Bruges-La-Morte by Georges Rodenbach is one of those minor pieces of world literature that can have a major effect on the reader. It is not a sublime work of art, . 3 / 1 / Georges Rodenbach, Bruges-la-Morte. James Elkins. This is the book most often taken as the starting point for novels illustrated with photographs. BRUGES-LA-MORTE t ‘Ronance. BY. GEORGES RODENBACH. Translated from the rench, with a Critical. Introduction, by. THOMAS DUNCAN. WITH THREE.

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At the bottom of the page before this spread, we read: Indeed, he has sequestered himself in his home, erecting a shrine to his wife; in this room are gathered her portraits and various objects and trinkets, along with a tress of her hair which Viane has placed inside a glass box. He becomes obsessed with a young dancer whom he believes is the double of his beloved wife, leading him to psychological torment and humiliation, culminating in a deranged murder.

In this sense every photograph is either part of a portrait, or—in a wonderful equivocation—all the photographs comprise a portrait. Each day he caresses and kisses each item, and by night he takes to the meandering the streets of Bruges whose grey melancholy he fe Hugues Viane has retired to Bruges after the death of his wife of ten years; five years later, he is still unable to put her memory to rest. Il cielo, seppure azzurro, non riesce a rasserenare le vie strette, tortuose, le chiese Devo ammetterlo: A The city is a character.

E The photographs are of a city. It is believed to be the first work of fiction illustrated with photographs.

Your email address will not be published. But I was nineteen at the time of the above anecdote, and nineteen is an absurd age. It also has the bonus of being available free online, since it is in the public domain. Here are a few notes on reading the opening pages. For me the least interesting meaning is that the images are stock brufes chosen by the author.

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I thought that was brilliant. After casting around for her fruitlessly in the gloomy streets, he finally finds her and starts up a relationship, albeit a slightly awkward one as it has to incorporate his fetishistic shrine to her already passed predecessor.

Is not death merciful in this? It has its shocks and its melodrama: In his mind, Hugues is disconsolate and utterly alone. This is the first such image, I think, in the literature. Il concetto di somiglianza quindi torna ad essere centrale in questa classico simbolista del belga Georges Rodenbach Hugues qui n’est pas capable de se maitriser la tue.

Bruges-La-Morte by Georges Rodenbach. Like many symbolist works, it has a modern feel to it, despite all those stylistic mannerisms we associate with the era – the most striking being those fainting-sensibility exclamation marks at the end of descriptive paragraphs. You are commenting using your WordPress. The woman we see impossibly resembles our loved one; in appearance, gait, gesture. Or maybe he meant to point readers toward some specific differences: Bruges-la-Morte is less than one hundred pages long, and so the author rodebnach not have much to work with, but I never stopped believing in Hugues; he, and his grief, always felt kosher to me.


rkdenbach Bruges-la-Morte is, of course, primary concerned with death, but rather than focussing on corpses and funerals and all that, he chooses to write about change and decay and memory [which are all, or can be, related to death, of yeorges. Hugues Viane is a disconsolate widower who has found a matchless companion in the lonely melancholy of Bruges, a city whose glorious days of trade have waned into a suffocating atmosphere of religious conservatism.


And then one day he sees a woman in the street who appears to be the exact double of his dead wife. As Rodenbach fully intended, the chief character in the novel is the town itself: This is a book which is not only richly, almost oppressively, atmospheric: There is something archetypal about the repeated vision of the pale, beautiful, fragile, utterly feminine corpse.


Bruges-la-Morte – Wikipedia

The quays of Bruges. Questa particolare raffinatezza opera soprattutto in amore: Bruges-la-Morte is the apotheosis of this kind of preoccupation. They allow us, the reader, to be Hugues both his gaze upon the city, and his recollection of it.

But it turns out that she is not the reincarnation of his wife It is often noted that the book proposes that Hugues experiences Bruges as his dead wife, so that the city itself is dead in the way a person can be. View all 19 comments. I have numbered the images.

The narrative here is still the scene in the theater, so this is the first image that is disconnected from the text. Funny how, years later, I can still picture that one pose, how everything else has fallen away — all the bitterness, the arguments, the boredom — and left only that.