French poet and novelist Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables, is known for his delicate language which leaves readers experiencing a myriad of feels.
Though Hugo’s impactful words can elicit strong emotion in his readers, his words also have the ability to take away the anxiety and worries that burden us. Here are 6 Victor Hugo quotes to set your mind free:
If you’re a writer out there then you know it can take time to finish a work of art. Whether its a short story or an epic novel, a lot of time and thought goes into finishing a story. I recently wrote an article about 12 challenging books readers struggle to finish and while researching it I learned that it took James Joyce 17 years to finish Finnegans Wake. I repeat 17 years. While that figure seemed shocking, it certainly wasn’t the only story that took a long time to see daylight. Here are 6 popular books that took at least ten years to write:
When he wasn’t writing naughty love letters to his wife Nora or reeling from the success of Ulysses, James Joyce completed Finnegans Wake over the course of 17 years while in Paris, only two years before his death. Given the novels complexity, intricate language, and use of allusions, its no wonder it took the author a long time to write it. Joyce allegedly predicted that it would take readers an equal amount of time to read it and it looks like he was right, as the novels length and complexity make it one of the books readers struggle with finishing the most.
Though the actual figure has been debated, it’s generally accepted that it took Tolkien at least 12 years to finish his iconic trilogy. Tolkien worked on the series in varying degrees between 1937 and 1949 while also working as a professor at Pembroke college. Though it took ages to see publication, the time was clearly worth it as its success has shown.
Since so much time has passed since Les Miserables was published, there is some debate as to whether it took 12 or 17 years to complete but either way, it took a long time. Hugo reportedly began working on the historical novel in 1845 but was forced to put it aside due to political tension and exile for a time until he was able to continue working on it and it was eventually published in 1862.
This iconic American classic was written while Mitchell was recovering from an ankle injury and, interestingly enough, she never actually intended on publishing it. After a friend allegedly said something along the lines of “Imagine, you writing a book!” Mitchell decided to publish it after all and I’m sure her friend regretted saying anything in the first place.
Though The Catcher in the Rye is Salinger’s only novel, and fairly short, it took the author 10 years between the time he started writing it and the time it was published. The novel has gone on to become one of the most read and banned novels of all time. Though it’s been successful, Salinger reportedly struggled with the criticism it received soon after it was published and spent his lifetime regretting having written it.
Excuse me… What? Yup, you read that right. Idris Elba will star in, direct, produce, and provide original music for the Netflix exclusive film. Wow, that is a lot. This is not his first rodeo behind the camera. He made his debut at Sundance with Yardie last year.
Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame has been tackled many times, with the most famous adaptation being Disney’s 1996 animated musical that traumatized me.
I am interested to see what Elba will bring to the table that will make this version stand out. He sure is putting in a ton of work so it will be interesting to see the final product.
Many people will be interested in seeing Idris Elba’s transformation from “YES, PLEASE” to “I’m good, thanks.” This is a very bold and ambitious move for Elba, so I am pumped to watch it. The adaptation will be streamed on Netflix and there is no release date as of yet.
One of the first pieces of classic literature that I was able to get my hands on was Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.The novel is a huge undertaking for anyone, let alone a fifteen-year-old kid, but I was a huge fan of the Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil musical of the same name, so I just had to read the book! Today, February 16, 2018, is the 185th anniversary of the story’s two main lovers: Marius and Cosette, so what better way to celebrate such a terrific feat of domestic bliss than with an article recounting their love transcending time?
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I tried to think of the proper way to do their anniversary of love justice, but could think of nothing better than this single chapter of Hugo’s novel entitled “A Heart Beneath a Stone,” which is essentially a single love letter written from Marius to Cosette left under a stone near her garden. It’s been over a decade since I read the book, but I will never forget the beautiful language and prose that Marius uses in the letter. I don’t think my words are enough to do such a pure love justice, so even though Valentine’s Day might be over, here are some of the most beautiful lines about love my eyes have ever had the pleasure to soak up.
1. The reduction of the universe to a single being, the expansion of a single being even to God, that is love.
2. Love is the salutation of the angels to the stars.
3. Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the attitude of the body may be, the soul is on its knees.
