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Notre-Dame: A Short History of the Meaning…
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Notre-Dame: A Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals (editie 2019)

door Ken Follett (Auteur)

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingAanhalingen
845241,333 (3.54)1
"A nonfiction book exploring the history, cultural significance, and meaning of the Notre Dame cathedral, based on a 9,000 word essay that the author wrote"--
Titel:Notre-Dame: A Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals
Auteurs:Ken Follett (Auteur)
Info:Viking (2019), 80 pages
Verzamelingen:2020, Gelezen, maar niet in bezit


Notre-Dame: A Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals door Ken Follett

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Toon 5 van 5
This book is short but full of interesting tidbits, making it very accessible. All the proceeds go to Notre-Dame.

I have been inside Notre-Dame several times. A couple of my friends and I went to Paris from Christmas, 1999, to New Year's Day, 2000. I don't know why, but we kept going back to Île de la Cité, the island where Notre-Dame resides. Something about it drew us in and it became our compass, our cornerstone. Even though we weren't Catholic, we lit a candle, having no idea what it meant. We climbed the stairs to see the gargoyles closely. We looked out over Paris. We loved it. I was away from home on April 15, 2019, when I received a text telling me that Notre Dame was burning. It broke my heart. When I could finally see a news report and see the smoke billowing and the spire crumbling into the church, I cried. Such beauty and art being destroyed in front of our eyes hurt my soul.

Years ago I read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, an amazing novel about people building a cathedral. I need to re-read it because he added more books years later. He studied how cathedrals were built and he presents a short history of Notre Dame in this book. He begins telling about that day in April. He travelled to Paris the next day. He was interviewed many times because of his famous novel.

The history of our Notre Dame begins in 1163. Imagine that! That's HUNDREDS of years ago! Bishop Sully wanted a bigger cathedral, so he ordered the cathedral he had to be torn down and ordered it to be rebuilt in the Gothic style. He died before it was finished. Mr. Follett discusses the amazing ability of people in this time period, who were poor and uneducated, working to build something beautiful and amazing. Much was done through trial and error. It was common for part of the a building to fall and then it was re-built knowing that they needed to try something else. Workers would work on one cathedral and then move to another one, taking what they learned with them.

The story continues in 1831 when Victor Hugo finished writing Notre-Dame de Paris (we call it The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). The novel moved people to notice the Cathedral again, which was in great disrepair from the French Revolution and beyond. Renovations began because the people demanded it. In 1844, Violett-le-Duc became the architect who did the revitalizing. Follett then discusses 1944 when Charles de Gaulle marches triumphantly to Notre Dame upon regaining Paris from the Germans--even though liberation was "in process" and not complete. It presented a message--to go to Notre-Dame and worship showed his strength in a place revered by Parisians.

I loved learning the tidbits and highly recommend reading. I also highly recommend Pillars of the Earth. Purchasing this book is a win-win. You learn something interesting in a short book and you help fund the efforts to save Notre Dame, which is still somewhat precarious. ( )
  acargile | Jul 1, 2020 |
Notre-Dame is a compilation of essays Ken Follett wrote during the week after the Notre Dame fire in April 2019. From the title I was expecting information about the history of cathedrals in general and Notre-Dame de Paris in particular, and what they mean to the local people. This isn't what the book is about. There is a short chapter that covers the history of Notre-Dame. Then there are short chapters on Victor Hugo and his book "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", the renovation of the cathedral by Viollet-le-Duc, Charles DeGaulle's victory mass after WWII, a bit about how Follett feels about the Cathedral, and a large quantity of Follett telling the reader about the novel he wrote that involved the building of a cathedral. There are a handful of illustrations at the end. This book is short and not particularly detailed, but does include some interesting tit-bits of information about Notre-Dame. However, I wanted more substance.

NOTE: Profits from the book, as well as author royalties, are to be donated to the Notre-Dame de Paris rebuilding fund.

( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
A beautifully written tribute to cathedrals. This is an essay in four parts that includes a history of Notre-Dame Cathedral from its construction in the 12th century through to the tragic event of its near destruction by fire last year. And although it’s short, this expresses the same awe and reverence for the great cathedrals that makes the author’s Kingsbridge books so engaging. ( )
  wandaly | Feb 22, 2020 |
Excellent little gem of a book, almost poetic at times, "about" so many things: grief over the damage to Notre-Dame, of course, but also a discourse on the idea of the cathedral, the history of Notre-Dame, and a little survey of the cathedral in literature.

Here's a quote (a little lengthy, but it's all so tasty!):

A journalist asked me: "Don't you hate all the tourists in their shorts with their cameras?" No. Cathedrals have always been full of tourists. In the Middle Ages they were not called tourists, they were pilgrims, but they traveled for many of the same reasons: to see the world and its marvels, to broaden their minds, to educate themselves, and perhaps to come in touch with something miraculous, otherworldly, eternal.

I believe that a novel is successful to the extent that it touches the emotions of the reader. And something similar may be true of all works of art. It is certainly true of cathedrals. Our encounters with them are emotional. When we see them we are awestruck. When we walk around we are enraptured by their grace and light. When we sit quietly we are possessed by a sense of peace.

And when one burns, we weep.
( )
  klobrien2 | Feb 17, 2020 |
This is a personal homage to Notre Dame de Paris, which caught fire and substantially burned on April 15, 2019. Ken Follett many years ago wrote a novel about its construction beginning in 1163, [Pillars of Fire] . This paean was written over the course of a week in late April. With 68 pages, this is by no means a fun treatment, just highlights. Among them is the reconstruction of the cathedral by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century and the proclamation by General De Gaulle in the Cathedral of the victory over the German in 1944 with snipers afoot near the cathedral. It's a kind of a tour de force, but worth the read. ( )
  vpfluke | Nov 23, 2019 |
Toon 5 van 5
In de dagen direct na de brand op 15 april 2020) voelde Ken Follett zich genoodzaakt een ode aan de Notre Dame te schrijven. Zoals de ondertitel luidt, Een beknopte geschiedenis van de beroemde kathedraal. Wat er uit zijn pen vloeide was een kleine liefdegeschiedenis over het beroemde gebouw. Bovendien vertelt hij een aantal verhalen die illustreren waarom de Notre Dame belangrijk is voor de wereld en voor hem zelf in het bijzonder…lees verder >
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