Fiction The Cathedral Is A Reissue Of A Classic Novel Of Spiritual Awakening By The Author Of Against Nature Crafted With Painstaking Attention To Detail, The Novel Is Both An Account Of A Conversion And A Detailed Examination Of The Language Of Medieval Art So Thorough Is Huysman S Description Of The Cathedral That The Book Has Even Been Sold As A Guide To The Building Dr Penelope Woolf The Voice Of The Main Character, Durtal, Is As Wicked, Witty, And Self Lacerating As That Of As That Of A Contemporary Scholar With A Bad Case Of Mystical Anomie Elizabeth Young, City Limits Les aventures de Durtal sur le chemin pour devenir un catholique esth tiquement et intellectuellement irr prochable continuent Apr s avoir d couvert l existence du mal dans Paris L bas , l heureuse solitude mouvement e d un clo tre En Route , Durtal s arr te Chartres, pr s de la Cath drale qui est le v ritable centre et sujet de ce livre.Si l on constate que la plume de Huysmans est toujours bien l , l intrigue et le romanesque de L Bas sont bien loin Le Malin lui m me ne daigne plus vraiment pers cuter Durtal En a t il vraiment besoin La foi de Durtal est toujours vacillante Il est en admiration devant les merveilles de la cath drale de Chartres, de certaines anecdotes sur des saints ainsi que des discussions tr s rudites avec certains clercs Cette admiration cache surtout le vide de sa foi Du christianisme, Durtal en retient l esth tique, mais pas vraiment une foi sinc re dans le Christ ou la Vierge En somme, le personnage n a pas beaucoup volu depuis l bas Cette h sitation, il la laisse cependant de c t vers la fin de l ouvrage en se d cidant aller visiter un cloitre b n dictin dans l espoir d tre un oblat Mais est ce r ellement un roman finalement On est parfois tent d y trouver un ouvrage sur l architecture gothique travers l utilisation d un vocabulaire de sp cialiste transept, nef, arc tiers point, style ogival , et parfois d hagiographie Sainte Marie Marguerite des Anges sans oublier certaines descriptions qui peuvent faire rappeler des brochures de tourisme En somme, Durtal n est qu un fil rouge bien commode pour faire rentrer de nombreux textes autour de Chartres Certains de ces r cits sont m me des nouvelles qui peuvent servir toute seule Un proc d habituel de la part de l auteur L histoire de Gilles de Ray dans L bas fut aussi une nouvelle ind pendante Pour autant, cette ex g se religieuse sur la cath drale et son symbolisme n est pas touffante, au contraire, elle donne envie d aller voir soi m me ce monument religieux Chartres pour y retrouver visuellement les descriptions qu en fait l auteur.Mauriac disait que ce livre avait r install la cath drale de Chartres dans la vie spirituelle des Fran ais Force est de constater que l ouvrage n aura pas tenu longtemps dans les m moires Aujourd hui difficilement trouvable alors qu en Route et L bas le sont sans difficult , la Cath drale reste un roman hybride que je recommande surtout ceux qui ont aim En Route. The Cathedral, volume three of the four part novel of the religious conversion of Durtal the writer and Huysman s fictional spiritual alter ego , is a step up in inventiveness and interest from volume two En Route , but it s still a far cry from the exquisite beauty of the tetralogy s opening volume, the brilliant and transcendent La Bas.Points here for disguising the continued, rather bourgeois, spiritual struggles of poor, alienated, opinionated, and decadent Durtal in the folds of the medieval sculpture of Chartres cathedral and the mystical writings of various Medieval madpersons The technique of the novel pretty much works, keeping us largely distracted from the writer s self induced spiritual problems and yearning to live the life of a Medieval monk and mystic in his mid nineteenth century decadent French world I particularly noticed how cleverly Huysman manages to work didactic passages and descriptions into the dialogues, almost completely disguising the non fiction elements of the text regarding theology, the cathedral s sculpture, or the Christian religious symbolism of plants, colors, animals, or what have you.Despite these clever improvements from En Route s straightforward recitation of Durtal s attempts to get closer to his nostalgia for Medieval ideals