Tag: victor hugo

Don’t Clean Your Room! Read About The Top 8 Books About Dust

Riddle me this: What is everywhere in your room but doesn’t clutter up any space?

DUST!

Dust is actually very important, as far as books go. They can set a scene, they can create a mood, they can be an important plot element. So before you go off and clean your room or procrastinate about cleaning your room, you might just want to read through this list about our top 8 books that feature dust as an important element in the story.

 

 

8-Amelia Bedelia

 

Amelia Bedelia

Image Via Banres & Noble

 

Before we get dark, let’s start with a happy children’s book. Starting in 1963, Amelia Bedelia stars, well, Amelia Bedelia, which started this hit children’s series. Funny, brilliant, this stories often follow Amelia Bedelia, a maid in the Rodgers family, who often misunderstands various commands of her employer by always taking figures of speech and various terminology literally.

 

Dust The Strawberries

Image Via Teaching College English

 

Notably, she takes the command “dust the furniture” literally and, well, mayhem ensures.

Lucky, after a series of comic misunderstanding and general mayhem, Amelia Bedelia is usually able to the win the family over with a delicious pie or cake. After a while the Rodgers family becomes astute enough to realize that Amelia Bedelia takes everything they say literally so, instead of firing her, they give her more specific commands such as “undust the furniture”.

So remember: You shouldn’t ‘dust around the house’, you should ‘undust the house’. Or you can dust the house. I don’t care, you do you.

 

7-Cinderella

 

Cinderella book

Image Via Amazon

 

With that out of the way, let’s get dark. Dust can set a scene, set a mood, and you know that things are dark when this story opens with a little girl dusting the house while her step-mother and step-sisters are lounge around the house.

 

Cinderella dusting

Image Via Your Keyword Basket

 

Since her father’s death, Cinderella’s has been left in the dust, left in the squalor of her step-mother’s tyrannical rule. We all know where the story goes from here, either from the Disney movie or Grimm’s Fairy Tales, with her rising from the dust and into the arms of someone who loves her.

6-Infinity Gauntlet

 

Infinity Gauntlet Comic Book

Image Via The Wrap

 

Before the monsters of movies, Infinity War and Endgame, hit theaters, comic readers knew since 1991 that there was a chance our favorite heroes might get dusted. Though we weren’t sure if Disney was going to go through with it, we sat back in awe as our favorite characters, including Spider-Man, bit the dust.

If you want to see where this plot point came from, we’ll buy this comic and listen to Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” as you see characters you know and love and characters you don’t know but will love get dusted. Be warned:

 

 

It’s some heavy stuff.

 

 

5-Howl’s Moving Castle

 

Howl's Moving Castle

Image Via Hero Complex Gallery

 

Published in 1986, Howl’s Moving Castle is a fantasy novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones. A runner-up for the annual Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the book was adapted into in 2004 was adapted as an animated film of the same name in 2004 and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

 

Young and Old Sophie Hatter

Young and Old Sophie Hatter / Image Via Fairlight Books

 

The importance of dust cannot be understated. After her father dies, Sophie Hatter takes over her family’s hat shop but encounters some trouble when she meets a witch who believes Sophie is doing some magic in her territory. In the book Sophie’s guilty as charged, so the witch curses her into looking like an old woman.

She runs away and, cold alone, sneaks on board a moving castle. But she’s found out!

This is when dust comes into play. See, Sophie’s cover story is that, since the castle is old and dusty, she’s the new house keeper! A quick look around and everyone is satisfied with her story, and Sophie ends up actually cleaning the castle.

The story goes on from here, but the most important moral of the story is this: Dust is helpful.

 

4-The Help

 

The Help

Image VIa Amazon

 

Published in 2009, Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is about African Americans working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s.

A story about oppression, prejudiced, and hope, this story utilized dust to symbolize the hardships people go through and the impossibilities in cleaning away hatred.

 

3-Les Miserables

 

Les Miserables

Image Via VisitLondon

 

You might know the film, the play, or Victor Hugo’s magnum opus, this story shines a lighter on the misery and the pain of poverty and finding redemption in a cruel world. From the grimy streets of Paris to the dirt of the taverns, this story is known best for this image:

 

Les Miserables image: Cosette sweeping

Image Via Pinterest

 

There’s a reason for that. A young girl cursed to poverty, to survive and not thrive in a dirty world, she’ll have to work hard and, with a little luck, she might be given a new start and a clean slate.

