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Against Nature (A Rebours),9780140447637

Against Nature (A Rebours)

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2/1/2004
Publisher(s): Penguin Classics
Availability: This title is currently not available.


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 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. Against Nature, in the words of the author, exploded 'like a grenade' and has enjoyed a cult following to this day.

Author Biography

Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-û1907) is recognized as one of the most challenging and innovative figures in European literature and acknowledged as principal architect of the fin-de-si+¿cle imagination. He was a career civil servant who wrote ten novels, most notably A Rebours and La`-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.

Table of Contents

Chronologyp. vii
Introductionp. xiii
Further Readingp. xxxvii
Note on this Translationp. xxxix
Against Naturep. I
Preface, Written Twenty Years After the Novelp. 205
Reviews of and Responses to Against Naturep. 219
Notesp. 229
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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