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Against the Grain (À Rebours)

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Described as "A Novel Without a Plot" J. K. Huysman's "Against the Grain (À Rebours)" is a relatively simple story. It concerns the seclusion of one Des Esseintes, the last member of a once powerful and noble family. Having lived an extremely decadent life, Des Esseintes finds himself disgusted with human society and retreats to a house in the countryside where he is intent upon spending the rest of his days in intellectual and aesthetic contemplation. Because of its decadent content "Against the Grain" created quite a stir when it was first published and in breaking from the Naturalist school of literature Huysman's work established itself as a major piece of the Symbolist aesthetic.

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