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With the Flow (A Vau-l'eau) 1

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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848 - 1907)

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

Hesperus Press March 16th, 2007 09:39 AM PST

'A Rebours' is the most famous of Huysmans's works, and is the inspiration for the scandalous book which so contributes to Dorian Gray's moral degradation in Oscar Wilde's masterpiece, 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'. 'With the Flow', however, is a shorter and somewhat more accessible work, touching on the same themes of institutionalised boredom and the social fetters that force us to go 'with the flow'.

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Joris-Karl Huysmans spent thirty years working for the Ministry of the Interior in Paris - an experience of stultifying tedium and petrifying routing which he immortalised in his fiction. At the same time, he become known in nineteenth-century Parisian literary circles for his erudite criticism, poetry and prose. His novels, such as A Rebours, cemented his reputation as an author who could treat widely varying themes with the same sardonic wit and brilliant turn of phrase.

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