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Could someonr please tell me the name of the painting on this covet, and, if possible, by whom it was painted? See 2 questions about A Rebours…. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. When I finished, I wanted to faceplant into straight bleach with my eyes open. Just a terrible, terrible mistake. However, DNFing gives me such deep lingering doubts and guilt that I end up putting the book back on my to-reads and starting all over again. I know someone exactly like him. Maybe some people will find des Esseintes funny. It spawned and probably continues to spawn generations of deluded dicks running in circles with their arms around themselves.
View all 6 comments. What sort of book would Dorian Gray enjoy, you ask?
Mainly a very long catalogue of the likes and dislikes of an effete, high-strung , overly intellectual wuss possessing far too much time and money and lacking all common sense. The main character is obsessed with artifice, and this tendency is best illustrated in the chapter in which he decides his fabulously decorated hermitage needs some light and movement.
He has the shell of a live, giant tortoise covered in gold. The poor thing has died from the stress or possibly the boredom. By the end of the book, I felt pretty much like the tortoise. View all 10 comments. I don't know, I guess I'm in favour of novels having plots.
Authors like this forever bewail the decadence of society, never recognizing that if they would emerge from their petty shells, they would realize that in the midst of life's tragedies and struggles, there exists somethings worth living for; indeed, I have always been consoled by the fact that those who have experienced the greatest pains, those who have been pelted heaviest with the 'slings and arrows' of fortune, often have in themselves the most powerful urge to live.
This book can go to hell Authors like this forever bewail the decadence of society, never recognizing that if they would emerge from their petty shells, they would realize that in the midst of life's tragedies and struggles, there exists somethings worth living for; indeed, I have always been consoled by the fact that those who have experienced the greatest pains, those who have been pelted heaviest with the 'slings and arrows' of fortune, often have in themselves the most powerful urge to live.
This book can go to hell. With age comes maturity: I am now better able to give up on books that I deem unreadable. Not at all what I hoped for.
However, where Oscar Wilde's story was fascinating, this was incredibly boring. All I can say for myself is that I kept thinking 'some Not at all what I hoped for. All I can say for myself is that I kept thinking 'something has got to happen soon'. If that happens, I'll let you know.
Jun 10, D. Pretentious twaddle written by a clerk with delusions of grandeur.
His scenes of hedonism lacked real sensuality and seemed to be played for shock value. I was really puzzled by anyone with a real sybaritic streak could be swayed by this ponderous tome to be led across a room, yet alone wildly astray. I'm not saying it's a bad book, but it's definitely not a book for me. I probably shouldn't even rate it, because it's not a book to rate for me. It was a real ordeal to read, but not because it's a bad book, but rather because the topics are completely disconnected with me. The idea is interesting, but the things the author actually talks about aren't my area.
Dec 26, J. This was absolutely awful! Made more terrible by how much potential this had as a novel. This is quite possibly one of the worst books I have ever read. If I could give it zero stars, I would.
Lists with This Book. The main dude, also, is extraneurotic, extraordinarily rich, aestheticized to the extreme, and willfully isolated from the world. Just because he's describing the fantastically decorated and furnished apartment of an extremely wealthy aesthete concerned with pleasing no one but himself is irrelevant to this particular aspect of the "novel. I liked the strange little anecdote of his liaison with a US circus performer, which read like an Angela Carter short story. Just a catalog of one man's asthetic obsessions, pursued with an almost twisted religious dedication, and a simultaneous religious cluelessness.
Now, hear me out as to why. First, I'm not quite a fan of the whole decadence movement in general, but this was particularly bad.
Think of a boring, garish, and revolting version of "Picture of Dorian Gray. He felt like he was absolutely better than everyone, but it was clear that this pretentious attitude and behavior stemmed from a deep-set hatred of himself. The root of it was that. And yet, there's over pages of nonsense, sometimes just him summarizing fancy books he's read to make himself feel superior to the reader who probably hasn't dived into the obscure Latin works that he names. He's like the original hipster, but paler, sickly, and quite actually a weirdo hermit.
