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: This is the final part of Huysmans' alter ego, Durtal's spiritual journey. From the satanism of La-Bas (1891) he makes his way to the foot of the cross by a retreat in a Trappist monastery in En Route (1895) and by living in Chartres in The Cathedral (1898) until finally he embraces Roman Catholicism in The Oblate of St. Benedict (1903). Durtal is a modern anti-hero: solitary, agonized and alienated. His spiritual journey confronts the problems of our age. Art, architecture and music light Durtal's path to God. Although a novel about spiritual redemption The Oblate of St. Benedict is rich in the atmosphere of fin de siecle decadence which has dominated Huysmans' previous novels.