Notre-Dame de Paris by
Joris-Karl Huysmans is a little book but not for this reason less dense or articulated than a big essay about churches and in particular maybe of the most known and loved cathedral of the Western civilization: Notre Dame-de Paris, for every parisienne an important piece of their heart.
Joris-Karl was a man in love for churches. He visited, studied churches and their architecture; he simply loved churches, understanding , absorbing their atmosphere, he was a critic of art and nothing is more complex and beauty than a church; he became close with some priests, falling in love at the end (and pretty critically!) with Notre Dame.
Notre Dame and the various periods of depredations and disinterest; Notre Dame and its style, but also Notre-Dame and the fascinating spring-times; it is not classified as a maternal cathedral. But Joris-Karl will be pretty critical also regarding the external statues of the Cathedral: "La verité est que son extérieur ne vaut plus que par sa mass"; here a big problem for the writer: "Tout le statues son retappes ou entièrement refaites...."
But it's another voice that will strongly upset the writer: the idea of installing in Notre-Dame the electricity, at some point. Considered something more "chic" to Jorkis-Karl this idea "C'est revoltant" is revoltating and considering what happened on april 2019 he was right!
A third chapter is dedicated to the various symbology of Notre-Dame. "Trois portals, en l'honneur de la Trinité sainté" for example, and the interior shape "a été désignèe par Jesus meme" has been thought for Jesus the founder of a new church.
A beauty book for understanding much more Notre-Dame but also other Cathedrals.
A fascinating trip!
AI thank L'Editions de l'Herne for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori