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Against Nature

Overview

"An original fin de siecle novel, Against Nature contains only one character. Des Esseintes is a decadent, ailing aristocrat who retreats to an isolated villa where he 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." This revised edition of Robert Baldick's translation features a new introduction
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Against Nature

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Overview

"An original fin de siecle novel, Against Nature contains only one character. Des Esseintes is a decadent, ailing aristocrat who retreats to an isolated villa where he 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." This revised edition of Robert Baldick's translation features a new introduction and a chronology, and reproduces Huysmans's original 1903 preface as well as a selection of reviews from writers including Mallarme, Zola and Wilde.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612039114
  • Publisher: Bottom of the Hill Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.33 (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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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    First Modern Novel

    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/

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