Against Nature

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Overview

Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans is a novel in which very little happens; its narrative concentrates almost entirely on its principal character, and is mostly a catalogue of the tastes and inner life of Jean Des Esseintes, an eccentric, reclusive aesthete and antihero, who loathes 19th century bourgeois society and tries to retreat into an ideal artistic world of his own creation. Against Nature containes many themes which became associated with the Symbolist aesthetic. In doing so, it broke from naturalism and became the ultimate example of decadent literature. Jean Des Esseintes is the last member of a powerful and once proud noble family. He has lived an extremely decadent life in Paris which has left him disgusted with human society. Without telling anyone, he absconds to a house in the countryside. He fills the house with his eclectic art collection and decides to spend the rest of his life in intellectual and aesthetic contemplation. Throughout his intellectual experiments, he recalls various debauched events and love affairs of his past in Paris.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604596717
  • Publisher: Wilder Publications
  • Publication date: 1/14/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848—1907) is recognized as one of the most challenging and innovative figures in European literature and acknowledged as principal architect of the fin-de-siècle imagination. He was a career civil servant who wrote ten novels, most notably A Rebours and Là-Bas.

Robert Baldick translated many volumes from the French for Penguin Classics, including volumes by Diderot, Flaubert, and Verne, and wrote a biography of Huysmans. He died in 1972.

Patrick McGuinness is a fellow and tutor in French at St. Anne's College, Oxford.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Great Novel, Bad Edition

    This is a great (and important) novel, but be careful—the Nook book (eBook) version of "Against Nature" is a BAD edition.
    I have no idea who the translator is, but the eBook version is NOT the Baldick translation.
    Worst of all, although not described as such, the eBook version is an EXPURGATED edition: one entire chapter has been censored out!
    If you want to read Huysmans's novel in English, get the Baldick translation.
    NOTE: The five star rating is for the novel itself. However, if I could rate just the Nook's eBook translation/edition, it would get zero stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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