By Joris-Karl Huysmans, Patrick McGuinness
The hero of this curious novel is des Esseintes, a neurasthenic aristocrat who has grew to become his again at the vulgarity of recent existence and retreated to an remoted state villa. right here, followed in simple terms by means of a few silent servants, he pursues his obsessions with unique plants, infrequent gemstones, and intricate perfumes and embarks on a chain of more and more unusual aesthetic experiments, beginning with the choice to offer his enormous puppy tortoise a jewel-encrusted shell...
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Extra info for Against Nature (Penguin Classics)
The Crowds of Lourdes, 1926) published. 1906 8 Nov. Huysmans, realizing the gravity of his condition, drafts his will. 1907 Jan. Promoted to Officier de la Légion d’Honneur. 1907 12 May Death of Huysmans half an hour after the departure of Lucien Descaves, his literary executor. 1907 15 May Huysmans is buried at the Montparnasse Cemetery in the family grave. 1908 Posthumous publication of Trois Eglises et Trois Primitifs (Three Churches and Three Primitives). Introduction Thus when the universal sun has set does the moth seek the lamplight of privacy.
ROBERT BALDICK, the late co-editor of the Penguin Classics, received his MA and D. Phil. from Oxford University, where he was a Fellow of Pembroke College. -K. Huysmans, Frédérick Lamaître and Henry Murger, a study of the Goncourts, The Siege of Paris and The Duel. Authors whose work he translated from the French include the Goncourts, Montherlant, Radiguet, Restif de la Bretonne, Sartre, Simenon and Jules Verne. For the Penguin Classics he translated Flaubert’s Three Tales and Sentimental Education, Chateaubriand’s Memoirs and Huysmans’ Against Nature.
His father, who died in 1856, was an artist of Dutch origins, and the son would later refer to himself as a mystical Fleming beneath the skin of a neurotic Parisian. -K. Huysmans would produce some of the finest art criticism of his generation, and his attention was particularly drawn to nordic artists, the Flemish and Dutch, with whose cultures he retained a lifelong sympathy. In 1866, Huysmans joined the Ministry of the Interior, where he remained until 1898. The drudgery of bureaucratic routine was minutely detailed in a number of works, notably A Vau-l’Eau (Downstream, 1882), the novella that gave rise to Against Nature, and the strange story, La Retraite de M.