Mon 16 January 2012

Bart van Loo blogs about Chartres (#1)

Belgian writer Bart van Loo is currently in Chartres for his citybooks residency. On his blog he writes about his experiences in the French city.

chartres © bart van loo

Chartres on crutches (1) : looking for inspiration

I pace stiffly through the innercity. My foot is in a cast. That wasn't planned at all. Once you start paying attention to it, though, there are many kind of crutches in this world. My pace is slow, but I'm hoping it'll broaden my gaze all the more. I read a lot and get a taste of the athmosphere. I have already gotten into the habit of happily greeting Yves, the beggar on his fixed spot near the cathedral, and I let myself be toured around town by local experts. So far that has resulted in a visit to the same bar every time. The waiter there has an iron handshake. I might return home with my hand in a cast as well.

I've been sent here by deBuren to write a citybook. On their website it says "It's clear that Van Loo knows the ins and outs of the country and culture of France, and we’re very curious to find out how he will approach the ‘city of light and perfume’." Well, I'm curious to find this out myself.

Not giving into the many 'but if's', I limp onwards through the streets, and meet many dead people on my journey. Jean Moulin, Charles Péguy, Hendrik IV and a handfull of revolutionairies that ended up under the guillotine. Chatres is a damned city, despite its cathedral. Much war, much violence, often forgotten. I find my way in this labyrinth. Peek into lives that I never knew about, lead through places I've never been. And I wonder how I'll ever be able to write a consistent story about this. Just a few moments ago, I ran into Proust. Not a madeleine, but a cathedral of a description. I sit down, think, and make tea.


Bart van Loo © Koen Broos
Bart van Loo blogs on





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By private guides in Russia 10/05/12 (8 years ago)

re: Bart van Loo blogs about Chartres (#1)

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