BRUGES-LA-MORTE (Dedalus European Classics)

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9781903517239: BRUGES-LA-MORTE (Dedalus European Classics)

Bruges-La-Morte, which first appeared in 1892, concerns the fate of Hugues Viane, 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 suitable haven for the narcissistic perambulations of his inexorably disturbed spirit. Bruges, the 'dead city', becomes the image of his dead wife and thus allows him to endure the unbearable loss by systematically following its mournful labyrinth of streets and canals in a cyclical promenade of reflection and allusion. The story itself centres around Hugues' obsession with a young dancer whom he believes is the double of his beloved wife.
This is a poet's novel and is therefore metaphorically dense and visionary in style. It is the ultimate evocation of Rodenbach's lifelong love affair with the enduring mystery and haunting mortuary atmosphere of Bruges.

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About the Author:

Georges Rodenbach (1855-1898) spent his creative years in Ghent and Paris where he rubbed shoulders with the foremost symbolists. A typical artist of the decadent period, he was anti-bourgeois, solitary aesthete, but his precise, delicate, existentially muscular poems are still relevant today.

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Text: English, French (translation)

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