Joris-Karl Huysmans

Against the Grain

À rebours (translated into English as Against Nature or Against the Grain) (1884) is a novel by the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans. 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. À rebours contains many themes which became associated with the Symbolist aesthetic. In doing so, it broke from naturalism and became the ultimate example of “decadent” literature.
239 printed pages

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