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Thread: More Victor Hugo

  1. #1
    String Dancer Shea's Avatar
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    More Victor Hugo

    Since the last time I was on this site, I've read The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Toilers of the Sea. But I found TTotS to be extremely wordy and therefore had a hard time getting through it but really enjoyed the story when I was finished.

    Then I noticed that of the three Hugo novels that I read ( and loved), he wrote Hunchback first then Les Mesirables, then TTotS. It seems that Hugo gets wordier as he gets older. Are his other books like that?

    I guess I'm just curious because I read somewere else that he felt himself such an astounding writer that Paris should have been renamed for him!
    Hwt! We Gar-Dena in geardagum,/eodcuninga rum gefrunon,/hu a elingas ellen fremedon!
    Oft Scyld Scefing sceaena reatum,/ monegum mgum, meodosetla ofteah,/ egsode eorlas, syan rest wear/ feasceaft funden; he s frofre gebad,/ weox under wolcnum, weormyndum ah,/ ot him ghwylc ara ymbsittendra/ofer hronrade hyran scolde,/gomban gyldan. t ws god cyning!

  2. #2

    Re: More Victor Hugo

    Quote Originally Posted by Shea
    Since the last time I was on this site, I've read The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Toilers of the Sea. But I found TTotS to be extremely wordy and therefore had a hard time getting through it but really enjoyed the story when I was finished.

    Then I noticed that of the three Hugo novels that I read ( and loved), he wrote Hunchback first then Les Mesirables, then TTotS. It seems that Hugo gets wordier as he gets older. Are his other books like that?

    I guess I'm just curious because I read somewere else that he felt himself such an astounding writer that Paris should have been renamed for him!
    Are you reading him in the original French? If not, then it is probably the translators fault to some extent because I remember a little anecdote from Graham Robb's biography on Arthur Rimbaud which mentioned Rimbaud's fascination with Victor Hugo at the age of 10. Of course, Rimbaud was a genius, but 10 years old is still really young to be bombarded with bombastic phrases and endless meandering sentences.

  3. #3
    Hero Admin's Avatar
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    Nice to see you posting again Shea.

  4. #4
    String Dancer Shea's Avatar
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    Thanks Admin! I missed coming here!

    AbdoRinbo, unfortunately, I haven't learned French yet, though I have a mind to one day. I'm not familiar with Rimbaud. But I can kind of understand the facination. Though Hugo's meandering sentences were hard to follow, I did tend to find them somewhat hypnotic. :o
    Hwt! We Gar-Dena in geardagum,/eodcuninga rum gefrunon,/hu a elingas ellen fremedon!
    Oft Scyld Scefing sceaena reatum,/ monegum mgum, meodosetla ofteah,/ egsode eorlas, syan rest wear/ feasceaft funden; he s frofre gebad,/ weox under wolcnum, weormyndum ah,/ ot him ghwylc ara ymbsittendra/ofer hronrade hyran scolde,/gomban gyldan. t ws god cyning!

  5. #5
    smeghead
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    i liked the hunchback of notre dame. it kinda had the original to kill a mockingbird theme. the ending was tragic. i didn't think hugo was particularly verbose, but there are times when he spends whole pages meandering about nothing. for instance, at the start when he writes about claude's accounts or whatever. i skipped that whole section! D so maybe he just ends up doing that stuff more often in his later novels.

  6. #6
    String Dancer Shea's Avatar
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    The Toilers of the Sea gets very wordy so that the plot line is so minimal. My copy of the book is 500 pages and honestly, only about 150 pages contain the actual plot. There's one section where the main character suddenly gets attacked by an octopus, and before Hugo tells how he escaped, he spends eight pages on the description, function, behavior, and history of the octopus!

    Though when you look at the whole thing a lot of the descriptions seem almost necessary to the plot to educate the reader, even if he doesn't recall everything, so that you understand why some of the characters do the things that they do.

    For instance, all that description in the Hunchback about the beauty of the old archetecture made the scene of the gypsies storming Notre Dame all that more exciting to me.
    Hwt! We Gar-Dena in geardagum,/eodcuninga rum gefrunon,/hu a elingas ellen fremedon!
    Oft Scyld Scefing sceaena reatum,/ monegum mgum, meodosetla ofteah,/ egsode eorlas, syan rest wear/ feasceaft funden; he s frofre gebad,/ weox under wolcnum, weormyndum ah,/ ot him ghwylc ara ymbsittendra/ofer hronrade hyran scolde,/gomban gyldan. t ws god cyning!

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    I recently bought Les Miserables in Paris (in French), and though I haven't read it yet, I was really surprised at how long it is (my copy is in three huge volumes). I know that doesn't really have to do with the topic, but it seems as though is might be wordy, seeing as how long it is.
    Il y a a parier que toute idee publique, toute convention recue, est une sottise, car elle a convenu au plus grand nombre.

  8. #8
    String Dancer Shea's Avatar
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    It is kind of wordy, the part describing the war kind of lost me a bit, but actually I found that most of it is devoted to plot whether or not you realize it as your reading. Yes, it's rather long, (it took me several months to read) but it's well worth it!!

    That's actually my favorite Hugo novel and one of my favorite books in general.
    Hwt! We Gar-Dena in geardagum,/eodcuninga rum gefrunon,/hu a elingas ellen fremedon!
    Oft Scyld Scefing sceaena reatum,/ monegum mgum, meodosetla ofteah,/ egsode eorlas, syan rest wear/ feasceaft funden; he s frofre gebad,/ weox under wolcnum, weormyndum ah,/ ot him ghwylc ara ymbsittendra/ofer hronrade hyran scolde,/gomban gyldan. t ws god cyning!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by plea4peace
    I recently bought Les Miserables in Paris (in French), and though I haven't read it yet, I was really surprised at how long it is (my copy is in three huge volumes). I know that doesn't really have to do with the topic, but it seems as though is might be wordy, seeing as how long it is.
    You should try Proust out for size. I'd chuck A la Recherche du Temps Perdu at the wall, if I could lift it.

  10. #10
    If someone takes a bite out of a cookie, that's easily a hundred pages . . .

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