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AGAINST THE GRAIN - by J. K. Huysmans - Translated by John Howard

Introduction by Havelock Ellis

Cover Art by Vera Bock

Famous French Decadent Novel in English

AGAINST THE GRAIN is possibly the most famous novel by J.K. Huysmans (written in 1884 it caused quite a sensation). It is a simple story of Jean Des Esseintes, an eccentric misanthrope and the last member of a rich, powerful and proud family - he has led a life of constant debauchery and decadence - finally he is sickened by Paris high society and humans in general and without telling anyone he moves to a house in the county-side far from modern life and Paris.

Loathing 19th century society he decides to retreat into an ideal artistic world of his own creation - Alone now, he begins filling the house with unusual art, esoteric books, exotic plants, plush carpets, fantastic liqueurs and perfumes - he sets precious gemstones into the shell of a large pet tortoise - all the while decorating and painting the house extravagantly with fanatical attention to color and detail - all of this is meticulously described in lavish, sensuous language.

Constantly reading he wants to spend the rest of his life in aesthetic and intellectual contemplation - during these pursuits he recalls his decadent lifestyle in Paris - drinking and womanizing every night - he spontaneously decides to visit London - but after reconfirming his disgust with humans upon arriving at the train station to London - he immediately returns to the house in the country - eventually his health starts to fail and he is forced to move back to Paris to seek medical attention. A Classic in French Decadent Literature. One of my all time favorite books.

Boni Books N.Y., 1937 Edition - Vera Bock Cover Art - 331 Page Paperback - No Illustrations - USED VINTAGE COPY / Decadent / French Literature in English / Scarce 1937 Edition - Used Copy in Clean, Very Good Condition - PRICE: $60.00

Against The Grain: by J. K. Huysmans - Translated by John Howard - Introduction by Havelock Ellis - 1937 Vintage Decadent Fiction


  • Vintage item from the 1930s
  • Ships worldwide from California, United States
  • Feedback: 234 reviews
  • Favorited by: 53 people