Talk:Joris-Karl Huysmans

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This page really needs some work. Huysmans' Légion d'honneur was awarded for his work as a civil servant not for being a war hero.

The 3/29/04 rewriting of this article is an attempt provide a somewhat fuller description of Huysmans. More can be done.

I'm gradually trying to expand this page, but it might be a slow process.--Folantin 18:39, 21 May 2006 (UTC)


I removed the LGBT Project template. Huysmans was heterosexual, though the main character in one of his books, A rebours, was bisexual. Can you clarify why this was added here? Thanks. --Folantin 08:52, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

There is no explanation. It HAS to be removed. By the way, thanks a lot for expanding the article. Anchorite 18:02, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Sorry I've just read this after putting up the template. I was told he was gay when I was at school. This here [1] seems to suggest he was gay too.Zigzig20s 21:56, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
That link is incorrect. Huysmans was heterosexual as Baldick's definitive biography makes clear. The protagonist of his most famous novel A rebours is a bisexual believed to be (partly) based on the aesthete Robert de Montesquiou (also the model for Proust's Baron de Charlus). I'd suggest your tag would be better attached to the talk page of the article for that novel. Thanks. --Folantin 06:59, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Update. I've just done this for you. --Folantin 07:02, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

The LGBT Project Template would be applied by a person who does not understand what Huysmans was doing. Huysmans was not lauding and touting the behavior that he described in his book. He deplored such behavior. Look at the photographs of him. He was a Christian ascetic and pessimist who felt disgust with shallow, superficial, uncompassionate people who engage in self-indulgent pleasure.Lestrade (talk) 17:14, 14 September 2010 (UTC)Lestrade


Please don't add an infobox to this article. They are not "standard" and there is no Wikipedia policy saying we must have them. The box I removed needlessly repeated the dates of birth and death given in the very first sentence as well as giving undue prominence to Huysmans' real first names, which he only used to sign civil service documents rather than his novels. What's the point? --Folantin 07:25, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Your objection appears to be that the infobox is incomplete. I suggest filling it in complete (I didn't remove any parameters except website, because he obviously doesn't have a website). Infoboxes are standard for biography pages and provide a consistent look across the Wikipedia. Marlowe, Borges, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Gautier, Wilde, Steinbeck, Melville, and Adams to name random examples. For this reason I cannot possibly understand an objection to an infobox on the page. To this infobox? Sure. But please, you clearly know a lot about this figure, fix it instead of removing it. Atropos 16:49, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Your objection appears to be that the infobox is incomplete. No, I generally object to the use of biographical infoboxes for writers because their lives rarely fit into neat little packages. I hadn't noticed their use on the articles you mention, but so what? If Shakespeare has one, the less Shakespeare he. I'd be inclined to remove the lot. There is no consistency about people's lives, so there is no need for a "consistent look" to biographical pages. I know a reasonable amount about Huysmans and there is no way I will be trying to simplify such a complex, resolutely individual character for the sake of some template. (I can also hazard a pretty good guess what Huysmans himself would have thought of the idea of the "infobox" but let's keep things polite...). --Folantin 17:16, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
So you disagree with a general practice? Great. Bring it up at a centralized forum and attempt to gain consensus. I suggest the village pump or Wikiproject Biography, and whichever you chose you leave a message at the other. Until consensus is that infoboxes are silly, I am adding an infobox to this page. (I can also write snippy messages in parentheses at the end of my messages, and I think if you have to say "let's keep things polite" you probably aren't being very polite...) Atropos 00:31, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
There is no policy saying we must have infoboxes pointlessly repeating material in the article. I've contributed substantially to this article, you haven't (nor have Project Biography). Please leave it without one. --Folantin 07:59, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
"Projects" don't write. "Projects" are just bulletin boards at Wikipedia, and any of these actions (like the various practices the Projects smile upon) are just individual editorial actions. So, it's one editor (primary author of the article) and another (a person arriving at the article) with equal rights to the edits. There should be an argument presented for the change (in this case, introduction of the box), and "other stuff is like it" is no more valid than OTHERSTUFFEXISTS.
As for boxes, the Boxer Rebellion is ancient news, and the verdict was "no." In fact, people have had to endure month long blocks for insisting on boxes. Boxes are not "standard practice." They are minor opinion, and they are absolutely not useful. Do not edit war for a box. Geogre 12:08, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Whatever, I'll make sure not to edit an article Folantin owns. Atropos 19:44, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

