Monday, March 8, 2010

Adventures of a misanthrope.

Not much going on in Against the Grain by Joris-Karl Huysmans. This guy doesn’t like anyone. Not anyone at all. So he sells the family chateau, buys a house and shuts himself up in it reading, looking at paintings, and generally being a grouch. The guy also does some really random things searching for new experiences.

The novel is a tool for the author to explain his views on various pieces of art and literature and religion. So obviously there isn’t a lot of action, each chapter provides the opportunity for the author to explain what he thinks of say, Baudelaire, or whatever.

Since I haven’t read any of the underlying literature and I don’t know much about the paintings, I didn’t get a whole lot out of this one. I think I understand why it’s on the list (and it’s interesting to read a novel that is more than a story and is used as a tool for commentary), but it just dragged for me.

1 comment:

  1. hey there... hmmm hope I get more of out Against the Grain when I get round to it. Thanks for the review.

    BTW, if you're interested, there's a new version of the spreadsheet available to coincide with the recent new edition of the 1001 books list. For more see