‘It will be the biggest fiasco of the year - but I don't care a damn! It will be something nobody has ever done before, and I shall have said what I had to say.’ As Joris -Karl Huysmans announced in 1884, Against Nature was fated to be a novel like no other. Resisting the models of classic nineteenth-century fiction, it focuses on the attempts of its anti-hero, the hypersensitive neurotic and aesthete, Des Esseintes, to escape Paris and the vulgarity of modern life. Holed up in his private museum of high taste, he offers Huysmans's readers a treasure trove of cultural delights which anticipates many of the strains of modernism in its appreciation of Baudelaire, Moreau, Redon, Mallarmé and Poe. This new translation is supplemented by indispensable notes which enhance the understanding of a highly allusive work.
- Oxford University Press