From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Durtal is a recurring fictional character in the work of French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans. The character debuted in Là-Bas as a thinly disguised portrait of the author himself and would be the protagonist of all Huysmans' subsequent novels: En route, La Cathédrale and L'oblat. The novel sequence depicts Durtal's conversion from Satanism to Catholicism.
Norman Mailer appropriated Durtal to rewrite Là-Bas -- a novel by Huysmans about the first documented serial killer and pratictioner of Satanism, Gilles de Rais -- in the noveletteTrial of the Warlock.