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4. The future belongs to hearts even more than it does to minds. Love, that is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. In the infinite, the inexhaustible is requisite.
5.Oh Love! Adorations! voluptuousness of two minds which understand each other, of two hearts which exchange with each other, of two glances which penetrate each other!
6. You look at a star for two reasons, because it is luminous, and because it is impenetrable. You have beside you a sweeter radiance and a greater mystery, woman.
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7. When love has fused and mingled two beings in a sacred and angelic unity, the secret of life has been discovered so far as they are concerned; they are no longer anything more than the two boundaries of the same destiny; they are no longer anything but the two wings of the same spirit. Love, soar.
8. If you are a stone, be adamant; if you are a plant, be the sensitive plant; if you are a man, be love.
9. I encountered in the street, a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat was worn, his elbows were in holes; water trickled through his shoes, and the stars through his soul.
10. If there did not exist some one who loved, the sun would become extinct.
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Can you imagine being loved by someone so intensely for 185 years? Because though they would most certainly have passed through their lives and into whatever great beyond waits for them, their love is in fact preserved through the ink and pages that continue to circulate the world over. Happiest of wedding anniversaries, Marius and Cosette Pontmercy, may your souls be entwined and in love forevermore.
Over the course of my life I have fallen in love with so many authors, and this is almost solely based on their ability to pen some of the most beautiful lines and prose that my eyes have ever had the pleasure to soak up. Whether these authors are alive or dead, attractive or ugly, male or female, I have developed a crush on almost every single one whose words have given me reason to mark a page. I call it unrequited reader love. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I wanted to compile a list of some of my main author crushes, complete with some favorite quotes of theirs.
” ‘Oh, love!’ said she, and her voice trembled and her eye brightened. ‘That is to be two and yet but one. A man and a woman blended into an angel. It is heaven itself.’ ” – The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves–say rather, loved in spite of ourselves; the conviction the blind have. In their calamity, to be served is to be caressed. Are they deprived of anything? No. Light is not lost where love enters. And what a love! A love wholly founded in purity. There is no blindness where there is certainty.” – Les Miserables
“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.”
“It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now so he shall never know how I love him and that not because he’s handsome Nelly but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of his and mine are the same and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning or frost from fire.”
“I hate him for himself, but despise him for the memories he revives.”
“The Earth is alive. She burns inside with the heat of cosmic longing. She longs to be with her husband again. She moans. She turns softly in her sleep. When the symbologies of civilization are destroyed, there will be no more ‘earthquakes.’ Earthquakes are a manifestation of man’s consciousness. Without manmade follies, there could not be earthquakes. In the Eternity of Joy, pluralized, deurbanized man, at ease with his gentle technologies, will smile and sigh when the Earth begins to shake. ‘She is restless tonight,’ they will say.
‘She dreams of loving.’
‘She has the blues.’ ” – Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
“When you’re unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. And you get to take yourself oh so very seriously. Your truly happy people, which is to say, your people who truly like themselves, they don’t think about themselves very much. Your unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwellin’ on himself and start payin’ attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence.” – Jitterbug Perfume
“He was becoming unstuck, he was sure of that – his bones were no longer wrapped in flesh but in clouds of dust, in hummingbirds, dragonflies, and luminous moths – but so perfect was his equilibrium that he felt no fear. He was vast, he was many, he was dynamic, he was eternal.” – Jitterbug Perfume
4. Haruki Murakami, author of countless contemporary novels
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“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” – Kafka on the Shore
“I think you still love me, but we can’t escape the fact that I’m not enough for you. I knew this was going to happen. So I’m not blaming you for falling in love with another woman. I’m not angry, either. I should be, but I’m not. I just feel pain. A lot of pain. I thought I could imagine how much this would hurt, but I was wrong.” – South of the Border, West of the Sun
“Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?” – Sputnik Sweetheart
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
“I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.” – Ulysses
“It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.” – “The Dead,” Dubliners
“Can’t bring back time. Like holding water in your hand.” – Ulysses
So there it is, wide out in the open: a guide to my Valentine’s Day author crushes. They flirted their way into my heart simply through their written words.