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9780140447637

Against Nature (A Rebours) (Penguin Classics)

Huysmans, Joris-Karl

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9780140447637: Against Nature (A Rebours) (Penguin Classics)

Infamous as the inspiration for the novel which slowly corrupts Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray, Joris-Karl Huysmans' Against Nature (A Rebours) 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. This revised edition of Robert Baldick's lucid 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 Mallarmé, Zola and Wilde. Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907) is now recognized as one of the most challenging and innovative figures in European literature and an acknowledged 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. If you enjoyed Against Nature, you might like Huysmans's The Damned (La-Bas), also available in Penguin Classics.

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A wildly original fin-de-siècle novel, Against Nature follows its sole character, Des Esseintes, 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. The original handbook of decadence, Against Nature exploded “like a grenade” (in the words of its author) and has enjoyed a cult readership from its publication to the present day.

  • Features a new Introduction, chronology, and notes and reproduces Huysmans's 1903 preface
  • Includes a section of contemporary reviews and responses from writers including Mallarmé, Zola, and Wilde

About 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 McGuiness is a fellow and tutor in French at St. Anne’s College, Oxford.


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

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Huysmans, Joris-Karl Author
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Infamous as the inspiration for the novel which slowly corrupts Oscar Wilde s Dorian Gray , Joris-Karl Huysmans Against Nature (A Rebours) is translated by Robert Baldick with an introduction by Patrick McGuinness in Penguin Classics . A wildly 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 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. This revised edition of Robert Baldick s lucid translation features a new introduction and a chronology, and reproduces Huysmans original 1903 preface as well as a selection of reviews from writers including Mallarme, Zola and Wilde. Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907) is now recognized as one of the most challenging and innovative figures in European literature and an acknowledged principal architect of the fin-de-siecle imagination. He was a career civil servant who wrote ten novels, most notably A Rebours and La-Bas . If you enjoyed Against Nature , you might like Huysmans The Damned (La-Bas) , also available in Penguin Classics . Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140447637

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Huysmans, Joris-Karl Author
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2004)
ISBN 10: 0140447636 ISBN 13: 9780140447637
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Infamous as the inspiration for the novel which slowly corrupts Oscar Wilde s Dorian Gray , Joris-Karl Huysmans Against Nature (A Rebours) is translated by Robert Baldick with an introduction by Patrick McGuinness in Penguin Classics . A wildly 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 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. This revised edition of Robert Baldick s lucid translation features a new introduction and a chronology, and reproduces Huysmans original 1903 preface as well as a selection of reviews from writers including Mallarme, Zola and Wilde. Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907) is now recognized as one of the most challenging and innovative figures in European literature and an acknowledged principal architect of the fin-de-siecle imagination. He was a career civil servant who wrote ten novels, most notably A Rebours and La-Bas . If you enjoyed Against Nature , you might like Huysmans The Damned (La-Bas) , also available in Penguin Classics . Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140447637

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Book Description Penguin Classics, 2004. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Des Esseintes is a neurasthenic aristocrat who has turned his back on the vulgarity of modern life and retreated to an isolated country villa, where he pursues his obsessions with exotic flowers, rare gems and complex perfumes. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0140447636

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd. 127mm x 18mm x 196mm. Paperback. 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, accompa.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 242 pages. 0.200. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140447637

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