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À rebours contains many themes that became associated with the Symbolist aesthetic. In doing so, it broke from Naturalism and became the ultimate example of "Decadent" literature, inspiring works such as Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). In his preface for the 1903 publication of the novel, Huysmans wrote that he had the idea to portray a man "soaring upwards into dream, seeking refuge in illusions of extravagant fantasy, living alone, far from his century, among memories of more congenial times, of less base surroundings ... each chapter became the sublimate of a specialism, the refinement of a different art; it became condensed into an essence of jewellery, perfumes, religious and secular literature, of profane music and plain-chant."


Translated by Robert Buratti from the original French

Black & white interior
with white paper


Trim Size: 6 x 9 in

Page Count: 194



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