July 10, 2020

‘Notre-Dame’ by Ken Follet | Culture


one

2019

The voice on the other side of the phone was insistent.

"I'm in Paris," he said. Turn on the Tvview!

I was at home, in the kitchen, with Barbara, my wife. We had just finished dinner. Do not He had drunk wine, fortunately. In that moment I still didn't know, but it was going to be a noChe very long.

The voice of the phone was that of an old friend. She is a member of Parliament and Minister of Gabinete so it has weathered many crises and is impertroubled, but seemed shocked.

You know what we saw on the screen: the maraviThe Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, one of the greatest achievements of European civilization, was on fire.

‘Notre-Dame’ by Ken Follet



The image left us stunned and deeply affected. I was on the verge of tears. Something of incalculable value was dying before our eyes. It was a disconcerting feeling, as if the earth had begun to shake.

I know the building well. A Christmas, BarBara and I attended a mass of the rooster there. The Cathedral was crowded with people. Lights dim ones cast long shadows in the halls, the carols reverberated in the ship and the vaultda, on top, was wrapped in darkness. The most touching of all was being aware of that, for more than eight hundred years, our ancestors had celebrated that Christmas same way in that cathedral.

I had visited her on many other occasionsnes. The first time was in 1966, during my first holidays outside the UK, evenI'm afraid that, at seventeen, I triedThe girls in the group were much more church. The last one had taken place only four weeks before, while driving along the margin left of the Seine, and, as always, I got soaked from the glorious view of the twin towers and the flying arches.

As soon as I started to think rationally in what I saw on television, I understood what I was burning and how the fire was charging strength, but the journalists who commented on the news did not understand. Why would they do what? They had not studied the structure of the gothic cathedrals. I do, when I documentedI lied to write The pillars of the earth, me novel about building a cathedral Idummy dieval. A key scene from chapter fourtro describes the fire that destroys the old caKingsbridge tedral, and at that time I had asked: how exactly does a huge burn stone church?

I had climbed into dusty spaces under the roofs of some cathedrals, like the one in Canterbury and the one in Florence. There were been on the strong beams that stretched soThe ships and looked up at the goats that They held the lead plates. I had noticed in the dry remains that usually accumulate in these places: old pieces of wood and rope, insandwiches of man workersTendency, tangled twigs of bird nests and hornets that looked like paper. I was nextro that the fire had begun in some lurooftop gar, probably because of a butt or a spark caused by an electrical failuretrico that set some garbage on fire, which Once it extended to the rafters. And the resulting damages They threatened to raze the cathedral.

I decided to share this reflection with others, so I tweeted this:

The goats are made up of hundreds of tons of old and very dry wood. When that burns, the roof collapses and then the rubble destroys the vaulted ceiling, which it also collapses and destroys the strong stackStone beef that hold it all.

That turned out to be true, except because youI scammed the strength of the pillars and vaults, which suffered damage but, luckily, there is no leftRum totally razed.

Thus the destruction of the cathedral of Kingsbridge in The pillars of the earth, from the Prior Philip's point of view:

A loud click made him look up. Exactly above it a huge beam It moved slowly to the side. I was going to fall on top of it. Philip ran to the south cruise, where was Cuthbert, with an expression of fear.A whole section of the roof, three triangles of beams and goats plus the plates nailed in They fell slowly. Philip and Cuthbert with itthey tempered, stunned, forgetting completelyGive you your own safety. The roof collapsed Notre Dame-on one of the large rounded arches of the crossing. The enormous weight of wood and iron he split the stone work of the arch with an esprolonged thundering similar to thunder. All It was happening slowly. Slowly the beams fell and, after breaking the arch, the masonry. Be sunnythey took other roof beams and suddenly, with a Long, slow thunderlike noise, all a section of the north wall of the presbytery isshuddered, sliding sideways to the cruzero north.

