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(literary name, Joris Karl Huysmans). Born Feb. 5, 1848, in Paris; died there May 12, 1907. French writer.
Huysmans as a romantic was at odds with the reality of capitalist society; this is evident in the lyrical miniatures of his cycle of short stories entitled The Comfit Dish of Spices(1874). The studies of Huysmans were filled with living speech and diverse fates of the Parisian lower classes (the novella Marthe,1876), the extinction of feelings in the soul of a young proletarian woman (the novel The Vatard Sisters,1879), the senselessness of an official’s existence (the novella With the Flow,1882), and the pathology of philistine egoism (the novella Dilemma,1887). In these works the characteristic signs of the bourgeois way of life penetrate through the naturalistic pattern, but Huysmans was unable to reject its basic principles. In a decadently refined cult of sensual pleasures he sought oblivion (the novel Against the Grain,1884); he fled from the contemporary age. which he hated, into a world of black magic and Satanism (the novel Down There,1891), religious illumination (the unfinished novel Up There,1893, published in 1965; the novel En Route,1895), and medieval mysticism (the novel The Cathedral,1898). Having entered on the path of “spiritualistic naturalism,” Huysmans the skeptic turned to Catholicism in 1892. Huysmans was a member of the Académie des Goncourt.
WORKSOeuvres complètes,vols. 1–18. Paris, 1928–34.
In Russian translation:
Poln. sobr. soch.,vols. 1–3. Moscow. 1912.
REFERENCESIstoriia frantsuzskoi literatury,vol. 3. Moscow. 1959.
Chastel. G. J. K. Huysmans et ses amis.Paris .
Cogny. P. Le “Huysmans intime . . . .” Paris, 1957.
Ridge. G. R. J.-K. Huysmans. New York. 1968. (Bibliography on pages 117–20).
V. P. BALASHOV