Épater la bourgeoisie
Épater la bourgeoisie or épater le (or les) bourgeois is a French phrase that became a rallying cry for the French Decadent poets of the late 19th century including Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud. It will not translate precisely into English, but is usually rendered as “to shock or scandalise the (respectable) middle classes.”
The Decadents, fascinated as they were with hashish, opium, and absinthe, found, in Joris-Karl Huysmans' novel À rebours (1884), a sexually perverse hero who secludes himself in his house, basking in life-weariness or ennui, far from the bourgeois society that he despises.
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