Against Nature (A Rebours)

Against Nature (A Rebours)

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by Joris-Karl Huysmans
     
 

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The infamous inspiration for the novel which slowly corrupts Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray

is translated by Robert Baldick with an introduction by Patrick McGuinness in Penguin Classics. A wildly original fin-de-siècle novel, Against Nature contains only one character. Des Esseintes is a decadent, ailing aristocrat who retreats to an isolated villa

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Overview

The infamous inspiration for the novel which slowly corrupts Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray

is translated by Robert Baldick with an introduction by Patrick McGuinness in Penguin Classics. A wildly original fin-de-siècle novel, Against Nature contains only one character. Des Esseintes is a decadent, ailing aristocrat who retreats to an isolated villa where her 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 jewels (with which he fatally encrusts the shell of his tortoise), rich perfumes and a kaleidoscope of sensual experiences. Against Nature, in the words of the author, exploded 'like a meteorite' and has enjoyed a cult following to this day.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140447637
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/24/2004
Series:
Penguin Classics Series
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
258,694
Product dimensions:
5.07(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

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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Against Nature 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Timhrk More than 1 year ago
Against Nature by J.K Huymsan is not just the first existential novel, it remains one of the most timeless and relevant works of French literature. The main character decides to live a life of solitude and creates a universe within his self, trying to attain the highest level of aesthetic experience. Fascinating and funny too-using dozens of perfumes, he attempts a symphony based on the sense of smell-the aesthete has to deal with an age old contradiction-society will make him insane, but solitude will destroy his health. The Baldick translation some critics, such as Camille Paglia, regard it as superior to the original French. Reads like a contemporary novel. Please visit: timothyherrick.blogspot.com/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.