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Drifting (Dedalus European Classics) Paperback – 29 Nov 2017

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Product details

  • Paperback: 109 pages
  • Publisher: Dedalus Ltd (29 Nov. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910213632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910213636
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Huysmans's protagonist here, M Jean Folantin, is an ageing bachelor employed at the Ministry of the Interior... Wandering the streets of Paris, wallowing in antipathy towards the encroaching Americanization of European manners and modernizing construction works that are ruining his once-familiar city, he seeks refuge in taprooms and chop-houses, hoping only for for the fleeting satisfaction offered by a savoury meal. Alas, in attempting to achieve even this modest goal he is repeatedly thwarted. ...but his condemnation of the world around him are ultimately comic and inspiriting, and are given piquancy by Brendan King's new translation, which preserves the sheer delectability of the language even when it's describing something disgusting. That, along with King's introduction, notes, with their intelligence on everything from lead oxide used to adulterate nineteenth-century wines to the ubiquity of syphilis in the French capital, makes A Vau -l'eau a good place in which to consort with Huysmans's miserable creations.' --Matt Sturrock in The Times Literary Supplement

This is a Ulysses of the eatery, whose Odyssey, limited to voyages from one dish in which rancid butter surrounds uneatable meat to another, is heartbreaking, touching and despairing. --Guy de Maupassant in Le Gaulois

A very remarkable novel..the penetration of his analysis and the consciousness and patience of his imagery call to mind the minute brush strokes of a Holbein. --Jean Richepin in Gil Blas

About the Author

J.-K. Huysmans (1847-1907) began writing as a naturalist in the style of Zola. His early works excel in their descriptive ability and he is one of the greatest authors at describing the life of Paris and its surroundings as witnessed by his Parisian Sketches. 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.His novel about Satanism, La-Bas (1891) is surely the cult novel of the nineteenth century. It is the first of four novels about Huysmans alter ego Durtal.

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