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I avgrunden (1891)

av Joris-Karl Huysmans

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: Cycle de Durtal (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,3772913,771 (3.83)85
Published in 1891, "La-bas" is Huysmans' best-selling novel; its success was due, in part, to its sensational contents (descriptions of Satanism in late 1880 France.) It is in this novel that Huysmans' character, Durtal, is introduced for the first time. This character is thought to be a semi-autobiographical depiction of the author and is used in his next three books which chart Durtal's (and Huysmans') search for religious truths and his ultimate conversion to Roman Catholicism. The journey begins with the viewing of an extremely realistic painting: "In Germany, before a Crucifixion by Matthus Grnewald, he had found what he was seeking."… (mer)
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engelska (25)  franska (2)  spanska (1)  italienska (1)  Alla språk (29)
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While I’m told Huysmans’ À rebours (Against Nature) is considered a jewel of Decadent literature, it’s not clear if this novel is a work of Decadent fiction.

If I’m understanding its definition, Decadent literature, in its English and French varieties, portrays the present as decaying and advocates for enjoying the long fall of civilization with sex and drugs and outré experiences.

This novel votes yes on the decaying society part and no on the pursuit of strange aesthetic pleasures. Rather, it postulates that decay brings mysticism to the fore, and here that mysticism takes on two strains: Catholicism and Satanism.

"It is just at the moment when positivism is at its zenith that mysticism rises again and the follies of the occult begin."

After À rebours was published, that Huysmans was going to have to eventually chose between “the muzzle of a pistol and the foot of the Cross”. Huysmans would eventually choose the latter, ending up as a Benedictine monk. This considered one of the great novels of “literary Satanism”, but Catholics of a conservative bent (it was one who recommended this book to me) also admire the Durtal trilogy.

Durtal’s progression from Decadent to monk is paralleled by three Huysmann novels featuring the writer Durtal, generally considered to be Huysman’s alter ego. Là-Bas is the first of that trilogy.

Durtal’s newest project is a biography of the infamous Gilles de Rais, French noblemen, defender and champion of Joan of Arc, Marshal of France – and raper, torturer, and killer of hundreds of children. The puzzle Durtal seeks to answer is why Rais, “a brave captain and a good Christian, all of a sudden became a sacrilegious sadist and a coward”. The novel will present the story of Rais throughout and conclude with Durtal’s ideas on the Marshal’s motivations.

Durtal’s friend, Dr. Des Hermies, is a man of amazing learning and equally broad cynicism. He doesn’t have a lot of faith in modern medicine or “alienists”. It’s not his peers he likes to hang out with but “astrologers, cabbalists, demonologists, alchemists, theologians, or inventors”.

Durtal is similar.

“I learned long ago that there are no people interesting to know except saints, scoundrels, and cranks. They are the only persons whose conversation amounts to anything. Persons of good sense are necessarily dull, because they revolve over and over again the tedious topics of everyday life. They are the crowd, more or less intelligent, but they are the crowd, and they give me a pain.

As for their conversations, well, both men believe “Conversations which do not treat of religion or art are so base and vain”.

And there is a lot of talk about art and religion in this book including the art of bellringing and the symbols of church bells (material supplied by Hermies’ friend Carhaix, a devout Catholic and poor bellringer who also just happens to be an expert in heraldry), demon possessions, “alienist” explanations of said possessions, medicine, Paracelsus, a Third Kingdom of God proposed by a Catholic mystic, miraculous healing, and poisons. I have no idea how many things presented are real and how many are Huysmans’ inventions.
And there is a ( )
1 rösta RandyStafford | Nov 1, 2022 |
Another brilliant masterpiece by one of my new favourite authors. ( )
  stiankj | Aug 28, 2022 |
For those of you out there that actually know me this is a fake review, so go waste your time somewhere else. I started writing fake reviews when badreads started censoring real reviews and Amazon stole them to sell e-readers. I actually read this book, but I'm not going to tell you anything about it except that if you really want to know, you can go over to booklikes (I know you know how to Google it so no I'm not linking it here). I hope you enjoy reading this on your new Kindle Fire HDX or Paperwhite.

