During graduate school, I read Saint Judas, Apostle and Martyr by Dr. Kathryn Wildgen, a book about the St. Lazarus Cathedral in Autun, France; specifically, the capital of the suicide of Judas. After I read this book, I was hooked on the Middle Ages. I wanted to see this cathedral in Autun and all of the sculptures created by Gislebertus.
Ah – but then it got even better. Wildgen turned all of her knowledge about the St. Lazarus Cathedral into a Southern Gothic thriller novel Fractal. She wove together modern-day suspense and an intrigue involving Gislebertus. Wildgen’s imagination turned the Middle Ages into “cool.”
Then I knew I could not miss seeing the cathedral that Gislebertus sculpted. So Norm, good guy that he is, took me to see this place that held tightly to my fascination.
And there, right under Jesus in Glory, was the sculptor’s signature – etched there almost nine hundred years ago. “Gislebertus hoc fecit,” or Gislebertus made this.
Gislebertus was here! He was here! He was here! And now I am here!
Oh, how art can make me feel alive – connected to those who have gone before me!
If you can’t make it to Autun, I invite you to read Wildgen’s works. Whether you choose to read her non-fiction treatise or her novel, you will take a glorious step back in time with no regrets.
See my YouTube slideshow for more photographs.
Sometimes these kinds of experiences bridge the gap in time so wonderfully. Standing in the very place that you have long imagined is a feeling like no other. We connect the past with the present through the imagination of the written word. xx
Stacy Lyn said:
Yes, yes, yes! (Which is one reason why I am a writer of historical fiction.) ❤
El Guapo said:
While I’m not such a huge fan of historical fiction, I do love that historical connection of being in a place (especially with artifacts – buildings, diggings, etc) that stood at the time.
Stacy Lyn said:
Yes, so do I, Guap. Just to imagine that 850 years ago people were carving those figures – that in itself was an incredible experience. ❤