Pub. Date:
University of Scranton Press


by Georges Rodenbach, Philip Mosley


Current price is , Original price is $8.0. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


Bruges-la-Morte is the story of one man’s obsession with his dead wife and his soul’s struggle between an alluring young dancer—his late wife’s double—and the beautiful, melancholy city of Bruges, whose moody atmosphere mirrors his mourning.  This hallmark of Belgian symbolist literature, first translated into English by Philip Mosley to great acclaim twenty years ago, is now back in print for the next generation of English readers to discover.

With penetrating psychological force and richly metaphorical language, Bruges-la-Morte draws a haunting picture of love, grief, and murder in what has become a “dead city,” severely Catholic and once proud. The source of the famous opera Die tote Stadt and endless inspiration for Belgian and French artists, this novella will enthrall both the imaginations and heartstrings of an Anglophile audience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781589661592
Publisher: University of Scranton Press
Publication date: 12/15/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 90
Sales rank: 801,763
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Georges Rodenbach (1855–1898) was a Belgian poet, essayist, playwright, novelist, and short story writer who was one of the leaders of the Symbolist movement.
Philip Mosley is professor of English, communications, and comparative literature at Pennsylvania State University. He is the editor of Anthracite!: An Anthology of Pennsylvania Coal Region Plays.

Table of Contents

Chronology of Works By Georges Rodenbach (1855-1898)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Bruges-la-Morte 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
deebee1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novella tells a simple story: when Hugues Viane loses his young, beautiful wife, he decides to settle in Bruges because the town mirrored his own inconsolable grief. The city is gray and moribund, ideal for feeding his melancholy (this was set in the late 1900s; today, the town is lively, charming, and bustling with tourists reverting to what it was in the Middle Ages -- a prosperous trading town). In his morbid obsession to keep the memory of his wife alive, he turns his home into a "temple" to his wife. One day in the streets, he sees a woman who is the exact double of the dead wife. He pursues her, starts an affair, but is crushed to realise that she is not the reincarnation of his wife. It just goes more dark from there...Rodenbach writes very beautifully, one gets inside the isolation, the loneliness and the grief of Viane, and all this is heightened by Rodenbach's description of the town. In such a poetic way, he presents to us a tableau in black and white which are the colors of the clergy, in harmony with the dark waters of the canals, the white of the swans, and the gray skies. The contrast of black and white is a many-layered theme in the novella and symbolizes many things. It is most evident in the contrasting emotions in Viane's soul where he fights to preserve the "sanctity" of his wife's memory against the "blackness" he begins to see in his new lover. A beautiful novella, simple yet profound as it portrays the psychology of grief and pain toward a rather haunting end.
clfisha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A novella, published in 1892, dripping in symbolism and highly atmospheric. Hughes Viane, spend his days in mourning for his dead wife, living amoungst her things, venerating her dead hair, leaving his house to walk amongst the deathly, well preserved, religious city: Bruges. That is until he spots her likeness wandering the streets and becomes tragically obsessed. It's a short, very readable book full of heavy handed symbolism (to modern eyes) It doesn't bring the city alive but takes its parts (the constant bells, the silent canals etc..) to underline his grief. Interesting but not something I recommend until I realised that it was 1st published illustrated by many haunting photographs. Now that would be an edition to seek out, the images and text feeding off each other a joy to behold.So I recommend that edition unless you a lover of symbolism or the opera Die tote Stadt which is based on the book.