The truth is, when the period at which

a man of talent is condemned to live is dull and stupid, the artist is, unconsciously to himself, haunted by a sensation of morbid yearning for another century… In some cases, it is a return to past ages, to vanished civilizations, to dead centuries; in others, it is an impulse towards the fantastic, the land of dreams, it is a vision more or less vivid of a time to come whose images reproduce, without his being aware, as a result of atavism, that of by-gone epochs.

(…or, in these days, yearning for a future history that never will be, save in dreaming…)

— J. K. Huysmans, “Against the Grain” (1926)

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