Chapter

The Falls of History: Joris-Karl Huysmans's <i>Against Nature</i>

Rodolphe Gasché

in The Stelliferous Fold

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234349
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823234349.003.0007
The Falls of History: Joris-Karl Huysmans's Against Nature

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This chapter is devoted to the novel, Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans. It focuses not only on the heterogeneous manifold of this novel, but also on its nonsynthetic unity. This novel seeks to pinpoint the minimal structure, organizational principle, or law, that accounts for the diversity of these motifs, topics, and theories whose irreducible complexity claims the reader's attention and demands interpretations that the very law of the text inevitably condemns to remaining always finite as far as their scope is concerned. This novel, rather than being centered around one however dominant and essential interpretation of history, seems to display a plurality of conflicting concepts of history. In this novel, history and its interpretations appear fragmented and mixed together without a real synthesis in which all these different concepts of history could play one role or another.

Keywords: Against Nature; Joris-Karl Huysmans; minimal structure; organizational principle; law

Chapter.  10598 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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