Huysmans, Joris Karl (zhōrēsˈ kärl üēsmäNsˈ) [key], 1848–1907, French novelist and art critic of Dutch family. He was at first a disciple of Zola; typical of his early, naturalistic novels is Marthe (1876). His later, somewhat autobiographical novels record a spiritual quest of a man named Durtal. À rebours (1884, tr. Against the Grain, 1922) expresses the mood of the decadents, Là-bas (1891) a fascination with Satanism, En route (1895) the simplicity of monastic retreat, and La Cathédrale (1898) the full acceptance of Roman Catholicism.
See biographies by H. R. Brandreth (1963) and G. R. Ridge (1968).