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HUYSMANS, Jorris Karl.

Against the Grain. [A Rebours.]

From the French by John Howard. Introduction by Havelock Ellis.

New York: Lieber & Lewis, 1922 Stock Code: 145716
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A remarkably fresh copy in the rare jacket

First edition in English, first printing. This is a remarkably fresh copy, notably uncommon in such good condition and in the rare dust jacket.

Against the Grain was originally published in French in 1884 under the title À Rebours. It became prominent in Britain after it was discovered that a passage in Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray, in which a licentious book has a powerful effect on the protagonist, referred to Huysmans's work - it is this very passage that is excerpted on the front panel of the dust jacket here.

The original French edition, published in lurid yellow wrappers to warn of the salacious content, is believed to have been the source of the name of The Yellow Book (published from 1894 to 1897), the British literary journal associated with decadence and aestheticism. The plot of the novel follows a reclusive aesthete who seeks to abandon degenerate society and retreat into his own artistic world. This edition was somewhat abridged; the first full English translation was not published until 1926.

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Octavo. Original black cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt, publisher's device in blind to rear cover, top edge orange. With dust jacket.


Pictorial bookplate to front pastedown. Slight bubbling to boards, minute splits to spine ends, the binding otherwise sharp, faint spotting to fore edge, else internally crisp. A near-fine copy in the near-fine jacket, spine panel browned, somewhat dust-soiled, slight crease to front flap, not price-clipped and without loss.



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