Victor Marie Hugo (26/02/1802-22/05/1885) was a French poet, novelist and dramatist of the ROMANTIC MOVEMENT. He is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers.
In France, Hugo’s literary fame comes first from his poetry, but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, LES CONTEMPLATIONS and LA LEGENDE des SIECLES, stand particularly high in critical circles. Outside France, his best-known works are his novels——LES MISERABLES (1862) and NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS (1831)—known in English as THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME.
Though a committed ROYALIST, when young, his views changed as the I decades passed, and he became a passionate supports of REPUBLICANISM. He was buried in the PANTHEON. Hugo left five sentences as his last will to be officially published :—-
(1) I leave 50,000 francs to the poor.
(2) I want to be buried in their hearse.
(3) I refuse (funeral) orations of all Churches.
(4) I beg a prayer to all souls.
(5) I believe in God.
Hugo produced more than 4000 drawings. Drawing became his exclusive creative outlet during the period (1848-1851). He would not hesitate to use his children’s stencils, ink-blots, puddles and stains, lace-impressions, PLIAGE or folding, GRATTAGE or rubbing, often using the charcoal from match sticks or his fingers instead of pen or brush. It is reported that Hugo often drew with his left hand or without looking at the page, or during SPIRITUALIST SEANCES, in order to access his unconscious mind, a concept, only later, popularized by SIGMUND FREUD. Some of his works was shown to and appreciated by artists such as VAN GOGH and DELACROIX; the latter expressed the opinion, that if Hugo had decided to become a painter instead of a writer, HE WOULD HAVE OUTSHONE THE ARTISTS OF THEIR CENTURY.
Here are a few quotes :
(1) A mother’s arms are made of TENDERNESS and children sleep soundly in them.
(2) Music expresses that which cannot be said, and on which it is impossible to be silent.
(3) He who OPENS a SCHOOL ——CLOSES a PRISON.
(4) The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that WE ARE LOVED —-LOVED FOR OURSELVES, LOVED INSPITE OF OURSELVES.
(5) CHANGE your OPINIONS, KEEP TO your PRINCIPLES; CHANGE your LEAVES, KEEP INTACT your ROOTS.
(6) LAUGHTER is the SUN that drives WINTER from the HUMAN FACE.
(7) Have COURAGE for the GREAT SORROWS of life, and PATIENCE for the SMALL ONES; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, GO TO SLEEP IN PEACE.
(8) INTELLIGENCE is the WIFE; IMAGINATION is the MISTRESS; MEMORY is the SERVANT.
(9) CONCISION in STYLE, PRECISION in THOUGHT, DECISION in LIFE.
(10)Be as a bird on a frail branch, that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, KNOWING SHE HAS WINGS.
(11) The ODE lives upon the IDEAL, the Epic upon the GRANDIOSE, the DRAMA upon the REAL.
(12) Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when whatever be the attitude of the body, THE SOUL IS ON ITS KNEES.