Project Gutenberg · 58, free ebooks · 3 by Georges Rodenbach. Bruges-la- morte by Georges Rodenbach. No cover available. Download. Buy Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach, Alan Hollinghurst from Amazon’s Fiction Books Store. Everyday low prices on a huge range of new releases and. 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.

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A The city is a character. E The photographs are of a city. Il y rode comme un fantome dans les rues Au bout de cinq ans, il brugrs rencontrer le revenant de sa femme.

Bruges-la-morte by Georges Rodenbach

The book is short and the ill advised affair undertaken by Viane is plotted in grim detail. His house has become, in effect, a museum dedicated to her with the same furniture, the clothing, paintings, and — most highly prized of all — a braided blonde tress from her head.

A solitary life in a large house, each day repetitively scheduled including walks through the brooding empty streets of Bruges where the only occasional passers by are elderly women, bent and hooded apparitions of the march of death. It has its shocks and its melodrama: Spurred by his mysterious connection with the dormant city, Viane indulges in a deranged fantasy rodenbahc takes him into a downward spiral towards a climatic ending that explores the link between death, conscience and grief.

I was very brges taken with that. However, as things progress, one is left in no doubt at all as to how dangerous his frame of mind has become, as he first follows and then begins a kind of relationship with a woman who he believes is the very image of his dead wife.

Bruges-la-Morte – Wikipedia

Yet, without wishing to brugew the quality of the three books, all of which I love, I would say that this one gave me more of a sense of place than the others. The city is portrayed as the necessary complement to Viane’s feelings of loneliness: 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 dera Hugues Viane is a widower who has turned to the melancholy, decaying city of Bruges as the ideal location in which to mourn his wife and as a backdrop for the narcissistic wanderings of his disturbed spirit.


Although the symbolic and structural aspects of the novel should come through well in English, it would be a hard task to capture some of the qualities of the language. This short novel bears a startling resemblance to Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo and to the Boileau and Narcejac novel upon which it is based D’Entre les Morts.

The second edition, an English translation by Mike Mitchell, was published by Dedalus in His novel The Folding Star is itself a homage to Bruges-la-Morte, although he doesn’t feel the need to declare so in his illuminating and sympathetic introduction.

D The city is a photograph. Needless to say, readers will have to turn to another edition if they want to see the photographs chosen by Rodenbach.

Several photos have potentially interesting, distracting figures in them. A note by Will Stone at the end of the book points out that this is still the case, and that you will have to go to Ghent to find a substantial memorial to Rodenbach.

Review: Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach | Books | The Guardian

Congratulations to Dedalus for reviving it. Among these documents one finds, for instance, the pieces pictured rorenbach This has been corrected. This is also developed in the narrative, so it conflicts with the nominal realism of the photographs. As it turns out, Erich Korngold did such a thing inbut the Nazis banned it, and I’m not sure that he would have had the right musical attitude.

But the city fathers of Bruges, indignant that a Rodenbach identified the city with death and morbid religiosity, never mind how appreciatively and ecstatically; and b that he wrote in French rather than Flemish although it would have been most difficult and counter-productive to do so at the timerefused.


But more importantly it’s just beautifully-written: Indeed, he has sequestered himself in his home, erecting a shrine to his wife; al 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.

It destroys everything, but leaves the hair intact. On the basis of all this one might legitimately call Hugues obsessive, or even insane. Cosa che ho potuto notare personalmente, essendo stata a Bruges in gennaio.

There is something archetypal about the repeated vision of the pale, beautiful, fragile, utterly feminine corpse. A mysterious equation established itself.

A brief glimpse of Bruges

Il cielo, seppure azzurro, non riesce a rasserenare le vie strette, tortuose, le chiese Devo ammetterlo: This image has a different tint because it is from from the Korte scans. That is a difficult trick for a novelist who writes with images, and I think the ambiguities I have listed her actually help keep that possibility alive.

C The photographs are a portrait, or representation, of Hugues. It tells the story of Hugues Viane, a widower overcome with grief, who takes refuge in Bruges where he lives among the relics of his former wife – her clothes, her letters, a length of her hair – rarely leaving his house.

Strangely enough, however, it does include eight pages of documents that are inserted, for some reason, in the middle of chapter four.