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Author: Brian Sudlow

This book is a comparative study of the French and English Catholic literary revivals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These parallel but mostly independent movements include writers such as Charles Péguy, Paul Claudel, J. K. Huysmans, Gerard Manley Hopkins, G. K. Chesterton and Lionel Johnson. Rejecting critical approaches that tend to treat Catholic writings as exotic marginalia, this book makes extensive use of secularisation theory to confront these Catholic writings with the preoccupations of secularism and modernity. It compares individual and societal secularisation in France and England and examines how French and English Catholic writers understood and contested secular mores, ideologies and praxis, in the individual, societal and religious domains. The book also addresses the extent to which some Catholic writers succumbed to the seduction of secular instincts, even paradoxically in themes which are considered to be emblematic of the Catholic literature.

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Neil Cornwell

slightly lesser extent, as well as Hodgson), but he also makes fleeting appearances elsewhere, under music and seer. He might also be a ‘seer’ in other senses as well; commonly regarded as a ‘prophet’, he was acclaimed, in a famous study of 1902 by the decadent writer D.S. Merezhkovsky, as ‘the “seer” of a transcendental spiritual world, whose works were prophetic and revelatory in that they penetrated “the illusoriness of the real” ‘. 4 The French decadent, J.-K. Huysmans (or at least his protagonist Durtal), in 1891, for that matter, looking for ‘the Spiritual

in Odoevsky’s four pathways into modern fiction
A critical exchange between Émile Zola and Édouard Manet
Lauren S. Weingarden

photograph) or a creative re-presentation of the real? Ensnared in the painter’s play with pictorial devices, we should now ask, to what degree does Manet as the ‘analytic observer’ conform to the naturalist painter that Zola configured? Before answering this question, I would like to insert a critical vignette which mirrors the (cultural) para-iconotext that I previously defined. In J. K. Huysmans’s 1877 review of Manet’s Nana, the writer conflated the painting and novel to produce a third dimension of meaning and provocation in the social imaginary.41 The painting had

in Ekphrastic encounters
Conflicting signifiers of vice in The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Diane Mason

. Hallward tells him that ‘Something has changed you completely’, and these are changes he notably blames on ‘[Wotton’s] influence’ (p. 88). Among Wotton’s bad influences is his presentation to Gray of a ‘yellow book’ (p. 100) with which the latter becomes ‘fascinated’ (p. 101). The book, deemed by some critics to be J.K. Huysmans’ novel À Rebours (1884), translated as Against Nature , ‘features the intriguing figure of Des Esseintes, whose experiments in hedonistic excess made him into the ultimate icon of fin-de-siècle Decadence’ (p. 182, n. 72). Gray strongly

in The secret vice
Towards the absurd
Neil Cornwell

century 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 97 indeed, ‘the aspiring surrealist writer had only to follow where Lautréamont had dared to pass’ (ibid., 149). According to the existential thinker Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, a ‘new morality of perpetual negation emerges after the “death of art” heralded by Rimbaud’ (Fotiade, 192). J.-K. Huysmans, in his À Rebours (1884; translated as Against Nature) displays the mal du siècle absurdity and decadence of the archetypal dandy, accompanied by a regime of ascetic ennui. Breton’s idea of black humour may have been inspired by

in The absurd in literature
Neil Cornwell

as ‘the least “Irish” of [O’Brien’s] books’. 42 For ‘scientific’ readings of this novel see Charles Kemnitz, ‘Beyond the Zone of Middle Dimensions: A Relativistic Reading of The Third Policeman’, Irish University Review, 15:1 (1985), 56–72; and Mary A. O’Toole, ‘The Theory of Serialism in The Third Policeman’, Irish University Review, 18:2 (1988), 215–25. 43 Clissmann (352, n. 5) links de Selby with Des Esseintes, the protagonist of À Rebours (1884) by J.-K. Huysmans (see also Hopper, 96–7; 127–8). De Selby’s ‘ideology’ is compared with the ideas of J.W. Dunne

in The absurd in literature
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Effie Rentzou

, 1992 ). Healey , Kimberley , ‘ French literary modernism ’, in Ástráður Eysteinsson and Vivian Liska (eds) , Modernism , vol. 1 ( Amsterdam : John Benjamins , 2007 ), pp. 801–17 . Huysmans , Joris-Karl , ‘ Le Salon de 1897 ’, in J.-K. Huysmans , L’Art moderne ( Paris : P.-V. Stock , 1903 ), pp. 9–95 . Joyeux-Prunel , Béatrice , Les Avant-gardes artistiques: une histoire transnationale, 1918–1945 ( Paris : Gallimard , 2017 ). Latham , Sean , and Gayle Rogers , Modernism: Evolution of an Idea ( London : Bloomsbury Academic

in 1913: The year of French modernism
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The rise of the psychic detective
Neil Cornwell

seems commonly to have been thought a great help. J.-K. Huysmans, it has been suggested by Terry Hale, particularly with his novel Là-Bas (The Damned , 1891), although this was not translated into English until 1924, may also have left an almost ‘immediate legacy’ in the development of the ‘distinctive subgenre within the detective story’ of the psychic sleuth, particularly in the fiction of such writers as Machen, Blackwood and, a bit later, Aleister Crowley (Hale’s Introduction to Huysmans, 2001, xxi). This would have come largely through

in Odoevsky’s four pathways into modern fiction
Brian Sudlow

In Les Foules de Lourdes written twelve years after Zola’s novel, J. K. Huysmans accuses Zola not of incredulity but of failing to consider his arguments carefully enough. Huysmans was not swept away by the spectacle of Lourdes; he lamented the commercialism, deprecated the occasional hysteria, and complains about the pilgrims who gathered around the Bureau de Consultations (where purported miracles were investigated by doctors of different philosophies and faiths), acclaiming everyone who entered as a beneficiary of a cure. 14 At the same time he constantly

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
Brian Sudlow

of Adolphe Retté. A onetime anarchist and debauchee, Retté’s conversion brings him many interior trials which indicate the difficulty he felt in breaking out of buffered individuality. His attempt to submit his emancipated will to the will of God leads him to experience moral weakness, the sense of being lost in the world and even personally-motivated malicious urges which drive him to attack in print J. K. Huysmans, the decadent-turned-Catholic novelist. 10 In Du Diable à Dieu Retté stands back from his former self and describes in detail the war that wages

in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914