À rebours

Joris-Karl Huysmans

À rebours (; translated Against Nature or Against the Grain) (1884) is a novel by the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans. The narrative centers on a single character: Jean des Esseintes, an eccentric, reclusive, ailing aesthete. The last scion of an aristocratic family, Des Esseintes loathes nineteenth century bourgeois society and tries to retreat into an ideal artistic world of his own creation. The narrative is almost entirely a catalogue of the neurotic Des Esseintes' aesthetic tastes, musings on literature, painting and religion, and hyperaesthesic sensory experiences.