So anyway, back to my non-review. Durtal and his goofy buddies are up to no good. They are obsessed with the Medieval pedophile, rapist, and child murderer Gilles de Rais but what they are really up to is getting an invitation to a Black Mass. So when they are not fantasizing about masturbating in disemboweled toddlers they are getting it on about fallen priests and the like. Well, Durtal finally gets his wish and gets to the Satanist’s Black Mass with his girlfriend, who really is his mistress and his buddy's wife, and sees all sorts of perversions like corn-holing and such. Then the book just sort of ends. Like this non-review. You'll just have to guess what I rated it...
1 rösta Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
La-Bas was, for me at least, a great disappointment. The writing was competent but not noteworthy. The plot was predictable and the characters little more than caricatures. The books primary value is probably as popular history. The "depraved" events described have little impact on modern readers in our secular and over-stimulaed culture. ( )
  colligan | Jul 8, 2021 |
When Joris-Karl Huysmans wrote Là-Bas (published in 1891), he was already notorious for his seminal novel of decadence Au Rebours. Là-Bas introduces Huysmans’ autobiographical protagonist Durtal as a medievalist antiquarian. In the course of his researches into the fifteenth-century diabolist Gilles de Rais, Durtal becomes aware of and then infiltrates a modern Satanist sect. This book was a literary success, and its sale was banned in French railway stations.

The arch-Satanist of the book, Canon Docre, was based by Huysmans on an actual clergyman from Bruges, while an opposed character, the mystic Doctor Johannes, was modeled on the heretic priest Joseph-Antoine Boullan. When Huysmans met him, Boullan had recently assumed the governance of a neo-Gnostic sect first organized by Eugene Vintras.

Huysmans had networked among the occultists of his day, including Gerard Encausse and his neo-Martinist set and others associated with the Kabbalistic Rose-Croix of Peladan. But he alienated himself from all of these when he unwittingly chose sides in an ongoing feud between Boullan and the neo-Rosicrucians, with the latter chiefly represented by Stanislas de Gauita and Oswald Wirth. Involving himself in this scene, Huysmans experienced a delicious paranoia that the novel communicates beautifully.

Boullan died in 1893 and Huysmans’ friend Jules Bois accused the Paris Rosicrucians of having magically assassinated him. So the conflict persisted.

Five years after the publication of Là-Bas Arthur Edward Waite wrote that Monsieur Huysmans “has given currency to the Question of Lucifer, has promoted it from obscurity to into prominence, and has made it the vogue of the moment.” That moment, of course, was the acme of the Palladist conspiracy theory of Leo Taxil, postulating an elite of satanic sex-fiends at the heart of global freemasonry.

A generation later, when Aleister Crowley issued a reading list for his students, he called Là-Bas “An account of the extravagances caused by the Sin-complex.” In addition, it is valuable to latter-day Thelemites for its sardonic humor, its intuitions about certain features of Eucharistic magick, and its veiled references to historical antecedents of the EGC rite.
5 rösta paradoxosalpha | Jun 19, 2021 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (116 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Joris-Karl Huysmansprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Ach, ManfredEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Cogny, PierreRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Felicien RopsIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Gugitz, GustavÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hale, TerryÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hale, TerryInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hersant, YvesRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Wallace, KeeneÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Wheatley, DennisInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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"You believe pretty thoroughly in these things, or you wouldn’t abandon the eternal triangle and the other stock subjects of the modern novelists to write the story of Gilles de Rais," and after a silence Des Hermies added, "I do not object to the latrine; hospital; and workshop vocabulary of naturalism.
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Ah! devant ce Calvaire barbouillé de sang et brouillé de larmes, l'on était loin de ces débonnaires Golgotha que, depuis la Renaissance, l'Eglise adopte! Ce Christ au tétanos n'était pas le Christ des riches, l'Adonis de Galilée, le bellâtre bien portant, le joli garçon aux mèches rousses, à la barbe divisée, aux traits chevalins et fades, que depuis quatre cents ans les fidèles adorent. Celui-là, c'était le Christ de saint Justin, de saint Basile, de saint Cyrille, de Tertullien, le Christ des premiers siècles de l'Eglise, le Christ vulgaire, laid, parce qu'il assuma toute la somme des péchés et qu'il revêtit, par humilité, les formes les plus abjectes.
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Published in 1891, "La-bas" is Huysmans' best-selling novel; its success was due, in part, to its sensational contents (descriptions of Satanism in late 1880 France.) It is in this novel that Huysmans' character, Durtal, is introduced for the first time. This character is thought to be a semi-autobiographical depiction of the author and is used in his next three books which chart Durtal's (and Huysmans') search for religious truths and his ultimate conversion to Roman Catholicism. The journey begins with the viewing of an extremely realistic painting: "In Germany, before a Crucifixion by Matthus Grnewald, he had found what he was seeking."

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