Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Hugo - greatest writer ever!

  1. #1
    yes, sir!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    146
    I am curious to know, and for conversation sake, what is it that gives you this opinion? Why do you think he is the greatest? Can you think of another author living or dead with whom you can compare? I have never read any of his works, although I am familiar with some stories.

    Lara

    Touche.
    That is just the conversation I am looking for on these boards. Something with depth, something informative, but please, I hope your tone was not defensive, I am simply trying to stimulate the conversation. I think I will check out the link you provided more closely. He sounds interesting. I am presently enjoying Oscar Wilde and find him passionate and brilliant.

    Take Care,
    Lara

    Thanks, maybe I'll give it a go, if I can find it in my local library. Then maybe we can converse some more.

    Lara

  3. #3
    String Dancer Shea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,931
    I must say that Hugo is very high on my list of favorite writers. Les Mesirables is my favorite, though I've only read it once and am dying to read it again but I must put that off untill after I graduate.

    Did you know that he thought himself to be such a great writer that he felt that France should have renamed Paris after him?

    Despite his ego, I think he was a fantastic writer!
    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!

  4. #4
    give me arthur rimbaud over hugo any day.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Chateaubriand View Post
    I think so, anyway... Check him out at:

    The Victor Hugo Website
    Hi, this is Sonster. I trying to find out more about a copy Of The Hunchback of Nortre Dame that I found many years ago. It was printed in Great Britain by the John C. Winston Co. with a signature of a man named Thomas Herin. It looks old and I would appreciate any information you may be able to give me. Thanks

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3,093
    Quote Originally Posted by Chateaubriand View Post
    Well, first of all, I have read a lot of his work, and a lot of other writer's. But I always end up reading him again. So it is my personal opinion based on my experience.
    But people will differ on this -- for me it is Shakespeare, Dickens, and Tolstoy who I always come back to. These writers, and several others, are also, usually, placed in a higher class than Hugo by the critics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chateaubriand View Post
    Secondly, should you have asked me the question 150 years ago, my answer would be: Look around you. There is little doubt that Hugo, after the publication of 'The Church Notre-Dame' (we know it as The Hunchback), became the most famous and most read author in the world. He held that position for 50 years. So, to his contemporaries, he was the greatest living author by any other standard than personal opinion.
    I think there's a lot of doubt... Critics usually say that it's impossible to judge a writer properly until fifty years after his death, otherwise "trends", politics, and other factors affect judgement. Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Dickens were premier league during their lifetime, and still are. To their contemporaries they were considered the greatest authors, and they still are!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chateaubriand View Post
    Thirdly, few, if any, other writers has influenced society (and other artists) as much as Hugo.
    Many people have chosen exile before hypocrisy, attacked racism & capital punishment, backed education & social injustice. None of these things are necessary or sufficient attributes of a great writer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chateaubriand View Post
    But most of all, he is a great storyteller. The Greatest! (For conversation sake...)
    Greater than Dickens? But, anyway, I should try something of Hugo, I guess. Any recommendations of a good book to start with, and a good English translation? Les Miserables is forbiddingly long for a book with mixed reviews. The Goncourt brothers judged it artificial and disappointing. Flaubert could find within it "neither truth nor greatness". Charles Baudelaire reviewed the work glowingly in newspapers, but in private castigated it as "tasteless and inept." [quotes from Wikipedia]

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,206

    Cool Everyone who reads extensively ....

    has a favorite author, but because he is your favorite doesn't mean he is the best. And being the best, if the best were possible to pick, is so subjective. Hugo has three books which every lover of literature should read. th first I would read would be Notre Dame de Paris which is a fairly good read and doesn't require a vast historical background. The second, is Les Miserables but I would skip the Battle od Waterloo which is often prinrted as a separate volume. This aside is difficult to read, and is not germain to the main story. The third is Toilers of the Sea. with these three read, you probably will have enough Hugo to last for quite a while. I have read others also, but many require a good background in French history and are not for the casual reader. I read Ninety-Three but spent a lot of my time in brushing up on the revolution within the French Revolution, and I had read Carlyle's The French Revolution before hand.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    90
    Victor Hugo was a great writer, but the best ever? He might not even be the best French writer of all time. Alexandre Dumas, known for The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers (d'Artagnan Romances), is arguably the best writer of fiction France has ever produced. In terms of pure talent, Honore de Balzac, in my opinion, is up there as well.

  9. #9
    Neo-Scriblerus Modest Proposal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    U of Iowa
    Posts
    302
    Quote Originally Posted by Chateaubriand View Post
    Well, first of all, I have read a lot of his work, and a lot of other writer's. But I always end up reading him again. So it is my personal opinion based on my experience.

    Secondly, should you have asked me the question 150 years ago, my answer would be: Look around you. There is little doubt that Hugo, after the publication of 'The Church Notre-Dame' (we know it as The Hunchback), became the most famous and most read author in the world. He held that position for 50 years. So, to his contemporaries, he was the greatest living author by any other standard than personal opinion.

    Thirdly, few, if any, other writers has influenced society (and other artists) as much as Hugo. He chose exile before kneeling to a regime he despised. He was the first important writer to depict a black man as a hero (Bug-Jargal), to strike a major blow against capital punishment (The Last Days of a Condemned Man), to suggest education as an antidote to crime (Claude Gueux), to illustrate social injustice in an explicit manner (Les Miserables). And you can add much more to that list. So I also consider him a great Man, with a great view of Man.

    But most of all, he is a great storyteller. The Greatest! (For conversation sake...)
    There was never a black hero?

    What about Oroonoko or Othello?

    Your enthusiasm is great, but many authors have fought over-arching regimes--Milton did, Thomas Moore died doing it--and many popular authors such as Dickens.

  10. #10
    Pirate! Katy North's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    321
    Blog Entries
    1
    I find it amusing that people are critiquing six year old posts...

    Though of course favorites are subjective...

  11. #11
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Saarburg, Germany
    Posts
    3,105
    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin View Post
    Victor Hugo was a great writer, but the best ever? He might not even be the best French writer of all time. Alexandre Dumas, known for The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers (d'Artagnan Romances), is arguably the best writer of fiction France has ever produced. In terms of pure talent, Honore de Balzac, in my opinion, is up there as well.
    Although I am a Dumas fan, I would doubt that he is the best French writer of fiction. Regarding the plot only and character building, he is absolutely great, but technically, his writing could have benefited from some more attention. He tends to have inconsistencies in his books (that are very small, but are picked up by people who have analysed this) that are due to fast writing in periodicals... Though his stuff 'lives' in a different way to Hugo's.

    Hugo does not have inconsistencies. He revised and revised and revised after which he revised again. I think that Hugo had a much bigger vocab and more imginative style than Dumas, but on the other hand, Dumas wrote for the big public while Hugo wrote for 'the cause' and hoped someone would actually pick it up.

    As to the others, I can't comment yet.
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'me ne se vide ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scne VII)

Similar Threads

  1. Who Is The Worst Writer Ever?
    By mister_noel_y2k in forum General Literature
    Replies: 300
    Last Post: 06-28-2012, 03:39 AM
  2. The world's greatest novel!
    By Ashton Uebinger in forum Les Miserables
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
  3. Greatest Book Of All
    By Jenny in forum The House of Seven Gables
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
  4. Our Greatest Sin
    By Sitaram in forum Religious Texts
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 02-14-2005, 06:58 PM
  5. More Victor Hugo
    By Shea in forum General Literature
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-19-2003, 07:31 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •