The Cathedral

Date : August 31, 2020

“In point of fact,” said Durtal to himself as he stood dreaming on the market-place, “no one exactly knows what was the origin of the Gothic forms of a cathedral. Archæologists and architects have exhausted hypotheses and systems in vain”. (…) Some writers assert that the pointed arch based on an equilateral triangle existed in Egypt, Syria, and Persia; others regard it as descended from Saracen and Arab art; nothing certainly is provable.” (…) “To me,” thought Durtal, “it is almost certain that it was in the forest that man found the prototype of the nave and the pointed arch. (…) but what Nature could not give was the prodigious art, the deep symbolical knowledge, the over-strung but tranquil mysticism of the believers who erected cathedrals. But for them the church in its rough-hewn state, as Nature had formed it, was but a soulless thing, a sketch, rudimentary; the embryo only of a basilica (…)”

J. Huysmans, The Cathedral, 2017, p. 53-55.

A flash of memory… In 2013, when I took these 2 photographs, having a vague sense of the final in my head, I knew the quoted book by Huysmans only for its title and summary. I did not have time to read it (plus it was very rarely available). Besides it seemed to me that it was all too late and I am not going to make it… I also preferred walks in the woods…

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