Sketch of a philosophical panorama at Rodenbach
[Esquisse d'un panorama philosophique chez Rodenbach]
"One often remembers Rodenbach as industrious, puny, and a person of quaint aesthetics. Does he not hide instead, behind a skittish mode, the least placid energy? The most famous of his works concludes with a crime whose impulsivity focuses while at the very same time reverses all the vacillations that precede it. This article proposes to follow Hugues Viane's evolution by summoning some great contributions of psychoanalysis in the criminological field. A widower is killing his mistress, furious to see her mock the memory of his wife, could have been raising anecdote. However, despite the ellipses which forced him to a style close to the novel, Rodenbach suggests a very complex sense and dynamics. When depicting the calm waters of Bruges, offering there one of the finest contributions to Northern myth, it is not certain that he forgets the energy that lies there. Since it is not certain that the height of the towers, the moral of the city and its reminders to virtue, are totally foreign to a bloody logic, at least partly lived as an accomplishment."
Key words: Mourning and melancholia, the feeling of guilt, the unreality of crime and expiatory function, philosophy, psychoanalysis
Pages: 185 - 194