By the way, judging from your discussion when you called in the cavalry, you seem to be under some misimpression that I am a member of WP:Biography or some pro-Infobox zealot. Having seen an infobox on the vast majority of biographies I had read, and noticing that this one was missing one, I added it. I am not in any way associated with any other party, I just wanted to improve the article. Atropos 19:54, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

I looked at the article before and after the infobox, and the article before the infobox was better. A better infobox might work, but the onus is on you (Atropos) to produce the better infobox. Not to add one and then suggest that the editors of this article improve it. Learn about the subject and then begin to understand why the infobox distorted and simplified aspects of the subject's life. Carcharoth 14:28, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Wow. Bite much? An editor tries to help and you slap them? Not the Wikipedia way... -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 02:01, 5 November 2007 (UTC)


I've just seen the biographical infobox for this article and frankly it looks pretty silly with its two French flags. Would it be better to delete the box keeping the picture. Thanks. --Kleinzach 03:14, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


It is ironic that Huysmans wanted to depict the vileness of the world and, in so doing, he earned the applause of vile people. By convincingly depicting disgusting behavior, he was lauded by people who engaged in such behavior. They thought that Huysmans was celebrating them, when, in actuality, he was using them as examples of the world that he deplored. Huysmans sought refuge in religion, especially in monasteries. This was in accordance with the Fourth Book of Schopenhauer's main work, which he praised.Lestrade (talk) 18:49, 16 October 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Is it irony? Or is it, in fact, his pretence to deplore them and their world? After all, for someone who professes to deplore all that, he does go on about it rather a lot. Almost as if he's really rather fond of it all.
Nor should we assume that people who approve of certain behavours actually busy themselves with doing such things. Many would doubtless have liked to, but lacked the means, the courage or the time. Reading about it all probably stood in remarkably well, and they could take comfort knowing that, as other people were thus occupied, they had no need actually to do it themselves.
Nuttyskin (talk)


The more I read about Huysmans, the more I am struck by the influence of Schopenhauer on his life. Anyone who has read Schopenhauer's work should immediately understand the influence. I have just read that Huysmans stated, "Art is the only clean thing on earth, except holiness." This is a direct restatement of Schopenhauer's doctrine that art and saintliness are the two ways that humans can achieve salvation and deliverance from the evil and pain of the world. If this is combined with Huysmans's religious conversion and his attempts to become a monkish hermit, then the influence becomes very apparent. Schopenhauer extolled religious ascetics, such as the Benedictine Trappists. Huysmans's behavior is very similar to that of Tolstoy in this respect.Lestrade (talk) 16:49, 15 December 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

See En route (novel) for Huysman's disgust with debauchery. (talk) 02:30, 12 November 2015 (UTC)Horace Pondicherry


His early death from oral cancer was most likely the result of smoking tobacco.Lestrade (talk) 17:50, 29 January 2012 (UTC)Lestrade

Translation of works[edit]

Is it possible to have names of his works translated into English? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Titles are often cryptic puzzles, not just this author it is generally true. So not really translatable, the best thing is to give the title used for the English publication: .eg À rebours (1884, published in English as Against the Grain or Against Nature), "Le Drageoir aux épices" is "a spice bowl" (this is not for cooking, the aroma fills the room), also the book has got "spicy" contents. QuentinUK (talk) 02:49, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

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