King has written an excellent introduction in which he relates the critical history of this unusual work and highlights the contrasts and creativity that made the era of its publication such a rich one to revisit. His translation is scrupulously accurate. --Tadzio Koelb in The Times Literary Supplement
About the Author
J.K.Huysmans (1847-1907) began writing as a naturalist in the style of Zola. His first novel Marthe(1876) was published by Dedalus in 2006 in a new translation by Brendan King.His early works excel in their descriptive ability and he is one of the greatest authors in describing the life of Paris and its surroundings as witnessed by his Parisian Sketches (Dedalus translation by Brendan King in 2004).He changed from being an obscure author and art critic to one of the most famous authors of his day with the publication of A Rebours in 1884. A Rebours is a ground breaking novel which captures the decadent spirit of the day and marks his final break with Zola and naturalism. Dedalus's translation by Brendan King was published in May 2008. His novel about Satanism, La-Bas (1891)is surely the cult novel of the nineteenth century.(Brendan King's translation was selected by Beryl Bainbridge as one of the best books published in 2001 in The Independent).La-Bas is the first of four novels about Huysmans alter ego Durtal. Dedalus has published English translations of En Route (1895),The Cathedral (1898) and The Oblate of St Benedict (1903). Robert Baldick's brilliant The Life of J.K.Huysmans was published by Dedalus in the autumn of 2005, updated and edited by Brendan King. It is Dedalus's aim to make all of Huysmans work available in English. In 2010 Dedalus published Brendan King's new translation of Stranded (En Rade).