Bruges la Morte {Kindle ePUB Pdf} by Georges Rodenbach

Georges Rodenbach õ 6 characters

Whom he believes is the double of his beloved wife leading him to psychological torment and humiliation culminating in a deranged murder This 1892 work is a poet's novel dense visionary and haunting Bruges the 'dead city' becomes a metaphor for. The morbid obsession of an inconsolable bereavement and the dual mapping of that loss onto city streets fog bound and empty and onto a new living object innocent of the simulacrum she s been forced to become Or the book doesn t really see her as innocent casting her as a somewhat blandly archetypal manipulative harlot but really who wouldn t fair poorly under the projected image of a lover who is unable to see her at all behind the other he has lost Still the streets of Bruges have a slow burning mystery here and a well wrought background of fanatical Catholic disapproval that builds to fever in the culminating Holy Blood procession Eerie and poetic this was a key text of the Belgian Symbolists admired by Huysmans and Mallarme with obvious causeIncidentally this edition was published by Atlas Press committed translators and reissuers of so many otherwise lost surrealist symbolist and dada texts Their edition also reproduces Rodenbach s photos of Bruges as they appeared in the original publication Symbolist painter Fernand Knopff also of Bruges did the original frontispiece and later did his own versions ghostly and elegaic of several of the photos Engendering Song under the projected image of a lover who is Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman Summary & Study Guide unable to see her at all behind the other he has lost Still the streets of Bruges have a slow burning mystery here and a well wrought background of fanatical Catholic disapproval that builds to fever in the culminating Holy Blood procession Eerie and poetic this was a key text of the Belgian Symbolists admired by Huysmans and Mallarme with obvious causeIncidentally this edition was published by Atlas Press committed translators and reissuers of so many otherwise lost surrealist symbolist and dada texts Their edition also reproduces Rodenbach s photos of Bruges as they appeared in the original publication Symbolist painter Fernand Knopff also of Bruges did the original frontispiece and later did his own versions ghostly and elegaic of several of the photos

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Bruges la Morte

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 He becomes obsessed with a young dancer. Upon the day following the funeral of the wife in whom was bound up all his possibilities of happiness he had retired to Bruges as a fastness of melancholy and there succumbed to its fascination The old Gothic town and the bereft widower are in the perfect harmonyGeorges Rodenbach does everything possible to create the atmosphere of the morbid deadly melancholia and this authentic aura of hopelessness and doom turns the novel into the well of despondency In the vistas of the canals he discerned the face of Ophelia rising resurgent from the waters in all the forlornness of her beauty and in the frail and distant music of the carillon there was wafted to him the sweetness of her voice The town so glorious of old and still so lovely in its decay became to him the incarnation of his regrets The main hero walks the streets of Bruges as if lost After ten years of constant companionship with a woman to whom he had been absolutely devoted he had been rendered utterly unable to accommodate himself to her absence His only resource was the attempt to discover suggestions of her in other countenances And unexpectedly he meets the woman who resembles his late beloved wife like the reflection of the moon in a canal resembles moon But the reflection isn t substantial it is enough the slight breeze to ripple the water and the reflection is distorted and destroyed So gradually the protagonist gets disillusioned and becomes and obsessed and depressed Hughes urged upon himself the necessity of bringing his life into conformity with the behests that were everywhere issued around him Bruges became again to him an intangible personality guiding counselling and determining all his actions And depression cooped in the sick consciousness always finds the most unpredictable outlets Fishes of the Open Ocean up all his possibilities of happiness he had retired to Bruges as a fastness of melancholy and there succumbed to its fascination The old Gothic town and the bereft widower are in the perfect harmonyGeorges Rodenbach does everything possible to create the atmosphere of the morbid deadly melancholia and this authentic aura of hopelessness and doom turns the novel into the well of despondency In the vistas of the canals he discerned the face of Ophelia rising resurgent from the waters in all the forlornness of her beauty and in the frail and distant music of the carillon there was wafted to him the sweetness of her voice The town so glorious of old and still so lovely in its decay became to him the incarnation of his regrets The main hero walks the streets of Bruges as if lost After ten years of constant companionship with a woman to whom he had been absolutely devoted he had been rendered Out of Bounds (Boundaries, utterly Grass, Sky, Song unable to accommodate himself to her absence His only resource was the attempt to discover suggestions of her in other countenances And Otter Chaos! (Otter Chaos unexpectedly he meets the woman who resembles his late beloved wife like the reflection of the moon in a canal resembles moon But the reflection isn t substantial it is enough the slight breeze to ripple the water and the reflection is distorted and destroyed So gradually the protagonist gets disillusioned and becomes and obsessed and depressed Hughes The Illusionists urged O Último Testamento (Maggie Costello, upon himself the necessity of bringing his life into conformity with the behests that were everywhere issued around him Bruges became again to him an intangible personality guiding counselling and determining all his actions And depression cooped in the sick consciousness always finds the most One for My Baby unpredictable outlets