through religious conversion, many passages here still dragged Obviously the fruit of Huysmans Durtal s studies through the writings of the mystics, a lot of the information we re given regarding how different visionaries read animals, colors, or plants through the new testament as the key to all knowledge is, well, pretty silly and not always all that illuminating Some of this information is interesting, not so much as information, but in the way that it shows the decadent writer s attempt to apply his own century s aesthetic interest in the natural world with the writings of the mystics and Catholicism as the key to understanding human existence Perhaps if I believed in such nonsense Catholicism or the the natural world I would have completely enjoyed it As is, I 60 70% enjoyed it Not bad 3.5 stars I guess.Oh, I also feel obliged to call out the racism regarding the hairy, dark races Heinous But it s only one comment in a 300 page narrative and it fits well with durtal s generally gruff, opinionated decadent character He s a bit of a jerk, but still rather interesting No identification here smirk. Detail in a portal from Chartres Cathedral, photographer P.E L un des portails de la cath drale de Chartres d tail , photographie P.E.I close the doors of The Cathedral.Well The scale of the groundwork in spiritual symbolism cannot be understated.From architecture to perfumery, via statuary, symbolism of colors, minerals, plants, animals, The Cathedral is a well furnished cabinet of curiosities gathered by Huysmans in a reduced volume A stupendous cluster of information on the most obscure, bizarre and side splitting features of symbolism But to put it bluntly, it smells like a variant of Des Esseintes s catalogue in Against The Grain Rebours.The story is shrunk, close to stunted Durtal is a scholar in search for purpose He toys with a thousand plans for the future Irresolute, he goes all in into the systematic study of Chartres cathedral, the only extant thing to provide a landmark to his thoughts.The book is a faithful account of this fixation and the volume devoted to his studies speaks volumes To me, the reading becomes quickly tedious, off puting, so much is the entire layout of the book dominated by the methodical analysis of Christian symbolism, the items of which are barely woven together by a pretense of a threadbare and forced storyline.Simply put, this is a fair bundle of spiritual hermeneutics, a thorough psychological study on apathy and neurasthenia But in the end, this is some stiff, dry, dull novel.Associated soundtrack Die Kunst der Fuge Johann Sebastian Bach Je referme La Cath drale.Bon L envergure des recherches de J K Huysmans en symbolique mystique n est pas en doute De l architecture la parfumerie via la statuaire, la symbolique des couleurs, des pierres, des v g taux et des animaux, c est un complet cabinet de curiosit s que rassemble son auteur en un volume serr Un amas prodigieux d informations sur ses aspects les plus obscurs, les plus bizarres, les plus cocasses quelquefois Mais enfin, autant le dire, par places, a sent sa variation sur le catalogue Des Esseintes.L histoire est ramass e Durtal, un intellectuel en mal de sens, caresse mille projets pour l avenir Irr solu, il s absorbe dans l tude de la cath drale de Chartres, seule fournir un motif d unit ses pens es Le livre traduit fid lement cette monomanie et le volume consacr ses recherches y est fatalement crasant mon avis, la lecture du roman devient rapidement poussive, fastidieuse, rebutante, tant l enti re structure est assujettie l tude syst matique de la symbolique chr tienne, dont les pans sont raccord s par le pr texte d un r cit d pouill et contraint.En bref, une somme d herm neutique religieuse, une tude psychologique avis e sur l incertitude et l Ennui, mais un roman bien s v re.Musique associ e die Kunst der Fuge Johann Sebastian Bach The second volume in Huysman s quasi autobiographical trilogy featuring the character Durtal, this book is fascinating reading for anyone interested in cathedral architecture, religious symbolism, or church traditions of the middle ages The book has been used for years as a guidebook for Chartes Cathedral I give it two stars simply because it strains credibility to call it a novel It