Against Nature

Against Nature

5.0 4
by Joris-Karl Huysmans
     
 

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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

Overview

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...

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780141906607
Publisher:
Penguin UK
Publication date:
05/01/2003
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
364 KB

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.