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Hugues' dead wife as he follows its mournful labyrinth of streets and canals in a cyclical promenade of reflection and allusion the ultimate evocation of Rodenbach's lifelong love affair with the enduring mystery and mortuary atmosphere of Brug. 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 I didn t even see it first hand I saw only her reflection in the surface of the mirror I was sitting on her bed and she with her back to me was grabbing at her short hair and pouting at herself and I don t know I can t recall if I even found it beautiful at the time but after the break up this probably unreliable memory became for a short while an obsession and the standard against which I judged all other women s looks How silly of me 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 If I see pictures of her now which I do very infreuently I just cannot suare them with that young woman reflected in the mirror who I m now sure never existed anywhere but in my headGenerally speaking I m not one for living in the past for desperately scrambling after something that has gone It s too much like chasing a runaway donkey It has a taste of the absurd about it But I was nineteen at the time of the above anecdote and nineteen is an absurd age Besides grief does strange things to you No she didn t die but the end of a relationship is a kind of death a little death It felt that way anyway I was in mourning well until I got over it of course Some people however never manage to do that they cannot move beyond tragic or upsetting events People like Hugues Viane the central character in Georges Rodenbach s atmospheric masterpiece Bruges la Morte It was Bruges la Morte the dead town entombed in its stone uais with the arteries of its canals cold once the great pulse of the sea had ceased beating in them In the opening pages Hugues is described as a solitary man with nothing to occupy his time This it soon becomes clear is because his wife of ten years is dead Or accurately it is because as hinted he cannot get over his wife s death for he has obviously not been forced to spend the last five years alone it is a kind of choice Hugues wallows in his grief he moves to Bruges because it strikes him as a melancholy place he contemplates suicide but won t go through with due to the small chance that this will prevent him renewing his relationship with his wife in heaven and he is still wearing mourning for his spouse half a decade after she passed away 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 It is then no surprise although it is rather macabre that his most treasured possession is a large chunk of her hair which he removed from the corpse and keeps in a glass caseOn the basis of all this one might legitimately call Hugues obsessive or even insane Certainly there is whatever you want to call it something unhealthy and peculiar about his behaviour even at this early stage of the narrative 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 Yet it is to Rodenbach s credit that one or I at least still feels some level of sympathy for his protagonist even in the weirdest and most excruciating moments such as when he attempts to make this doppelg nger try on one of his wife s dresses Bruges la Morte is less than one hundred pages long and so the author did not have much to work with but I never stopped believing in Hugues he and his grief always felt kosher to mePortrait of Georges Rodenbach by Lucien L vy Dhurmer 1895While the trajectory of Hugues relationship with this look alike is what gives the novel momentum and tension and I d argue that all great novels need those things it is not what provided me with the most enjoyment First of all Rodenbach s prose is fantastic I have seen it described as ornate but it never struck me that way especially in the context of when the book was published 1892 a time when authors really did know a thing or two about overcooking their sentences For me Rodenbach wrote with clarity and insight and tenderness His prose is that special kind that if I can write this without too much cringing glides along the page with grace and absolutely without pretensionI was also impressed by how he worked his themes into the narrative in a way that is touching and engaging without being too heavy handed 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 course I have mentioned some of this stuff already but it is worth exploring in detail Take the locks of hair Rodenbach notes how while the body slowly disintegrates the hair remains constant it doesn t change or fade it in effect challenges death I was very much taken with thatOr consider how it is said that the face of Jane the look alike becomes that of his wife how to be specific after seeing Jane her face actually replaces that of his wife in his memory We have all I m sure experienced that strange and cruel phenomena whereby we cannot properly remember what someone looks like where after a period of time their appearance starts to become fuzzy in our minds This is what happened to Hugues so while he thinks that Jane is a deadringer for his dead love in actual fact it is only ever Jane he sees his wife in essence becomes Jane not the other way around I thought that was brilliant Moreover the marriage we re told was extremely happy was one where the passion and love never diminished over time Therefore one wonders whether this is simply how Hugues remembers it rather than it being strictly the case for his wife has become in his mind a kind of saint Indeed he literally worships her memory and treats her things like relicsBruges la Morte when originally published featured a number of photographs of Bruges including this oneI hope I am managing to give some sense of how complex moving and satisfying a book this is There is over still much that I have not covered I haven t for example mentioned how mirroring plays such a prominent role in the text Yes of course there is Jane and how she is the wife s double but there is to it than that At the very beginning of the book Hugues house is said to be reflected in the water of the canal outside There is also much made of how Bruges itself mirrors the wife how it is a dead city and how Hugues needed a dead city to represent the dead woman I must before I finish cover this in a little detail for Bruges la Morte is often described as one of the great novels about cities similar in this way to Ulysses or Bely s Petersburg Yet without wishing to compare the uality of the three books all of which I love I would say that this one gave me of a sense of place than the others Bruges we re told is where radiant colours are neutralised and reduced to greyish drowsiness like a pastel drawing left uncovered Which is let s be honest fucking brilliant Every town is a state of mind Rodenbach takes us down the narrow streets upon which falls constant rain to the glise Notre Dame not the one in Paris along the canals and at every step there is an interplay between place and man each intensifies the inherent sadness or bleakness of the other Even Rodenbach s tomb is amazing One for My Baby ultimate evocation of Rodenbach's lifelong love affair with the enduring mystery and mortuary atmosphere of Brug. 