Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hugo Considered

I saw the magnificent movie, Les Misérables, early this year; and I just loved everything about it –even the voice of Russell Crowe.
by Charlie Leck

I wrote in an earlier blog about seeing this fine movie (Les Misérables). It was a remarkable and enjoyable evening. The movie caused me to pull the big novel by Victor Hugo off one of the shelves in my library and I began to skim through it. I made some notes about the notations that I made in the book back whenever it was that I first read it.

The following remarkable quotations are worth printing here for your entertainment…

“To love another person is to see the face of God!”

“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.”

“Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”

“To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.”

“Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.

For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.”

Victor Hugo spent 15 years in exile on the island of Guernsey, living in Hauteville House (1855 to 1870). Though Guernsey lies closer to France, in the Gulf of Saint Malo, 30 miles off the French coast, it is a part of the United Kingdom. It’s a pleasant place to visit. I was there for only a day in the early spring of 1978 and the Atlantic Ocean winds of early April were strong and chilly. The highlight of my visit was my walk through the house in which the great author lived and wrote. Hugo did a significant amount of writing there.

Les Misérables was published in 1862 after many years of work (while Hugo lived at Hauteville House). It was popular among the masses, but not in academic or high social circles.

I do think that is quite enough to think about for one day, is it not?

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