➳ [Reading] ➶ Bruges-la-Morte By Georges Rodenbach ➩ – Horse-zine.co.uk

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 quays that compose the skeleton of Bruges, once a decadent city brought back to life by the refined pen of a Symbolist s contemplation.Hugues Viane is a disconsolate widower who has found a matchless companion in the lonely melancholy of Bruges, a city whose glorious days of trade have waned into a suffocating atmosphere of religious conservatism Haunted by memories of his deceased wife, Viane roams the streets of Bruges in silent conversation with its canals, chiming bells and austere convents, absorbed by his inexhaustible despair until he crosses paths with Jane, a young actress who bears a strong resemblance with his beloved Spurred by his mysterious connection with the dormant city, Viane indulges in a deranged fantasy that takes him into a downward spiral towards a climatic ending that explores the link between death, conscience and grief Rodenbach s evocation of Bruges is than an attempt to paint an accurate landscape for Hugues mourning but a deliberate effort to thread a perturbing analogy between the city and the states of mind of a man lost in the morbid eroticism of venerating a dead woman in a living corpse 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 Tragedy can already be anticipated in the opening paragraph, but plotline is totally superfluous in this case It s the stylistic delivery of foretold events merging with the internalized perceptions of its main character that makes this book a chilling but strangely delicate experience, that creates the impression of a pagan ritual branded in darkly sensuous poetry that tempts and hypnotizes the reader, leaving him helpless and levitating in suspended tension, in the ache of pleasure momentarily achieved but never truly possessed.I recently took a stroll around the medieval alleys of Bruges, crossed its bridges and admired the quays, over brimming with waves of tourists and pearly white swans, but it was through Rodenbach s aesthetic vision that I finally met the true soul of this town in all its withered splendor and somber beauty of past blending with present, of introspective art fused with metaphorical precision.

  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 s a vision that crops up everywhere in the works of these fin de si cle writers, who were unhealthily obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe and with the figure of drowned Ophelia for them, Millais than Shakespeare Bruges la Morte 1892 is the apotheosis of this kind of preoccupation As my introductory para suggests, I find the general mindset a little problematic, but this is certainly a beautifully written distillation of the theme Hugues Viane, our melancholy hero, settles in Bruges after the death of his wife, and prepares to live out the rest of his days nursing his memories of her he dedicates a room of his house to her portraits, and preserves a lock of her hair in a glass cabinet.When he s not staring at her pictures, he s out taking moody walks along the canals.Where, one day, he sees a woman in the street who looks identical, in every detail, to his dead wife Is it a ghost An appalling coincidence His mind playing tricks on him And might it be somehow possible to recreate his lost love Viane is the main character but drizzly, grey Bruges is the real hero of the book The city is portrayed as the necessary complement to Viane s feelings of loneliness Une quation myst rieuse s tablissait l pouse morte devait correspondre une ville morte.A mysterious equation established itself To the dead wife there must correspond a dead town.The point is underlined by the inclusion of a number of black and white photographs of the city, looking still and silent, and often including unidentified figures A modern reader can t help seeing the effect as Sebaldian.But anyway, however interesting this early use of photography may be, the real star is Rodenbach s prose He finds a thickly atrabilious style to fit his story, rich in imagery, full of strikingly depressive turns of phrase The city s canals are cold arteries where the great pulse of the sea has stopped beating the famous Tour des Halles defends itself against the invading night with the gold shield of its sundial down below there are streetlamps whose wounds bleed into the darkness.This must be what people mean when they talk about prose poetry There are some paragraphs here that seem to be made up entirely of alexandrines And then just look at a phrase like this Les hautes tours dans leurs frocs de pierre partout allongent leur ombre. There is a progression of vowels here that slides forward through the mouth beautifully, ending with the wonderful dirge like assonance of allongent and ombre and the consonants travel too, from the silent h of haut, back in the throat, forward to the t of tours, on to one lip with the f of frocs, then both lips for the two chokengi

    ischokengs, and finally the lips are pushed right out for the last two nasal vowels Wowzer Translation something like Everywhere the high towers in their stony habits stretch forth their shadow Earlier this year I read Nerval s Les Filles du feu, and I kept being reminded of it while I was reading Bruges la Morte There is exactly the same fascination with the doubling of a love interest one woman becomes two or , each taking on different attributes one is blonde, the other dark, one is pure, the other degraded, one is a virgin the other is a whore, and so on Some scenes, some lines, are almost identical Rodenbach must surely have been a Nerval fan He sums up the poetic essence of this tradition perfectly indeed so perfectly that I found the formalities of plot resolution at the end of the book to be irritatingly drab and melodramatic by contrast I guess that s the problem with turning poetry into a novel.Nevertheless, Bruges la Morte is obviously a high point of Symbolist writing, a book that s obsessed with death and always alert to new ways to externalise deep emotions There is a brooding openness to the supernatural, and a looming architectural presence, which also has clear links with the Gothic But importantly it s just beautifully written every sentence drops balanced and gorgeous into your head.For best results, it should be read at dusk, preferably when it s raining outside Just make sure you have a brisk walk afterwards Oct 2013

  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 harmony Georges 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.

  4. says:

    Grigio topoHugues Viane vedovo e non si d pace per la sua perdita Sceglie di andare a vivere a Bruges non a caso Un equazione misteriosa si era creata alla sposa morta doveva corrispondere una citt morta Il suo lutto immenso esigeva uno scenario adeguato Solo qui la vita gli era sopportabile C era venuto d istinto Il mondo, altrove, continuasse pure ad agitarsi, a fremere, ad accendere le sue feste, a intrecciare le sue mille voci A lui occorrevano un infinito silenzio e un esistenza tanto monotona da non dargli quasi pi la sensazione di vivere Nella quiete cittadina data dall assenza di vitalit , Hugues perpetua il ricordo dell amata conservando e venerando alcune reliquie tra cui una treccia conservata sotto vetro Bruges come la morta poich anch essa vive sepolta sotto la pietra e nella rigidit di pensiero delle Beghine.Come dice l autore nella prefazione, tuttavia, la citt non solo lo scenario ideale ma protagonista stessa dell azione In questo studio delle passioni abbiamo voluto comunque e soprattutto evocare una Citt , la Citt come personaggio necessario, che partecipa agli stati d animo, consiglia, dissuade, spinge all azione Cos come nella realt questa Bruges che abbiamo scelta appare quasi umana Il suo influsso si trasmette a tutti quelli che vi soggiornano Li modella a immagine dei suoi paesaggi e delle sue campane Questo volevamo suggerire la Citt stessa che orienta l azione i paesaggi urbani non sono pi soltanto fondali dipinti, motivi scelti un po arbitrariamente, ma prendono parte anch essi alla storia L incontro con una donna assolutamente somigliante alla moglie morta sar un momento di svolta.Il concetto di somiglianza quindi torna ad essere centrale in questa classico simbolista del belga Georges Rodenbach 1892 Hugues vuole perpetuare il suo dolore e trova la citt ideale che traspira e rinnova quotidianamente la sua tristezza Jane Scott la donna cos somigliante alla morta concretizza un ideale, ossia quello di rappresentare una novit perpetuando al tempo stesso il bisogno dell abitudine L uomo si stanca di possedere lo stesso bene Non si apprezza la felicit , cos come la salute, se non attraverso la sua negazione E l a stesso consiste nella propria intermittenza.Ora, la somiglianza precisamente ci che armonizza in noi queste due esigenze, dando voce a entrambe e congiungendole in un punto imprecisato La somiglianza la linea d orizzonte fra l abitudine e la novit.Questa particolare raffinatezza opera soprattutto in a con l incanto del sopraggiungere di una donna nuova che somigli all antica Ben presto, tuttavia, Hugues riapre gli occhi accorgendosi che era tutta un illusione Le differenze si accentuano e lui desidera tornare a perpetuare la sua sofferenza Un meccanismo, tuttavia, si messo in atto e il dramma il solo l epilogo che pu avere una storia grigio topo.Curiosit il romanzo fu spunto per il film Vertigo La donna che visse due volte di Alfred Hitchcock.

  5. 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 sequestered himself in his home, erecting a shrine to his wife in 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 Each day he caresses and kisses each item, and by night he takes to the meandering the streets of Bruges whose grey melancholy he feels in tune with, a kind of spiritual telegraphy between his soul and the grief stricken towers of Bruges As in many symbolist texts, doubling is apparent here not only is Viane s mood that of the city, and therefore emphasized, but his grief is so obsessive that he chances upon a woman whom he believes to be the striking image of his dead wife This act of doubling is one in which Georges Rodenbach is extremely interested in that it proves how the dead die twice, the first death being their physical death and the second being when our memories of them begin to fade, causing those mental images to which we cling to no longer be sources of recollection and comfort But the faces of the dead, which are preserved in our memory for a while, gradually deteriorate there, fading like a pastel drawing that has not been kept under glass, allowing the chalk to disperse Thus, within us, our dead die a second time Bruges la Morte is very much concerned with the vacillation between states of intense joy and utter anguish In his obsession over Jane, the woman who resembles his dead wife, Viane is embodying this idea of the dead dying twice While there are moments of some melodramatic intensity characteristic of symbolist work, Rodenbach is also keen on exploring how the life of a small city reacts to a scandal, and it is both the solitary city scenes that drive home the despair of the protagonist and the scenes of townspeople gossiping in the city that demonstrate how the city works in different ways for its inhabitants.Although he is under the spell of this double, and even though he hopes that the likeness would allow him the infinite luxury of forgetting, Viane can do no such thing, and soon finds himself at an erotic and psychological crossroads at which the distressing masquerade he enacts to quell his grief is not enough to sustain the memory of the dead.Bruges is very much the main character in the novel He was already starting to resemble the town Once he was the brother in silence and in melancholy of this sorrowful Bruges, his soror dolorosa The novel is accompanied by photographs of the city to underscore the central role it plays in Viane s state of mourning Rodenbach is adamant about how living spaces breathe and affect those living there Towns above all have a personality, a spirit of their own, an almost externalised character which corresponds to joy, new love, renunciation, widowhood Each town is a state of mind, a mood which, after only a short stay, communicates itself, spreads to us in an effluvium which impregnates us, which we absorb with the very air.This idea of the city having an emotional and psychological state of its own is also something Rodenbach explores in the short essay included in the Dedalus edition, The Death Throes of Towns Bruges la Morte is a symbolist masterpiece than that, it is powerful novel about grief and mourning, as well as a treatise on how one s city can reflect one s emotional state, and vice versa.

