Bruges-la-Morte, by Georges Rodenbach

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In 1892 Georges Rodenbach published his masterpiece Bruges-la-Morte. The short novel immediately was acknowledged as one of the greatest achievements of the "decadent movement" in French literature, a vision of the Flemish city of Bruges that once was a depiction of Jerusalem and now was turned to doom by the evil forces of Satan, whose Pope was resident in this town...

Ostensibly, Bruges-la-Morte was the account of a doomed love affair that culminated in a bizarre murder, but even more important were its dream-like evocations of Bruges as a ghost city of silence and desolation, lost in time but nevertheless dictating the inevitably fatal events of the narrative...

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