 

 

2-Series of Unfortunate Events

 

Three orphans cleaning with toothbrushes because life sucks and then you die

Three orphans cleaning with toothbrushes because life sucks and then you die / Image Via Fast Company

 

In this series the Baudelaire orphans can’t catch a break. While they are bounced around to guardian after guardian, they are met with increasingly dire circumstances and squalor beyond repair. From a greedy man who just wants them for this vast fortune to a man engulfed in smoke who keeps them (including the baby!) working in a lumber mill, the orphans are no stranger to dust, grime, filth, and dusty things.

Thankfully, they never seem to catch a case of the sniffles, so I guess they’re lucky in that regard.

 

Count Olaf

Image Via Pinterest

 

Darkly funny and disturbingly horrific, this series is certainly something that’ll make you thankful because, even though dust seems to follow you everywhere you go, at least you’re not being chased by a villain.

If you are in fact being chased by an evil villain, considering calling 9-1-1.

 

1-His Dark Materials

 

His Dark Materials

Image Via The Verge

 

Does dust follow you everywhere you go? Well, that might be a good thing. In the His Dark Materials trilogy, dust are elementary particles associated with consciousness and are integral to the plot. Everyone is chasing dust.

In the first book, young Lyra is bombarded with adults who claim that dust is evil, a terrible particle that causes all the misery in the world. Even her father, Lord Asriel, tells her that

Somewhere out there is the origin of all the Dust, all the death, the sin, the misery, the destructiveness in the world. Human beings can’t see anything without wanting to destroy it, Lyra. That’s original sin. And I’m going to destroy it. Death is going to die.

In the first book, Lyra believes this wholeheartedly, but at the end of the novel her eyes are opened up to the wonders of dust when her daemon, Pantalaimon, asks her:

We’ve heard them all talk about Dust, and they’re so afraid of it, and you know what? We believed them, even though we could see what they were doing was wicked and evil and wrong…We thought Dust must be bad too, because they were grown up and they said so. But what if it isn’t?

From there, Lyra realizes:

If Dust were a good thing…If it were to be sought and welcomes and cherished..

‘We could look for it too, Pan!’ she said

The moral of the story? Don’t dust your house, because dust is magical.

 

 

Featured Image Via RZIM

How Victor Hugo Changed the History of Notre Dame

The service of religion once assured and provided for, architecture does what she pleases. Statues, stained glass, rose windows, arabesques, denticulations, capitals, bas-reliefs,—she combines all these imaginings according to the arrangement which best suits her. Hence, the prodigious exterior variety of these edifices, at whose foundation dwells so much order and unity. The trunk of a tree is immovable; the foliage is capricious.

This quote is from Victor’s Hugo The Hunchback of Notre Dame, describing the marvel of French Gothic architecture: Notre Dame cathedral. Victor Hugo’s masterpiece left a huge mark on Notre Dame’s history, and today we mourn together.

Construction on Notre Dame first started in 1163. It would take a 170 years before the famous cathedral was finally constructed.

Image Via Rebecca Chester

 

As stated on Arch Daily, Victory Hugo once commented:

“Indeed, from the beginning of things down to the fifteenth century of the Christian era inclusive, architecture was the great book of humanity, the chief expression of man in his various stages of development, whether as force or as intellect.”

However the heart of France quickly became a symbol of the French monarchy. It was “a place where kings were coronated and state holidays celebrated“. Come 1789, the infamous French Revolution happened and Notre Dame was on the people’s list.

As blood poured on the streets, the heart of France suffered. Notre Dame was plundered and torn apart. In a frenzy of hate, much of its religious imagery was severely damaged if not destroyed.

 

Pieces of the statues of the kings of Judah which adorned the facade of Notre Dame, that had been missing since the French Revolution, shown at a museum in 1977.
IMAGE VIA HISTORY

The French Revolution officially ended in 1799 and in 1801 Notre Dame was given back to the Catholic Church in a horrendous state of disarray. See, the cathedral had been used a gunpowder factory and its largest stones were earmarked for bridge foundations.

