Our Authors & Translators

Georges Rodenbach

Georges Rodenbach (1855-1898) born in Tournai, spent most of his time in Ghent and later Paris where like his childhood friend and Flemish compatriot Emile Verhaeren, he rubbed shoulders with all the main players of the symbolist fin de siecle. But Rodenbach is forever associated with Bruges, the location for his most celebrated and enduring work. He also wrote a number of collections of poetry of which ‘Le Règne du silence’ from 1891 in many ways prefigures Bruges-La-Morte. A further novel ‘Le Carilloneur’ 1897 (translated by Dedalus as The Bells of Bruges) is also set in Bruges. Several books of short stories such as Hans Cadzand's Vocation and Other Stories (Dedalus 2011 ) , prose poems, and a range of essays on figures such as Rodin, Monet, Huysmans, Verlaine and Mallarmé attest to a prodigious talent. Rodenbach was a typical artist of the decadent period, unfailingly anti-bourgeois, solitary, an aesthete suffering some undisclosed malady of the spirit, a palpable ennui or spleen. But Rodenbach was very much a modern poet too and his precise, delicate, yet existentially muscular poems are still of much relevance today.

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