Bruges la Morte review Ö 9

Georges Rodenbach á 9 free download

R 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 Bruges.. Finishing off my Rodenbach readings with this marvelous novel FIRST TIER A profoundly sad and moving narrative of how all of a man s dreams are dashed one after the other A somber tribute to the melancholy charms of the city of Bruges as well as much as Bruges La Morte certainly as well as a rumination on ambition love and aesthetic appreciation A book for grey November afternoonsSECOND TIER A solid example of a satisfying Symbolist novel Rodenbach presents to us the rise and fall of a flawed man But perhaps Joris Borluut s fatal flaw is not so apparent as the usual crop and in truth he seems as much a victim of bad timing the trends of history and the melancholy spell of static morbidity that typifies Brugues as well as his love of that very uality Not a rousing knee slapper by any means but neither is it intellectually impenetrable and in truth I found it almost painfully heartfeltTHIRD TIER Joris Borluut wins the public competition to take on the role of Bruges new carillonneur that is to say performer of the bells in the town s ancient bell tower And this is in keeping with Borluut s character he loves the old Flemish town specifically its aesthetic ualities of grey history solemn melancholy and somber stasis He works to solidify this uality in his role of Town Architect restoring and preserving neither eliminating or refurbishing too much the ancient and aging balustrades colonnades brickwork friezes and general aging patina of Bruge s facades embalming the place as it were As well he gathers with a small group of like minded individuals who wish to restore the town to its ancient greatness although through different and eventually contradictory means And now he can celebrate the beauty of the city with music decorating the mummified remains with soundBut his life slowly begins to fall out of synch with his dreams An impulsive marriage based on physical attraction to Barbara van Hulle saddles him with a manic depressive wife fit to bursts of violence and suicidal depression whereas her contemplative calm sister Godelieve had harbored a life long love for Joris And an affair ends badly for all His opposition to the Town Council s plans to revivify Bruges status as a seaport disappeared as the harbor silted in over the decades which involves heavy construction and the loss of many famous buildings puts him at odds with the powerful costing him friendships and work And as he grasps at straws the refuge of the tower continues to callThis is a very sad book as melancholy and morose as Rodenbach s vision of Bruges It s status as a Symbolist novel does not give us an impenetrable series of images to decipher just some central ones the town of Bruges as museum of death the bell tower And these symbols have enough contradictory depth and complexity that the reader gains much in their contemplation The aesthetic idea of Bruges holds some weight the desire to preserve beauty and history in the face of endless crass economic progress and both the hopelessness of that noble cause and the danger as one is essentially embracing stasis and death The scene in which Borluut faces off against the town council s Monster Meeting only to find a small unenthusiastic crowd and plans already set in place that is to say the meeting is a formality of a fait accompli while he saw it as a chance to rally troops to his cause is heartbreaking and feels very of the moment even today And the idea is reflected on the personal level in old van Hulle s obsession with collecting clocks and his need for them all to keep exact time the idea that this plants in Boreluut s head the conception that dreams are anticipated reality achieved on the deathbed is similarly both melancholy and morbidLikewise Borluut s impetuous choice of Barbara and subseuent loss of the lovely and loving soul mate Godelieve has some nice symbolic resonance in the tower s Bell Of Lust which captives him with its carnal ualities And the slow delicate growth of his impossible love for the fairer sister is painful to read In fact the bell tower and the carillon are interesting and complicated central symbols themselves The placerole is a refuge a nuisance a seduction an aesthetic escape an energizing outlet an enervating task and finally a terminus for Borluut with shifting resonances in the worlds of creativity beauty philosophy and religion as the story moves on Borluut finds himself disorientated on returning to ground level at first after being high above the world and yet this situation reverses itself and then reverses again Rodenbach s treatment of religion is eually as interesting while not overly critical of Catholicism he weaves in a number of subtle observations of how the character s psychologies are influenced or not by Bruges strong Catholic history A late in the novel visit to the Procession of the Penitents in Veurne contrasting the high religious imagery with the earthy motivations of the visit is a strong seuence as well Joris Borluut s fatal flaw is hard to pin down it seems almost a lack of singular vision or dedication a desire to jump from one thing to another instead of applying himself to the basic things that matter Once again he realized too late that he had not seen clearly enough whereas Bartholmeus his friend and devoted artist succeeds and triumphs over the adversity of the town councilAll in all this was a very powerful novel and I m glad I read it It has that pervasive sense of melancholic gloom that Rodenbach also conjures in Bruges La Morte but with traditional less psychologically damaged characters Finishing it I find myself feeling as if I ve surfaced after a long swim under murky icy waters intense but refreshing It made me want to re watch the odd crime comedy IN BRUGES and consider visiting the city itself

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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 who. 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

review Bruges la Morte

M he believes is the double of his beloved Bruges la Epubwife leading him to psychological torment and humiliation culminating in a deranged murder This work is a poet's novel dense visionary and haunting Bruges the 'dead city' becomes a metaphor fo. 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


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 Rodenb

  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 corruption a woman who's died is a woman you can safely worship without any danger that she'll ruin the image by doing something vulgar like using the wrong form of address to a bishop or blowing your best friend It'

  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 and doom tu

  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 wi

  5. says:

    A time of melancholic desperation Everything appears reminiscent of the loss of our loved one It is not a projection of our loss but that we chose to live here a place which occupies our feelings moods The inner and outer has become

  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

  7. says:

    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 h

  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 the

  9. says:

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

  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 satiri

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