In all honesty, it looked like the end of Notre Dame. They were going to strip it for all its worth and get rid of it. It was going to be demolished, and this landmark that saw through the Crusades was going to be a footnote in the history books.

But Victor Hugo saw the grand Cathedral and fell in love with it. He wrote in a paper entitled Guerre aux Démolisseurs (War to the Demolishers) that:

 

“A universal cry must finally go up to call the new France to the aid of the old”

 

He believed Notre Dame had a soul. It was alive, and it should live on. In a quest to save it, he began writing his masterpiece in 1829.

 

Victor Hugo
IMAGE VIA THE CULTURE TRIP

As Culture Trip writes, “The bell-ringing, half-blind hunchback of Quasimodo has become iconic of ‘a courageous heart beneath a grotesque exterior.’ This character urges readers to look beyond the surface and find the beauty beneath, with the hope that they’ll do the same for the Notre Dame.”

Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Claude Frollo, they are all characters in the books, but the main character is Notre Dame herself. She is alive, she is the home of all these characters, she is what brings them, binds them, see them from their beginnings to their ends. She lives before them, she lives after them.

He won the war against the demolishers, proving the pen is truly mightier than the sword. Notre-Dame de Paris, latter renamed The Hunchback of Notre Dame, was published in January 1831 to critical acclaim.

 

Stained glass in Notre Dame
Image Via Rebecca Chester

 

In 1909 Notre Dame was the location in which Joan of Arc was beatified by Pope Pius X.

Since yesterday’s fire, The Hunchback of Notre Dame has seen a huge rise in Amazon orders, and the reason why should be no surprise. Notre Dame has burned. This shouldn’t be news to anyone. It’s a tragedy to everyone around the world. However, Notre Dame still stands, and there is hope.

This quote is from Victor’s Hugo The Hunchback of Notre Dame, describing Notre Dame:

On the crest of the highest gallery, higher than the central rose window, there was a great flame rising between the two towers with whirlwinds of sparks, a vast, disordered, and furious flame.

Notre Dame has burned before. It has been rebuilt. It can be rebuilt again. Please visit this link to help.
Featured Image from Rebecca Chester
'Les Miserables'

BBC Launches Unforgettable Les Miserables Adaptation

Everyone knows Les Miserables, even those of us who think the length is miserablé. It’s pretty likely you’ve seen both the musical or the movie, but neither is the original. It’s far less likely that you’ve read Victor Hugo‘s original Les Miserables, even though it’s packed with hilarious capers, deep friendships, and horrifying deaths. Fans call the novel ‘The Brick’ for a reason—at 1,900 pages, it’s one of the longest novels in history. Given that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is 607 pages and needed two movies to cover all the important parts, it’s a little surprising that the Les Miserables movie directors thought that they could tell the story in under three hours. After watching it, some fans thought they would never get the retelling they deserve.

 

Anne Hathaway in the musical 'Les Miserables': "But there are dreams that cannot be!"

Gif Via Wifflegif

 

Devotees of ‘The Brick‘ have one common complaint when it comes to the recent movie and musical: where did 80% of the story go? The novel depicts much deeper relationships between characters… and their relationships to historical events. Those who have read and love ‘The Brick’ also have complaints about the story itself, including and mostly limited to why does Victor Hugo spend hundreds of pages describing the sewers of Paris? Rife with French history and cultural context, the novel occasionally has more in common with a textbook than its honestly monstrous size. So here’s the compromise—a TV show that you won’t die before finishing. (No guarantees that the characters won’t die before the show is over.)

 

'Les Miserables' TV Adaptation's Star Cast

Image Via Indianexpress.com

 

The series, which has just begun airing on the BBC, will run for six weeks. Jean Valjean actor Dominic West believes that the TV production will remind viewers more of the source material. For those who believe the show will be a rehash of the same plot, West promises that viewers “should expect grand ambition from the series, which avoids the songs of the musical theatre production and 2012 film.” The star-studded cast also features The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones actress Lily Collins and Selma actor David Oyelowo. You’ll want to barricade yourself in your room to finish this one right away!

 

 

Featured Image Via Lesmis.com