„Aber freilich: er glaubte an das Wunder“
Lourdes bei J.-K. Huysmans und Kurt Tucholsky
Pages 347 - 362
J.-K. Huysmans’ last book, Les Foules de Lourdes (1906), is connected with his conversion to Catholicism in the 1890s. Huysmans, who visited Lourdes in 1903 and 1904, criticizes, among other things, the atrocities of its religious architecture and art. For this reason, Kurt Tucholsky refers to Huysmans in the chapter Lourdes of his travelogue Ein Pyrenäenbuch (1927) which describes the place as an anachronism and a mass phenomenon. Tucholsky appreciates Huysmans’ fierce observations but does not share his belief in the miracle and the holiness of the place. Beyond these evident contrasts, however, the close comparison of the two texts reveals more complex analogies and differences concerning the encounter with crowds of pilgrims, human suffering and religious symbols.