Joris-Karl Huysmans

Là-bas, by Joris-Karl Huysmans - click to see full size image

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Là-bas (Down There) is a novel by French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans, first published in 1891. The novel caused some controversy when it was published mainly due to the themes of Satanism and black magic as well as a notorious scene of a Black Mass which was attended by Huysmans in real life. The main character, Durtal, who is based on the author himself, becomes disgusted with the modern world and seeks out information regarding the the life of medieval child killer Gilles de Rais. By doing this, he also comes to realise that Satanism is still being practised and he, along with his lover Madame Chantelouve, begins to investigate the occult underworld culminating in a Black Mass. The book was initally serialised in the newspaper L'Écho de Paris, and so shocking were the contents that readers urged the editor to stop the publications, something which he refused to do. The book was the basis for Norman Mailer's Trial of the Warlock.

This book has 89,916 words, 160 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1891. This translation by Keene Wallace was published in 1928.

Production notes: This ebook of Là-bas was published by Global Grey on the 16th April 2022. The artwork used for the cover is 'Procession of Souls' by Louis Welden Hawkins.

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