From Bruges-la-Morte to Le Mirage. The loss of a character?

  • Maria Elisabetta Nieddu University of Cagliari
Keywords: Bruges, city, Rodenbach, Symbolism, theatre


The title of Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach's novel written in 1892, could be considered without much effort an eponymous title, considering the city of Bruges as the main character of the story. That is a statement by the same author in fact, the city is not only the place where the story develops, but the character that affects and causes actions themselves of the protagonist of the novel, the widower Hugues Viane. If the intent of the author is certainly realized in the novel, what about the city's role in the posthumous play adapted from Bruges-la-Morte, entitled Le Mirage? Shall we perhaps resign to the loss of a character, transformed irreversibly to a pure scenario? Or maybe is it possible through dialogue and staging made to recreate the atmosphere of anguish and sense of death that emanates from the Rodenbach’s canals, bells and belfries ? The objective of this proposed study is therefore to investigate the differences between the novel and the play works to highlight the different textual aspects which focuses differently in the two Rodenbach’s works.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Maria Elisabetta Nieddu, University of Cagliari

Maria Elisabetta Nieddu is 28 years old. After a BA and an MA in Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Cagliari, she is now enrolled at the third year of a Ph.D. in French Literature at the same University. At the moment she is carrying out a thesis on the urban vision in Flemish writers by 1880 to First World War.



Bachelard, Gaston (1942), L’eau et les rêves, Paris, José Corti, 1984.

Bachelard, Gaston, La poétique de l’espace, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1957, trad. It. La poetica dello spazio, Bari Dedalo, 2008.

Bodson-Thomas, Anny, L’Esthétique de Georges Rodenbach, Liège, Vaillant-Carmanne, 1942.

De Marinis, Marco, Semiotica del teatro. L’analisi testuale dello spettacolo, Milano, Bompiani, 1982.

Elam, Keir, Semiotica del Teatro, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1988.

Fusillo, Massimo, L’altro e lo stesso. Teoria e storia del doppio, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 1998.

Girardi, Michele, “1920: va in scena Freud”, Die tote Stadt, musica di Erich Wolfgang Korngold, libretto di Paul Schott, Venezia, 2009: 7-10, La Fenice prima dell’opera, on line (ultimo accesso 17/12/2012).

Gorceix, Paul, Réalités Flamandes et Symbolisme fantastique. Bruges-la-Morte et Le Carillonneur de Georges Rodenbach, Paris, Lettres Modernes, 1992.

Gorceix, Paul, “Le Paysage urbain chez Georges Rodenbach: reflet et verticalité”, Le paysage urbain dans les lettres françaises de Belgique, Eds. Robert Frickx - David Gullentops, Bruxelles, VUB, 1994: 9-18.

Hutcheon, Linda, A theory of Adaptation, Routledge, New York, 2006, trad. It. di Giovanni Vito Distefano, Teoria degli adattamenti, Roma, Armando Editore, 2011.

Laude, Patrick, Les décors du silence, Paris, Labor, 1990.

Maes, Pierre, Georges Rodenbach 1855-1898, Gembloux, Duculot, 1952.

Maeterlinck, Maurice, Théâtre, Ed. Martine Rougemont, Ginevra, Slatkine, 1979.

Modenesi, Marco, Il malinconico incantesimo. La narrativa di Geoges Rodenbach, Milano, Pubblicazioni dell’Università Cattolica, 1996.

Mor Antonio – Wesgerber, Jean, Le letterature del Belgio, Milano, Sansoni-Accademia, 1968.

Mosley, Philip, “From Rodenbach to Korngold. The Intertextual Genesis of Die tote Stadt”, Critical Essays, Ed. Philip Mosley, Madison/ London, Associated University Presses, 1996: 190-194.

Nissim, Liana, Storia di un tema simbolista: gli interni, Milano, Vita e Pensiero, 1980.

Paque Jeannine, “Musée de Béguines, musée de l’homme? Un texte ouvert”, Le monde de Rodenbach, Ed. Jean-Paul Bertrand, Bruxelles, Labor, 1990: 85-87.

Pudles,Lynne, “Fernand Khnopff, Georges Rodenbach, and Bruges, the Dead City”, The Art Bulletin, 74. 4 (1992): 637-654.

Roda, Vittorio, Homo duplex. Scomposizioni dell’io nella letteratura italiana moderna, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1991.

Rodenbach, Georges, (Paris, Charpentier, 1891), Le Règne du Silence, Bruxelles, Le Cri, 1994.

Rodenbach, Georges, (Paris, Flammarion, 1892), Bruges-la-morte, Bruxelles, Editions Jacques Antoine, 1977.

Rodenbach, Georges, Le voile, Paris, Ollendorf, 1895.

Rodenbach, Georges, Le Carillonneur, Paris, Fasquelle, 1897.

Rodenbach, Georges, Le voile et Le Mirage, (Ollendorff, 1901) Ed. Richard Bales, Exeter, University of Exeter Presse, 1999.

Ruffini, Franco, Semiotica del testo. L’esempio teatro, Roma, Bulzoni, 1978.

Segre, Cesare, Teatro e Romanzo. Due tipi di comunicazione letteraria, Torino, Einaudi, 1984.

Stollberg, Arne, “Sulla «forza purificatrice del sogno». Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Die tote Stadt”, Die tote Stadt, musica di Erich Wolfgang Korngold, libretto di Paul Schott, La Fenice prima dell’opera, Venezia, 2009: 11-26,, on line (ultimo accesso 17/12/2012).

How to Cite
Nieddu, M. E. (2012). <p>From <i>Bruges-la-Morte</i> to <i>Le Mirage</i>. The loss of a character?</p&gt;. Between, 2(4).