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 1892 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.It sounds perfectly morbid, no? I think this could be a fun book to read late at night, while it's raining outside! Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea and Teaser Tuesdays is hosted over at A Daily Rhythm.
'THE declining day had darkened the corridors of the great, silent dwelling, and demanded that the windows should be protected by the sombre, crape screens. Hughes Viane made his preparations for the desultory ramble with which it was his wont to close the afternoon.' p.1Oh wow, this beginning is simply amazing in how Rodenbach uses his words. Just the first few words 'The declining day has darkened' is incredibly poetic because of the alliteration and even if you're not reading it out loud, you can't help but notice the beauty of his language.
'Like faith, love nourishes itself in the fulfilment of small observances.' p.186It looks as if this novel, despite its morbidity, can still be quite touching and sweet. I definitely think this teaser is true.
So, that was my novel for the day! Does Bruges-La-Morte sound interesting to you? And what are you teasing today?