Huysmans A Rebours Quotes

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Like a tide-race, the waves of human mediocrity are rising to the heavens and will engulf this refuge, for I am opening the flood-gates myself, against my will. Ah! but my courage fails me and my heart is sick within me! -- Lord, take pity on the Christian who doubts, on the unbeliever who would fain believe, on the galley-slave of life who puts out to sea alone, in the night, beneath a firmament no longer lit by the consoling beacon-fires of the ancient hope!" (A Rebours, final words)
Joris-Karl Huysmans
He did not affirm the revolting conception of original sin, nor did he feel inclined to argue that it is a beneficent God who protects the worthless and wicked, rains misfortunes on children, stultifies the aged and afflicts the innocent. He did not exalt the virtues of a Providence which has invented that useless, incomprehensible, unjust and senseless abomination, physical suffering. Far from seeking to justify, as does the Church, the necessity of torments and afflictions, he cried, in his outraged pity: "If a God has made this world, I should not wish to be that God. The world's wretchedness would rend my heart.
Joris-Karl Huysmans (A rebours. English)
He had revealed the morbid psychology of the mind which has attained the October of its sensations, recounted the symptoms of souls summoned by grief and licensed by spleen, and shown the increasing decay of impressions while the enthusiasms and beliefs of youth are enfeebled and the only thing remaining is the arid memories of miseries borne, intolerances endured and affronts suffered by intelligences oppressed by a ridiculous destiny.
Joris-Karl Huysmans (Against the Grain)
Movement, after all, seemed futile to him. He felt that imagination could easily be substituted for the vulgar realities of things.
Joris-Karl Huysmans (A rebours. English)
les gens aux pupilles raffinées, exercées par la littérature et par l'art, il lui semblait certain que l'oeil de celui d'entre eux qui rêve d'idéal, qui réclame des illusions, sollicite des voiles dans le coucher, est généralement caressé par le bleu et ses dérivés, tels que le mauve, le lilas, le gris de perle, pourvu toutefois qu'ils demeurent attendris et ne dépassent pas la lisière où il aliènent leur personnalité et se transforment en de purs violets, en de francs gris.
Joris-Karl Huysmans (À Rebours)
He ordered oxtail soup and enjoyed it heartily. Then he glanced at the menu for the fish, ordered a haddock and, seized with a sudden pang of hunger at the sight of so many people relishing their food, he ate some roast beef and drank two pints of ale, stimulated by the flavor of a cow-shed which this fine, pale beer exhaled. His hunger persisted. He lingered over a piece of blue Stilton cheese, made quick work of a rhubarb tart, and to vary his drinking, quenched his thirst with porter, that dark beer which smells of Spanish licorice but which does not have its sugary taste. He breathed deeply. Not for years had he eaten and drunk so much. This change of habit, this choice of unexpected and solid food had awakened his stomach from its long sleep. He leaned back in his chair, lit a cigarette and prepared to sip his coffee into which gin had been poured.
J.K. Huysmans (A rebours)