Author Picture

Joris-Karl Huysmans

February 5, 1848

Charles-Marie-Georges Huysmans (February 5, 1848 in Paris – May 12, 1907 in Paris) was a French novelist who published his works as J.K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans. He is most famous for the novel À rebours (1884, published in English as Against the Grain or Against Nature). Huysmans was born of a French mother and a Dutch father. His father, Godfried Huysmans, was a lithographer by trade. His mother, Malvina Badin Huysmans, had been a schoolmistress. Huysmans’ father died when he was eight years old. After his mother quickly remarried, Huysmans resented his stepfather, Jules Og, a Protestant who was part-owner of a Parisian book-bindery. To underline his Dutch descent the author published under the name of Joris-Karl Huysmans. During childhood, Huysmans turned away from the Roman Catholic Church. He was unhappy at school but completed his coursework and earned a baccalauréat.

After the humiliation and the pains, he had in his early days, due to the union of his mother with Jules Og, he supported himself by a 32-year career in the French civil service, until he could fully support himself with income from his books.

Read more about Huysmans in the Post Scriptum of Là-Bas.