Joris-Karl Huysmans, the king of decadence. A print of my Des Esseintes illustration is now on my INPRNT page along with a couple of new pcs, including the Lady Gaga drawing and the drowned corset lady from Impressions of Africa.
Huysmans’s humor is usually dark and uninhibitedly bitter, but here’s a pretty charming line from With The Flow: “Widow Chabanel had been replaced by the concierge, who pummelled the bedclothes into shape with his fists, and made pets of spiders, whose webs he looked after”.
And from the same book, a brief account of the protagonist’s birth:
“An aunt who, albeit no midwife, was expert in this kind of task, decanted the child, wiped him clean with butter and, so as to avoid the expense of lycopodium, powdered his thighs with flour she had scraped off the crust of a loaf of bread. ‘You see, my lad, you had a humble birth,’ Aunt Audore used to say, after putting him right about these small details; and Jean was already resigned to the absence of any well-being in his future life.”