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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Bruges becomes the mute narrator and the ultimate protagonist of the story, Hugues the mirror that refracts it to the reader and Jane, a grotesque object disguised as femme fatale that gives a Gothic touch to the outcome of the novel.

I have numbered the images. I have mentioned some of this stuff already, but it is worth exploring in more detail. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. You may think I’m being satirical but, actually, this is a great, atmospheric read. Those suffering similar personal circumstances will find it remarkably consoling.

Email required Address never made public. They allow us, the reader, to be Hugues both his gaze upon the city, and his recollection of it.

Rodenbach has created a land where inner and outer is emphasized through the distance of the third person narrator yet inclusive is the inner workings of the characters. Rodenabch us at Vimeo.


Many images showing nearly or completely deserted streets and waterways, as in Breton, as in Rodenbach. The portrait quality is especially clear in photographs with water, towers, or the main Bruges belfry.

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Bruges-la-Morte, which first appeared inconcerns the fate of Hugues Viane, a widower who has turned to the melancholy, decaying city of Bruges as the ideal location in which rkdenbach mourn his wife and as a suitable haven for the narcissistic perambulations of his inexorably disturbed spirit.

There is something archetypal about the repeated vision georrges the pale, beautiful, fragile, utterly feminine corpse. From the beginning, as it is with any example of writing with images, there brutes a question of how the images are associated with the text.


Moreover, he will not throw or give away her clothes or things, or change the arrangement of the home they shared, for this, he thinks, will, in a way, mean losing her again, or another part of her. His prose is that beorges kind that, if I can write this without too much cringing, glides along the page, with grace and absolutely without pretension.

He spent the last ten years of his life in Paris as the correspondent of the Journal de Bruxelles, and was an intimate of Ed Georges Rodenbach was born in Tournai to a French mother and a German father from the Rhineland Andernach. For brhges the least interesting meaning is that the images are stock photographs chosen by the author. As my more para suggests, I find the general mindset a little problematic, but this is certainly a beautifully-written distillation of the theme.

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.

There is a climactic scene during a famous religious procession which Jane wishes to view from Hugues’s balcony. E The photographs are of a city. The first edition, pictured left and dating fromwas published by Babel.

Bruges-La-Morte by Georges Rodenbach. Drawn too close together, the differences appeared.

Bruges-la-morte by Georges Rodenbach

I thought that was brilliant. This entry was posted in Georges RodenbachPicture novels and tagged Bruges-la-MortefictionGeorges Rodenbachphotographypicture novels. In his best known work, Bruges-la-Mortehe explains that his aim is to evoke the town as a living being, mortw with the moods of the spirit, counselling, dissuading from and prompting action. Through wanting to unite the two women, their resemblance had diminished. Our narrator is shocked to pass a woman in the street who looks exactly liked his dead wife this book is sometimes cited as georbes inspiration for the book that inspired VERTIGO.

Il y rode comme un fantome dans les rues Au bout de cinq ans, il croit rencontrer le mortd de sa femme. And then one day he sees a woman in the street who appears to be the exact double of his dead wife.

Symbolist morhe Fernand Knopff, also of Bruges, did the original frontispiece, and later did his own versions, ghostly and elegaic, of several of the photos: The full original is online at the Internet Archiveand it can be downloaded as a pdf. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.


Bruges-la-morte by Georges Rodenbach – Free Ebook

A slight amendment for you: Grorges and Distribution Arrangements. Such obsession, on a par with that of Swann in the later “A la recherche du temps perdu” would see Viane denounced as plain scary these days. In my mind I thought I was paying tribute to her, and yet in reality I was doing her an injustice, reducing her to a single image, one that no one, not even she, could have lived up to.

An entombment into a dust of memories. If Debussy hadn’t done it, Alban Berg would have been ideal.

Notice there are three trees on the left in the first photograph; the second was apparently taken next to the nearest of those three. But there is so much to admire in this brief novel. I was in mourning; well, until I got over it, of course. Towns above all have a personality, a spirit of their own, an almost externalised character which corresponds to joy, new love, renunciation, widowhood.

Bruges, the ‘dead city’, becomes the image of his dead wife and thus allows him to endure, to manage the unbearable loss by systematically following its mournful labyrinth of streets and canals in a cyclical promenade of reflection and allusion. This is a poet’s novel and is therefore metaphorically dense and visionary in style. Rodenbach is adamant about how living spaces breathe and affect those living there: Worth searching out for those wanting a nice gloomy masterpiece of dark imagination that touches on the decadent and fantastic.

Brilliant article — and brilliant project overall.