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Joris-Karl HuysmansCharles-Marie-Georges Huysmans (, ; 5 February 1848 – 12 May 1907) was a French novelist and art critic who published his works as Joris-Karl Huysmans (, variably abbreviated as J. K. or J.-K.). He is most famous for the novel ''À rebours'' (1884, published in English as ''Against the Grain'' or ''Against Nature''). He supported himself by a 30-year career in the French civil service.
Huysmans' work is considered remarkable for its idiosyncratic use of the French language, large vocabulary, descriptions, satirical wit and far-ranging erudition. First considered part of Naturalism, he became associated with the decadent movement with his publication of ''À rebours.'' His work expressed his deep pessimism, which had led him to the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. In later years, his novels reflected his study of Catholicism, religious conversion, and becoming an oblate. He discussed the iconography of Christian architecture at length in ''La cathédrale'' (1898), set at Chartres and with its cathedral as the focus of the book.
''Là-bas'' (1891), ''En route'' (1895) and ''La cathédrale'' (1898) are a trilogy that feature Durtal, an autobiographical character whose spiritual progress is tracked and who converts to Catholicism. In the novel that follows, ''L'Oblat'' (1903), Durtal becomes an oblate in a monastery, as Huysmans himself was in the Benedictine Abbey at Ligugé, near Poitiers, in 1901. ''La cathédrale'' was his most commercially successful work. Its profits enabled Huysmans to retire from his civil service job and live on his royalties. Provided by Wikipedia
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