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J.K. Huysmans
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Author
    (February 5, 1848-May 12, 1907)
    Born in Paris, France
    Birth name was Charles-Marie-Georges Huysmans
    Adopted the name Joris-Karl Huysmans
    Wrote 'marthe' (1876), 'En Menage' (1881), 'A Rebours' ('Against Nature,' 1884), 'La-Bas' ('The Damned: La-Bas,' 1891), 'En Route' (1895) and 'La Cathedral' (1898)
    He said he was not 'a true homosexual,' but admitted to spending several evenings 'in the sodomite world.'
    After an affair with Henriette Maillat, he used her love letters almost word for word in 'La-Bas.'
    He continued smoking even after developing obvious signs of the oral cancer that would kill him.
    His 'A Rebours' was reportedly the 'poisonous French novel' that caused Oscar Wilde's character Dorian Gray to live a life of sin and hedonism.
    Colin Wilson described the typical Huysmans admirer as 'thin, pale, bearded, intensely intellectual and with a look of one 'not quite of this world.' '
    He was drafted during the Franco-Prussian War, but spent most of the conflict in the hospital with dysentery.
    He was an art critic who was an early booster of the Impressionists.
    His novels were known for their satirical wit.
    After the publication of 'A Rebours,' James McNeill Whistler congratulated him on his 'marvellous book' and Oscar Wilde wrote, 'This last book of Huysmans is one the best I have ever seen.'
    Colin Wilson wrote, 'There is no writer, with the possible exception of his friend Maupassant, who can evoke fin de siecle Paris with such vividness and color.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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