It is Decadent Tuesday! and how better than to spend the day with two exquisite and oh so wicked tomes of Victorian debauchery from the House of Pomegranates Press. Link in bio.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde's only novel, first published (edited) in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine it is a haunting dissertation on vanity, decadence, mortality and morality. This the longer and revised version published in book form in 1891 featured an aphoristic preface—a defence of the artist's rights and of art for art's sake—based in part on his press defences of the novel the previous year. The content, style, and presentation of the preface made it famous in its own right, as a literary and artistic manifesto.
Là-Bas was first published in serial form by author Joris-Karl Huysmans beginning on February 15, 1891 and published in book form in April of the same year. Many of Paris' more conservative readers were shocked by the subject matter and urged the editor to halt the serialization, but he ignored them. Sale of the book was prohibited from French railway stations.The plot of Là-Bas concerns the novelist Durtal, who is disgusted by the emptiness and vulgarity of the modern world. He seeks relief by turning to the study of the Middle Ages (chapter one contains the first critical appreciation of Matthias Grünewald's Tauberbischofsheim altarpiece) and begins to research the life of the notorious 15th-century child-murderer Gilles de Rais. Through his contacts in Paris (notably Dr. Johannes, modeled after Joseph-Antoine Boullan), Durtal finds out that Satanism is not simply a thing of the past but alive in turn of the century France. He embarks on an investigation of the occult underworld with the help of his lover Madame Chantelouve. The novel culminates with a description of a black mass.
Click here to purchase a very fine copy for yourself.