- Paperback: 136 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (21 Feb. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1460904621
- ISBN-13: 978-1460904626
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.8 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,251,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Against Nature Paperback – 21 Feb 2011
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About the Author
Nicholas White is Lecturer in French at Royal Holloway College, University of London. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
A novel with only one main character sounds a bit strange. And it is. But rather than the focus being on linear plot, action or conventional emotions, the reader of this book - whilst carrying out their own solitary activity of reading - seems to form a symbiotic relationship with the book's protagonist, Des Esseintes. Reading about the things that this French loner does purely out of boredom is fascinating; indeed, the very act of reading about his mad experiments and activities gives the reader as great a hedonistic pleasure as it gives Des Esseintes himself by doing these things.
Whilst most people today associate money with being able to have a nice house, eat well, drive nice cars etc, this fictional account of a bored, rich man sees a much more fascinating way to toy with boredom and money. The translation is great, capturing Huysmans' tone and sentiment perfectly.
Reading this book will change your life.
This book has a very very brief plot but that is the beauty of it. You get lost in the descriptions. The author paints a picture in your mind. It's easily one of the most enchanting books I've read.
I was truly absorbed in it, and upon finishing it realized that story was less interesting than anyone's life yet the descriptions will mesmerize and hold you to the end. Its almost a sensory overload.
Might be of interest to some others - this is presumably the ' yellow book ' that corrupts the main character in the picture of Dorian Gray
Calling this novel an aesthetical novel is essentially naive. This novel is so much more: a harrowing portrayal of the death of a kind of life. One man's battle with the world he lives in, grasping at the heels of the pleasures he loves in the vain hope that they'll stay. Not a perfect novel, but essential reading for any one who has read the likes of Wilde, Zola, Baudelaire, Sartre, or anyone at all concerned with France in the 19th century.
Des Esseintes changes one lifestyle for another and contemplates upon a series of subjects in his new home that he has bizarrely furnished and fitted out. A weird and captivating tale this book is now a cult classic and has held people enthralled since its first publication, indeed it is difficult to put it down, and remains in the mind long after. As I wrote in my review for The Damned (Penguin Classics), Huysmans can write about literally anything and hold you in captivation, truly he was one of the worlds greatest writers. In this book mention is made of Barbey D'Aurevilly, and the bookLes Diaboliques: She Devils (Empire of the Senses). This is a book of short stories and is well worth a read.
Along with the story and an introduction you also get here Huysmans' preface written 20 years later, and also reviews and responses to the novel from such luminaries as Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola and Barbey D'Aurevilly, amognst others.
Against Nature displays a profound disgust for women as well as an effete sensibility that rejected `normality' and convention. Huysman's erudite encapsulations of Classical history and literature are marked by a strong sense of the privileged position he was able, by means of his wealth, to attain. This seam of extremism played itself out via the Symbolist movement and it (arguably) reached its peak in the poetry of Maeterlinck and in the art of (among others) Arnold Bocklin and Ferdinand Hodler. As such it is one of the strangest movements in the Modernist era, linking figures as various as Baudelaire and Edward Burne-Jones. The styles of the Symbolist painters varied considerably, but they shared many of the same themes particularly a fascination with the mystical and the visionary. The erotic, the perverse, death and debauchery were of particular interest for the Symbolists.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book fascinating when I was doing some research which involved Oscar Wilde. It is an amazing book and very much part of the fin-de-siecle movement.Published 15 months ago by trilby
This is a well book at a really good price. I am very happy with this purchase. Very happy !Published on 30 April 2014 by Chris
It's a Great read, a really unusual book. It arrived on time, clear and easy to read, could do with a bit more of a conservative cover though.Published on 9 Oct. 2013 by alexanderbuck
This is a rapturous affront against dull conformity and hypocritical moral pretensions. In this story of a man Das Esseintes who, sick of the inanity of common existence and of... Read morePublished on 9 May 2010 by demola