  6. 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 dissoluble Each is the other and enables us now to dedicate ourselves not to the stopping of life but to the dedication of our life to the devoted mourning of our dead love This is a religion which is supported by the mementos of the beloved dead wife including a tress of her golden hair, where homage is paid daily 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 The town appears in its meager population to be a summonings of those waiting for time to pass without disruption to end in a, good death Poetic and ethereal we march on to the peal of church bells, the towers and belfry, the grayness of the town s substance Only forty already we are stooped over in our shuffled downtrodden walk The woman we see impossibly resembles our loved one in appearance, gait, gesture We follow.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 All this set in a world where what is left out is as important as what is mentioned in constructing the febrile, tenuous, atmosphere so important in the telling of this tale Little is mentioned to us of the lost beloved wife other than the mementos and his recall of their happiness for ten years The mementos are arranged in the house s sitting room All we know about the house is its largeness and its gloom, housing him and his elderly female servant His, ours, Bruges, is not a concrete world but a world of resemblances An entombment into a dust of memories Yet he, we, follow the woman, the flesh and blood woman into a theater She is not seated in the audience As the opera begins we see her on the stage This is a world created for the stage as this book is an entire world created for us, by us Unusual Recommended.

  7. says:

    Capolavoro di neanche cento pagine, che andrebbe obbligatoriamente letto nelle scuole, come uno dei grandi romanzi della letteratura simbolista e decadente quale.Ingiustamente poco conosciuto sebbene abbia profondamente influenzato i nostri scrittori crepuscolari , lo scrittore belga francofono Rodenbach 1855 1898 ha colto perfettamente le sensazioni, le emozioni, l essenza delle cose di una citt incantevole come Bruges, che io ho visto pi volte e pi volte ho amato Incentrato sul tema del doppio, della memoria e della somiglianza, Bruges la morta un lungo racconto pi che un romanzo Un vedovo inconsolabile si rifugiato a Bruges, eleggendo quella citt malinconica e come essa stessa morta, a simbolo della moglie scomparsa, di cui conserva gelosamente le reliquie Finch un giorno non incontra per caso una donna nell aspetto incredibilmente simile alla morta.Fin dalle prime pagine mi ha colpito l intimo rapporto tra Hugues e la citt di Bruges che incarna i suoi rimpianti, il dolore, la consapevolezza di una vita senza pi senso Le torri, le vecchie mura, le chiese univano la loro voce per nutrire il desiderio di morte dell uomo, la sua impazienza della tomba Solo la religione gli vietava di darsi la morte perch Dio l avrebbe allontanato per sempre da S e lui avrebbe perso l ultima possibilit che aveva di rivedere l amata moglie.Come molti hanno notato, tante sono le somiglianze con la storia di Vertigo di Alfred Hitchcock, a testimonianza dell influsso che Bruges la morta ha avuto nel 900 sia in letteratura, sia nella musica, sia nel cinema Da leggere assolutamente.

  8. 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 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 cause.Incidentally, 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

  9. 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 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 infrequently, I just cannot square them with that young woman reflected in the mirror, who, I m now sure, never existed anywhere but in my head.Generally 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 quais, 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 case.On 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 me Portrait of Georges Rodenbach by Lucien L vy Dhurmer, 1895 While 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 pretension.I 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 that.Or 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 relics Bruges la Morte, when originally published, featured a number of photographs of Bruges, including this one I 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 quality 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.

  10. 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 might call a sense of resemblance , an extra sense, frail and sickly, which linked things to each other by a thousand tenuous threads, relating trees to the Virgin Mary, creating a spiritual telegraphy between his soul and the grief stricken towers of Bruges. p 60 In Bruges a miracle of the climate has produced some mysterious chemistry of the atmosphere, an interpenetration which neutralises too bright colours, reduces them to a uniform tone of reverie, to an amalgam of greyish drowsiness. p 61 The melancholy of the close of these all too brief winter afternoons Drift of mist gathering He felt the pervasive fog flooding his soul as well, all his thoughts blurred, drowned in grey lethargy. p 89 In retrospect winter s lingering finale was probably not the right time for me to have read this classic work of dead city prose , the grey weight of which has now seeped into my own leaden consciousness And yet would it have been any better to read such an homage to melancholy amid the burgeoning life promise of spring, or worse, during the heated obscenity of summer Perhaps autumn s decaying splendor would instead have been the ideal setting in which to first dwell upon the lifeless calm of the canals of Bruges Alas, I will never know.

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Bruges-la-Morte download Bruges-la-Morte, read online Bruges-la-Morte, kindle ebook Bruges-la-Morte, Bruges-la-Morte f03c0d4e74a8 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 Whom He Believes Is The Double Of His Beloved Wife, 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 For 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