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À rebours.

Published: Paris: G. Charpentier et Cie., 1884

Stock code: 59280

Price: £7,500

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First edition, first printing. Huysmans’s masterpiece is perhaps unfairly best remembered as the “poisonous French novel” that Wilde’s eponymous anti-hero is presumed to have been reading during the course of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wilde himself said of the book, “This last book of Huysmans is one of the best I have ever seen”. Paul Valery described it as his bible. It marks a great turning point in the career of its author and in turn for the European novel. The point at which the strictures of Naturalism are replaced by the hedonism of the aesthetic movement and later the liberties of modernism. À Rebours was included by Connolly as the fifth entry in his selection of the 100 key books of the Modern Movement. Copies in wrappers are of the utmost scarcity.

Duodecimo. Original yellow wrappers printed in black. Housed in a quarter black morocco slipcase. Small internal repair to one corner, some light spotting here and there, light vertical creases to the backstrip with some very minor loss. An exceptional copy in original condition and rare thus.

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