Philip was terrified. The panorama of the destruction of a seemingly so building solid was strangely amazing. Was like watching a mountain collapse or stay I dry a river. He never really thought that It could happen. I could barely believe what isBan seeing his eyes.At nightfall on April 15, 2019, the Parisians took to the streets and tea chamberstelevision recorded thousands of faces dotted with pain and lit by the flames. Some cantaban hymns; others just cried at the Image of his beloved cathedral burning. Not that oneche, the tweet that got the warmest response among my followers it simply said:

Français, françaises, nous partagons votre tristesse.

«French, French, we share your sadness."

I should have written "nous partageons", with "E", but nobody cared.

There are people who understand more than cathedrals medievales than me but journalists don't know what are their names. They know my name thanks to my books, and they know that The pillars it's about a cathedral, so a few minutes later I started Receive newsroom messages. Pass that night giving interviews for the press, radio and television in which I explained in English and in French what was happening on the Île de la I quoted.

And, while giving those interviews, I watched.

One of the possible origins of fire has beencalled on the central needle, slender as an arrow and with a height of 91 meters, which now burned with infernal form It was made of 500 tons of oak beams and had a lead roof that It weighed 250 tons. The burning wood immediatelyda weakened and the weight of all that lead wasMasiado for her. The most shocking moment that night for the afflicted crowd gathered in the calles and the millions of people who watched televisionhorrified vision came when that needle got inclinched to one side, broke like a match and collapsed through the burning roof of the ship.

Notre-Dame had always seemed eternal and the medieval builders certainly thought that would last until the day of the final judgment, but of suddenly we realized that I could breakbarse In the life of every boy there is a painroso moment in which he understands that his father It is not almighty or invincible. It has weakYou can get sick and someday you will die. I fellThe needle made me think about that moment.

It seemed that the ship was already in ruins. I believed see llamas in one of the two towers and I knew that, yes of crumbling, the entire church would be lefttruida

President Macron, a leader radically modernizer who was immersed in a bitter and violent disagreement with detractores of his reforms, spoke before the cameras and he became, at least at that moment, the re- leaderknown from a united French nation. PrintedHe didn't go to the world and made the Welsh man cry who writes these lines when he said firmly and confidently: «Nous rebâtirons ». We will rebuild it.

At midnight I went to bed and set the alarm at 4.30, since the last call he had reIt was to ask me to participate in a morning television program that took place The next day, very early.

I was afraid that the sun would rise on a hu piledebris rocking in the Île de la Cité where Notre-Dame had been proudly erected before. I full of mind to see that most of the walls still standing, as well as the two great towers cuaDredges in the west wing. It hadn't been as bad as Everybody feared, so I drove to itTV guy with a message of hope.

I spent Tuesday giving interviews and Wednesday I flew to Paris to participate in a debate in thetelevision grammar The big librairie about him symbolism of cathedrals in literature and lifetime.

It didn't even occur to me to stay at home. I carry Notre-Dame deep inside my heart. Do not I am a believer, but I go to church despite everything. I love architecture, music, the words of the Bible and the feeling of sharing something so proI found with others. I have long beentro a deep spiritual peace in the great catedrales, like millions of people, both believers of course And I have another reason for senthrow me grateful for its existence: my love for they inspired the novel that is without a doubt my book more popular and probably the best.

President Macron said they would rebuild Notre-Dame in five years. A french newspaper replied with the headline «Macron believes in the milagros ». However, the French feel a pro-found attachment for Notre-Dame. It has been the stage of some key events in the history of France. Each road sign that indicates what distance are you from Paris measure the distance to the kilometer zero, a bronze star embedded on the ground in front of Notre-Dame. The big camcorduroy of the south tower, called Emmanuel, is heard by the whole city when it touches its serious sustained fa to announce a joy or a pity, be it the end of a war or a tragedy like that of 9/11.

In addition, it is always inadvisable to underestimate To the French. If anyone can do it, it's them.

Before I left Paris to return to home, my french editor asked me to contemplate the possibility of writing something about my love for Notre-Dame, in light of the terrible event of 15 April. The benefits obtained from the book they would go to the fund for reconstruction as well As my copyright. «Yes, I start tomorrowna same, ”I said.

This is what I have written.

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