The grave can’t hold him



1855 – 1898


I took pictures of hundreds of gravestones at Le Père Lachaise and I think my favorite is the dramatic tomb of a little known poet and writer—Georges Rodenbach. Rodenbach is best known for his novel, Bruges-la-Morte, a story about a man who walks around the streets of Bruges mourning his dead wife when he spots a woman who is the spitting image of her. This novel is notable for it was the first time a work of fiction used photographs. He wrote other works, including eight volumes of poetry and three other novels, as well as, short stories and essays—all while working as a lawyer in Paris.

The tomb has a sculpture of Rodenbach himself busting out of a large block of rough-cut granite. His tomb is meant to be a symbol of how even the grave cannot hold his spirit. He defiantly holds up a flower in one hand as if he is mocking death.


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One Response to The grave can’t hold him

  1. Joël Goffin says:

    See my site and my study “Le secret de Bruges-la-Morte”, chapter 24 about the grave…

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