Suffice to say that at the end his doctor looks at him and basically says, "look, you're a freak. Go breathe some air, socialize, and DO something. That's what's causing all of your sicknesses, you hypochondriac oddball! Artifice is much better. He's stuck in the real world and can't fit in, so he retreats while thinking himself to be the elite.
To that point, he is elite. Not just anyone could live like he does and be so wasteful and absurd. He sees poor children fighting over bread and he predicts horribly sad futures for them, because he has lost all hope in society, and yet when he has the chance and the money to do something nice for them That's more or less the plot of this entire book: If you want to read about a guy sitting in his mansion while he forces his servants to live in silence while he contemplates how awful the world is in between bouts of swooning over nearly unknown literature but more likely because he refuses to eat like a normal human being , then I guess this book suffices.
However, to be clear, not only is this book elitist and showcases the worst of humanity's character when it becomes disassociated from society could be a great study in what happens to people in severe self-imposed isolation, actually, and how human beings are meant to be social creatures and not whatever the hell this guy is , but it is also orientalist. His descriptions of flowers, perfumes At least, when I was awake enough to read it because it's so boring I mostly spaced out during his lengthy descriptions of things that had no importance whatsoever.
I can't even find the words to explain this. He murders a turtle for the sake of vanity and glamour. I don't even remotely like turtles, but this was extremely cruel and bizarre. Des Esseintes is a cruel person. He dines at an English restaurant in Paris while waiting for his train and is delighted by the resemblance of the people to his notions derived from literature. He then cancels his trip and returns home, convinced that only disillusion would await him if he were to follow through with his plans.
Eventually, his late nights and idiosyncratic diet take their toll on his health, requiring him to return to Paris or to forfeit his life. In the last lines of the book, he compares his return to human society to that of a non-believer trying to embrace religion. Huysmans predicted his novel would be a failure with the public and critics: It will be something nobody has ever done before, and I shall have said what I want to say Though many critics were scandalised, it appealed to a young generation of aesthetes and writers.
Richard Ellmann describes the effect of the book in his biography of Oscar Wilde:. Whistler rushed to congratulate Huysmans the next day on his 'marvellous' book. He said to the Morning News: It was being reviewed everywhere as the guidebook of decadence. At the very moment that Wilde was falling in with social patterns, he was confronted with a book which even in its title defied them.
Huysmans's former mentor, Zola, was less impressed and gave the book a lukewarm reception. Huysmans initially tried to placate him by claiming the book was still in the Naturalist style and that Des Esseintes's opinions and tastes were not his own. However, when they met in July, Zola told Huysmans that the book had been a "terrible blow to Naturalism" and accused him of "leading the school astray" and "burning [his] boats with such a book", claiming that "no type of literature was possible in this genre, exhausted by a single volume".
While he slowly drifted away from the Naturalists, Huysmans won new friends among the Symbolist and Catholic writers whose work he had praised in his novel. Can't you arise From memory, and triumph, grow Today a form of conjuration Robed in an iron folio? Translated by Donald Davie .
The book's plot is said to have dominated the action of Dorian, causing him to live an amoral life of sin and hedonism. The references in Dorian Gray to specific chapters are deliberately inaccurate.
The epigraph to the novel is a quotation from the Flemish mystic Jan van Ruusbroec: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
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I have resolved to spend it reflecting on it. What were all the evangelical pharmacopoeias beside his treatises of spiritual hygiene? He made no professions of healing, offered the sick no compensation, no hope; but his theory of Pessimism was, after all, the great consoler of chosen intellects, of lofty souls; it revealed society as it was, insisted on the innate foolishness of women, pointed you out the beaten tracks, saved you from disillusions by teaching you to restrict, so far as possible, your expectations Lloyd James Flammarion, p.
Toward a New Decadence? Painting and the Novel. Manchester University Press, pp.