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HUYSMAN AGAINST NATURE PDF

Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans is a novel in which very little happens; its narrative concentrates almost entirely on its principal character. Against Nature fell like a meteorite into the literary fairground and there was astonishment and fury – Huysmans, Preface () to Against Nature. Joris- Karl. Credits. This web version of John Howard’s translation of Joris-Karl Huysmans’s À Rebours, whose title is rendered both “Against the Grain”.

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This, too, proved disappointing; he was revolted by their rancorous and petty judgments, their conversation as obvious as a church door, their dreary discussions in which they judged the value of a book by the number of editions it had passed and by the profits acquired.

On the day when he too had been afflicted with this longing, this craving which in fact is poetry itself, to fly far away from contemporary society he was studying, he had fled to an idyllic region where the sap boiled in the sunshine; he had dreamed of fantastic heavenly copulations, of long earthly ecstasies, of fertiziling showers of pollen falling from the palpitating genitals of flowers; he had arrived at a gigantic pantheism, and with the Garden of Eden in which he placed his Adam and Eve he had created, perhaps unconsciously, a prodigious Hindu poem, singing the glories of the flesh, extolling, in a style whose broad patches of crude colour had something of the weird brilliance of Indian paintings, living animate matter, which by its own frenzied procreation revealed to man and woman the forbidden fruit of love, its suffocating spasms, its instinctive caresses, its natural postures.

In hindsight, it is easy to see that Huysmans is on the road back to Rome. The novel goes into exhaustive detail about his pursuits of exceedingly refined, and ultimately cold, aesthetic interests.

Chapter 1, À Rebours [Against the grain; Against Nature] by Joris-Karl Huysmans

It is not like reading a treatise of William Morris’ and coming to understand a particular aesthetic of how a book should be bound and why–it is a mere litany of excess, the dull and trashy kind of overspending which marks the hiysman. By protracted contemplation of the same thoughts, his mind grew sharp, his vague, undeveloped ideas took on form. Now he’s tired of it. They have constructed a sense of identity for themselves–what makes them them –and when they see hujsman else doing the same thing, it threatens their sense of identity.

It is a life without risk, a life where he does not have to confront anything uncomfortable or challenging, which natuee never hazard upsetting or drawing judgment from anyone–a pointless life of perfect safety which he romantically paints as fraught and challenging, because it allows him to imagine himself as the noble struggler against hardship–but solely on his own terms.

He continued his Latin and French studies when the whim seized him and, although theology did not figure in his schedule, he finished his apprenticeship in this science, begun at the Chateau de Lourps, in the library bequeathed by his grand-uncle, Dom Prosper, the old prior of the regular canons of Saint-Ruf.

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Des Esseintes is the false iconoclast, the man who is obsessed with being different for its own sake, but who does not know himself. Even sex is described like a piece of art from his collection, something predetermined by its artist, void of any animal passion or instinct: The language all this is described in is deliberately rich and unnaturalistic.

This was the end! Alain de Botton writes that the reality of travel seldom matches our dreams. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open.

The servants were old and dull. He put masons to work on the house he had acquired. Still, I’m confident they contain more tonic than virus. May 22, Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Real iconoclasts are cool. As brilliant Nietzsche scholar Rick Roderick pointed outadvertisement is ayainst opposite of psychotherapy.

À rebours – Wikipedia

At the same time, he noticed that the free thinkers, the doctrinaires of the bourgeoisie, people who claimed every liberty that they might stifle the opinions of others, were greedy and shameless puritans whom, in education, he esteemed inferior to the corner shoemaker.

It was the heyday of Naturalism, but this school, which should have rendered the inestimable service of giving us real characters in precisely described settings, had ended up harping on the same old themes and was treading water.

It was huysmwn time to check his excesses and renounce those pursuits which were dissipating his reserve of strength! Huysmans’s former mentor, Zola, was less impressed and gave the book a lukewarm reception. It was his supreme delight to wander down the little valley to Jutigny, a village planted at the foot of the hills, a tiny heap of cottages capped with thatch strewn with tufts of sengreen and clumps of moss.

Against The Grain, or Against Nature

He rejects the academically respectable Latin authors of the ” Golden Age ” such as Virgil and Ciceropreferring later ” Silver Age ” writers such as Petronius and Apuleius as well as works of early Christian literature, whose style was usually dismissed as the “barbarous” product of the Dark Ages. Only one painting served as a link to connect the past and present — a crafty, mysterious head with haggard and gaunt features, cheekbones punctuated with a comma of paint, the hair overspread with pearls, a painted neck rising stiffly from the fluted ruff.

Huysmans [Huysmans converted or reverted to Catholicism in View all 22 comments. Once more he was toying with the idea of becoming a recluse, of living in some hushed retreat where the turmoil of life would be muffled — as in those streets covered with straw to prevent any sound from reaching invalids.

Sep 11, Forrest rated it really liked it. After all, what platitudinous limitations she imposes, like a tradesman specializing in a single line of business; what petty-minded restrictions, like a shopkeeper stocking one article to the exclusion of all others; what a monotonous store of meadows and trees, what a commonplace display of mountains and seas! His mother, a tall, pale, taciturn woman, died of anaemia, and his father of some uncertain malady. This tampering with things already “perfect” kills the very poetry they already possess.

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Closely jature, side by side, in the old agaimst which their broad shoulders filled, they startled aaginst with the fixed gaze of their eyes, their fierce moustaches and the chests whose deep curves filled the enormous shells of their cuirasses. Each chapter has a theme: Now, where did I leave those liquor truffles!

If I was to againsh in years time, my views would probably change for the better. Again husman again, he tells us that he despises this or that thing because a merchant’s wife likes it. Eventually, his late nights and idiosyncratic diet take their toll on his health, requiring him to return to Paris or to forfeit his life. For one, hkysman fact that this contrary soul is indeed human despite the weirdly grotesque passions that power it, and through all the oddities Des Esseintes surrounds himself one can still see the insolvable human condition that plagues every one of us.

Toward a New Decadence? It was coated with a layer of bronze green on which glanced silver reflections. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Decadent Rants and Harangues This novel is a wonderful assemblage of prescient and decadent rants. 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 exquisite hypochondria and nervous affectation.

What were all the evangelical pharmacopoeias beside his treatises of spiritual hygiene? The condition of his finances terrified him. View all 10 comments. Just because he’s describing the fantastically decorated and furnished apartment of an extremely wealthy aesthete concerned with pleasing no one but himself is irrelevant to this particular aspect of the “novel. The extra weight on the creature’s back causes its death.

If this had been a send-up of such a ridiculous fool, it could have proven a remarkable and wondrous work–it worked well enough for Carlyle, Cervantes, and Sterne–but, though there are certainly moments of irony and contradiction throughout, overall, the message seems to be that Des Esseintes is meant to be taken in earnest–that we are meant somehow to respect or find interesting the cobbles of his life, his scattered opinions, his false identity.

They turn the thinker into a self-prejudiced creature who is no longer willing to think or change, who has been so embroiled in the frustrating stupidity that surrounds him that it stops him in his tracks. Unsurprisingly, Des Essientes expends much enthusiasm on a few writers whose incidental prose exceeds their overall literary vision, and this may be the case here.