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 I didn t even see it first hand I saw only her reflection in the surface of the mirror I was sitting on her bed and she with her back to me was grabbing at her short hair and pouting at herself and I don t know I can t recall if I even found it beautiful at the time but after the break Paragon Walk (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, up this probably We unreliable memory became for a short while an obsession and the standard against which I judged all other women s looks How silly of me 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 The Moon Platoon (Space Runners, up to If I see pictures of her now which I do very infreuently I just cannot suare them with that young woman reflected in the mirror who I m now sure never existed anywhere but in my headGenerally speaking I m not one for living in the past for desperately scrambling after something that has gone It s too much like chasing a runaway donkey It has a taste of the absurd about it But I was nineteen at the time of the above anecdote and nineteen is an absurd age Besides grief does strange things to you No she didn t die but the end of a relationship is a kind of death a little death It felt that way anyway I was in mourning well The Echo (The Anomaly Quartet, until I got over it of course Some people however never manage to do that they cannot move beyond tragic or The Asset (Wounded Warrior upsetting events People like Hugues Viane the central character in Georges Rodenbach s atmospheric masterpiece Bruges la Morte It was Bruges la Morte the dead town entombed in its stone Shadow of Doubt (Newpointe 911, uais with the arteries of its canals cold once the great pulse of the sea had ceased beating in them In the opening pages Hugues is described as a solitary man with nothing to occupy his time This it soon becomes clear is because his wife of ten years is dead Or accurately it is because as hinted he cannot get over his wife s death for he has obviously not been forced to spend the last five years alone it is a kind of choice Hugues wallows in his grief he moves to Bruges because it strikes him as a melancholy place he contemplates suicide but won t go through with due to the small chance that this will prevent him renewing his relationship with his wife in heaven and he is still wearing mourning for his spouse half a decade after she passed away 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 It is then no surprise although it is rather macabre that his most treasured possession is a large chunk of her hair which he removed from the corpse and keeps in a glass caseOn the basis of all this one might legitimately call Hugues obsessive or even insane Certainly there is whatever you want to call it something Amazing Discoveries That Unlock the Bible unhealthy and peculiar about his behaviour even at this early stage of the narrative 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 Yet it is to Rodenbach s credit that one or I at least still feels some level of sympathy for his protagonist even in the weirdest and most excruciating moments such as when he attempts to make this doppelg nger try on one of his wife s dresses Bruges la Morte is less than one hundred pages long and so the author did not have much to work with but I never stopped believing in Hugues he and his grief always felt kosher to mePortrait of Georges Rodenbach by Lucien L vy Dhurmer 1895While the trajectory of Hugues relationship with this look alike is what gives the novel momentum and tension and I d argue that all great novels need those things it is not what provided me with the most enjoyment First of all Rodenbach s prose is fantastic I have seen it described as ornate but it never struck me that way especially in the context of when the book was published 1892 a time when authors really did know a thing or two about overcooking their sentences For me Rodenbach wrote with clarity and insight and tenderness His prose is that special kind that if I can write this without too much cringing glides along the page with grace and absolutely without pretensionI was also impressed by how he worked his themes into the narrative in a way that is touching and engaging without being too heavy handed 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 course I have mentioned some of this stuff already but it is worth exploring in detail Take the locks of hair Rodenbach notes how while the body slowly disintegrates the hair remains constant it doesn t change or fade it in effect challenges death I was very much taken with thatOr consider how it is said that the face of Jane the look alike becomes that of his wife how to be specific after seeing Jane her face actually replaces that of his wife in his memory We have all I m sure experienced that strange and cruel phenomena whereby we cannot properly remember what someone looks like where after a period of time their appearance starts to become fuzzy in our minds This is what happened to Hugues so while he thinks that Jane is a deadringer for his dead love in actual fact it is only ever Jane he sees his wife in essence becomes Jane not the other way around I thought that was brilliant Moreover the marriage we re told was extremely happy was one where the passion and love never diminished over time Therefore one wonders whether this is simply how Hugues remembers it rather than it being strictly the case for his wife has become in his mind a kind of saint Indeed he literally worships her memory and treats her things like relicsBruges la Morte when originally published featured a number of photographs of Bruges including this oneI hope I am managing to give some sense of how complex moving and satisfying a book this is There is over still much that I have not covered I haven t for example mentioned how mirroring plays such a prominent role in the text Yes of course there is Jane and how she is the wife s double but there is to it than that At the very beginning of the book Hugues house is said to be reflected in the water of the canal outside There is also much made of how Bruges itself mirrors the wife how it is a dead city and how Hugues needed a dead city to represent the dead woman I must before I finish cover this in a little detail for Bruges la Morte is often described as one of the great novels about cities similar in this way to Ulysses or Bely s Petersburg Yet without wishing to compare the The Ruminator uality of the three books all of which I love I would say that this one gave me of a sense of place than the others Bruges we re told is where radiant colours are neutralised and reduced to greyish drowsiness like a pastel drawing left Infamous uncovered Which is let s be honest fucking brilliant Every town is a state of mind Rodenbach takes Comfort of a Man us down the narrow streets A Cowboy Christmas upon which falls constant rain to the glise Notre Dame not the one in Paris along the canals and at every step there is an interplay between place and man each intensifies the inherent sadness or bleakness of the other Even Rodenbach s tomb is amazing


