Huysmans, Joris Karl

Huysmans, Joris Karl

(zhōrēs` kärl üēsmäNs`), 1848–1907, French novelist and art critic of Dutch family. He was at first a disciple of Zola; typical of his early, naturalistic novels is Marthe (1876). His later, somewhat autobiographical novels record a spiritual quest of a man named Durtal. À rebours (1884, tr. Against the Grain, 1922) expresses the mood of the decadentsdecadents,
in literature, name loosely applied to those 19th-century, fin-de-siècle European authors who sought inspiration, both in their lives and in their writings, in aestheticism and in all the more or less morbid and macabre expressions of human emotion.
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, Là-bas (1891) a fascination with Satanism, En route (1895) the simplicity of monastic retreat, and La Cathédrale (1898) the full acceptance of Roman Catholicism.

Bibliography

See biographies by H. R. Brandreth (1963) and G. R. Ridge (1968).

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