una continua sorpresa. Un libro assolutamente fuori moda, che ricorda quanto manca un po' di Des Esseintes alla nostra vita quotidiana. ( )
  d.v. | May 16, 2023 |
"...las llagas mas incurables, mas vivaces, más profundas, abiertas por la saciedad, la desilución y el de sprecio en las almas ruinosas a las que el presente tortura, a las que el pasado repugna, a las que el porvenir asusta y desespera".

"Y vosotros utopistas sistemáticos, que haceís abstracción de la naturaleza humana; facutores del ateísmo, alimentados de quimeras y de odios; emancipadores de la mujer, destructores de la familia, genealogistas de la raza simia; vosotros, cuyo nombre antaño era una injuria, bien podeís estar contentos: ¡habreís sido los profetas y vuestros discípulos serán los pontífices de un abominable porvenir!"

"¡Que época tan singular la que, invocando los intereses de la humanidad, trata de perfeccionar los anestésicos para suprimir el sufrimiento físico y prepara al mismo tiempo tales estimulantes para agravar el dolor moral!" ( )
  darioha | Jul 26, 2022 |
Jean des Esseintes is a revelation. 'Against Nature', 'À rebours' in French, is an exquisite character study and, often tedious and pedantic, lifestyle guide loosely disguised as a novel. Esseintes is the last scion of a once prominent French family who enjoys an indulgent yet distant childhood, a reckless and profligate youth and finally decides to sumptuously retire from the world. The book has only brief sketches of education and family life and spends pages and pages describing the decoration of rooms. His suburban house is designed to give him all the comforts he desires without having to speak to a living soul or even notice the world outside his plushily appointed library or boudoir. He admires artificiality as being man's greatest achievement. In his thinking, mother nature has been surpassed by modern luxuries and it is to be celebrated. He has a lot of feelings and arguments for what colors of the spectrum work best in artificial light. He catalogs and (mostly dismisses) the entirety of remaining Latin literature from ancient times through the medieval period. On contemporary novels he can occasionally abide a Zola or a Dickens, but he risks enjoying something too popular. He is obsessive. He is capricious. He is a snob. He is ridiculous. He is my best queer self if I were lucky enough to be wealthy and French in the 1880s. I'm a bit obsessed with him to be honest.

The sexuality of public figures in the Victorian era is never going to get beyond speculation, beyond a few very rare examples. Who Huysmans, author and public servant, was in private life is immaterial to how his most famous character has reverberated over a century to us now. Huysmans is reported to have a mistress, and Esseintes has had many mistresses. 'Against Nature' is acknowledged as having been a favorite of Oscar Wilde's and is referenced in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' as influencing Dorian's slide into wickedness. 'Against Nature' is a portrait of an outsider. A man whose birth and wealth enabled him to have the best of everything, yet he acts against what society demands and eventually attempts to renounce it completely at the cost of his health. There's a lot to be read into that if you have the time. I just have to acknowledge that the character resonated with me. The importance of aesthetic design, the attention to detail, the predominance of LIGHTING, and, of course, the tortoise was hysterical. There was something deeper, though. He doesn't like what everyone else likes. He doesn't do what everyone else does. I'm glad to have read it, lectures and all. ( )
2 stem ManWithAnAgenda | May 31, 2022 |
Damals sicherlich revolutionär, heute eher schwierig zu lesen, da das ganze Buch aus mehr oder minder getrennten Episoden der Dekadenz der Hauptperson - des Baron des Esseintes - bestehen. Mal bastelt er Duft- mal Schnapsorgeln und verliert sich ansonsten in seinen Ressentiments gegen die Welt. Ich bin froh, dass ich das jetzt abhaken kann.

Zitat: "Aber diese Extravaganzen und Tollheiten, in denen er früher seinen Ruhm suchte, hatten sich erschöpft."

ps.: Die Duftepisoden und der Stil haben mich mehrfach an "Das Parfüm" erinnert - könnte mir vorstellen, dass das Buch Süskind als Inspirationsquelle diente.

( )
  iffland | Mar 19, 2022 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Huysmans, Joris-Karlprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Ascari, FabrizioOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Baldick, RobertOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Bo, CarloForordmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Dèttore, UgoOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Ellis, HavelockIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Howard, JohnOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Jacob, HansOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
King, BrendanOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
McGuinness, PatrickIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Redon, OdilonIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Over two months elapsed before Des Esseintes could immerse himself in the peaceful silence of his house at Fontenay, for purchases of all sorts still kept him perambulating the streets and ransacking the shops from one end of Paris to the other.
If, in a cosy fantasy of cultural influence, one were to present one's young niece or nephew with their first nineteenth-century novel, only the most wicked amongst us would choose Joris-Karl Huysmans's Against Nature (in the original French, A rebours). (Introduction)
Judging by the few portraits that have been preserved in the Chateau de Lourps, the line of the Floressas des Esseintes consisted, in bygone days, of muscular warriors and grim-looking mercenaries. (Prologue)
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

? rebours, Against the Grain or Against Nature in English, is an 1884 novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans. Anti-hero Jean Des Esseintes despises the bourgeois society he lives in and withdraws into the aesthetic and artistic ideals that he has created. Believing the novel would be rejected by both critics and public, Huysman declared: "It will be the biggest fiasco of the year - but I don't care a damn! It will be something nobody has ever done before, and I shall have said what I want to say..." The novel did receive great publicity on its release, but even though it was heavily criticized it also became influential with a new generation of writers and aesthetes.

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