10 thoughts on “Bruges la Morte

  1. says:

    My real trip to Bruges took place when I got home after visiting the actual city when I gathered enough momentum to submit to Rodenbach’s pulsating testimony of the kind of beauty that can only be found in death like one can sense in certain places such as the somber cathedrals the towering belfries the pebbled alleys and greyish uays that

  2. says:

    I sometimes get the worrying feeling that nineteenth century men preferred their women to be dead than alive There is something archetypal about the repeated vision of the pale beautiful fragile utterly feminine corpse Beyond corru

  3. says:

    “Upon the day following the funeral of the wife in whom was bound up all his possibilities of happiness he had retired to Bruges as a fastness of melancholy and there succumbed to its fascination”The old Gothic town and the bereft widower are in the perfect harmonyGeorges Rodenbach does everything possible to create the atmosphere of the morbid deadly melancholia and this authentic aura of hopelessness a

  4. says:

    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 Indeed he has seuestered himself in his home erecting a shrine to his wife; in this room are gathered h

  5. says:

    A time of melancholic desperation Everything appears reminiscent of the loss of our loved one It is not a proje

  6. says:

    The morbid obsession of an inconsolable bereavement and the dual mapping of that loss onto city streets fog bound and empty and onto a new living object innocent of the simulacrum she's been forced to become Or the book doesn't really see her as innocent casting her as a somewhat blandly archetypal manipulative harlot but really who wouldn't fair poorly under the projected image of a lover who is unable to see her at all behind th

  7. says:

    Funny how years later I can still picture that one pose how everything else has fallen away – all the bitterne

  8. says:

    He needed a dead town to correspond to his dead wife His deep mourning demanded such a setting Life would only be bearable for him there It was instinct that had brought him here He would leave the world elsewhere to its bustle and buzz to its glittering balls its welter of voices He needed infinite silence and an existence that was so monotonous it almost failed to give him the sense of being alive p 30 He possessed what one mi

  9. says:

    Finishing off my Rodenbach readings with this marvelous novel FIRST TIER A profoundly sad and moving narrative of

  10. says:

    BRUGES LA MORTE is a slim novel telling the story of a man who mourning his dead wife moves to the Belgian city of Bruges a city seemingly designed to mope in Mist and fog blanket the cobblestone causeways and chilly canals watched over by brooding stone cathedrals from whose towers peal endless mournful bellsYou may think I'm being satirical but actually this is a great atmospheric read Our narrator is shocked to pass a woman in

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