is a short story wrapped around a travel guide Let the reader beware Moby Dick for buildings. Her sufferings constantly increased Feeling that this time she was dying, she grieved over the pitiless macerations she had used, and with touching artlessness begged forgiveness of her poor body for having exhausted its strength, and so having perhaps hindered it from living to suffer longer.And she then put up the most strangely fragrant, the most wildly extravagant prayer that ever a Saint can have addressed to God.She had so loved the Holy Eucharist, she had so longed to kneel at His feet and atone for the outrages inflicted on Him by the sins of mankind, that she waxed faint at the thought that after her death what would remain of her could no longer worship Him.The idea that her body would rot in uselessness, that the last handfuls of her miserable flesh would decay without having served to honour the Saviour, broke her heart and then it was that she besought Him to suffer her to melt away, to liquefy into an oil which might be burnt before the tabernacle in the lamp of the sanctuary.And Jesus vouchsafed to her this excessive privilege, such as the like is unknown in the history of the Saints and at the moment when she died she enjoined her daughters to leave her body exposed in the chapel, and unburied for some weeks.On this point there is abundant authentic evidence More or less minute inquiries were made, and the reports of medical experts are so precise that we can follow from day to day the state of the corpse until it had turned to oil and could be preserved in phials, from which, by her desire, a spoonful was poured every morning to feed the wick of a lamp hanging near the altar I m actually not done this book I had to stop what I was doing and copy this because it is the greatest passage of all time. Detesto deixar livros a meio, mas este A Catedral simplesmente demasiado aborrecido O t tulo n o engana, mesmo sobre, e quase s sobre, a catedral de Chartres A pouqu ssima a o acontece entre as lentas e mon tonas divaga es teol gicas sobre a catedral, os significados das formas, cores, pinturas etc Durtal um beato parisiense que se muda para Chartres para fugir vida decadente da capital e se apaixona pela sua catedral A sua nova vida resumida a estudar a catedral e a dialogar com o clero local Momento alto do primeiro ter o do livro o que li a refer ncia catedral de Notre Dame descrita, j ent o no s c 19, como um lugar sem f e invadido por rudes turistas brit nicos calhou ler isto aquando do inc ndio do seu telhado o que serviu de gua na fervera de como o hist rica desses dias essa passagem valeu a 1,5 que lhe dou Antes de desistir de vez da leitura avancei umas p ginas a ver se haveria alguma possibilidade de continuar, mas eis que Durtal cai numa crise de t dio, em que eu j estava com o livro, e bom, a vida demasiado curta para estas penit ncias liter rias. The Cathedral is a novel about a building I loathed the concept when I read it during the summer holidays of 1986 I felt rather dogmatically that novels should be about people not structures Moreover, I disapproved The book seemed to be promoting the Lourdes pilgrimages and I was afraid that Huysmans might have been an anti dreyfusard All in all, I was I was highly disappointed at the time especially since I had greatly enjoyed La Bas and A rebours which I had read the previous summer.I only remembered having read the Cathedral yesterday when I started reading yesterday the Le carilloneur the Bells of Bruges written by Huysman s great friend Georges Rodenbach and published a year before the Cathedral Now after 30 years, I understand that Huysman s was not the only writer of his age to attach spiritual qualities to a pile of bricks I still will not give it than three stars.
Charles Marie Georges Huysmans was a French novelist who published his works as Joris Karl Huysmans He is most famous for the novel rebours Against Nature His style is remarkable for its idiosyncratic use of the French language, wide ranging vocabulary, wealth of detailed and sensuous description, and biting, satirical wit The novels are also noteworthy for their encyclopaedic documentation
- 100 pages
- La Cathédrale
- Joris-Karl Huysmans
- 06 January 2019 Joris-Karl Huysmans