Victor Hugo: Notre Dame de Paris



S mentioned because in every single scene he appears in he s constantly yammering away and trying to be clever and witty the result being that he makes Jar Jar Binks seem terribly endearing in comparison And Gringoire I had such hope for him He starts out promising but then once Esmeralda gets arrested all he can worry about is the stupid goat because I guess he thinks she s cuter than his fucking wife who saved his fucking life When he oins Frollo to get Esmeralda out of the catherdral he leaves the sixteen year old girl with Pastor Pedo McCreepy and chooses to save the goat The fucking goat One final word of advice skip the chapter entitled A Bird s Eye View of Paris It s thirty pages of pointless babbling about what Paris looks like from Notre Dame and it is impossible to read all the way through without wanting to stab yourself in the eyes with the first sharp object you can reachI know what you re saying Thirty pages Pfft that s nothing I can get through that I read Ulysses First of all you did not Second no you cannot get through these thirty pages Mind numbing does not do it ustice It is pointless Don t say I didn t warn you I recently read Victor Hugo s Notre Dame de Paris for the first time and was delighted and moved by the experience Although it lacks the depth and humanity of Les Miserables it possesses a grandeur of architectonic structure and an Olympian compassion all its own Best of all it gives us one of literature s most loving and detailed depictions of a city rivaled only by Joyce s Dublin in UlyssesIt is a shame that this book is so seldom referred to in English by its given name for it is about than the history of one hunchback however moving that history may be First of all it is about the great cathedral that dominates and defines the city the setting for much of the novel s action and most of its crucial events It is also about the genius loci of Paris the maternal spirit that offers sanctuary and support to its most unfortunate children many of them literally orphans Gringoire uasimodo Esmeralda the Frollos be they ugly or beautiful virtuous or evil bringing a measure of comfort to their difficult and and often tragic lives Hugo s novel had been on my lengthy must read list for years but what finally moved it to the top was my growing fascination with cities in literature In childhood my favorite Arabian Night s tales were the ones that took place in Baghdad and from early adolescence I loved Sherlock Holmes London D Artagnan s Paris and Nero Wolfe s New York I also began to appreciate fantastic cities such as Stevenson and Machen s London and Leiber s Lankhmar Soon I fell in love with the hard boiled detective genre and having been a childhood fan of Arthurian romances identified with each of these modern knight errants on a uest I also realized that the individuality of each city and the private detective s familiarity with it and his relation to it was an essential part of the genre s charm Even the most realistic of private eye cities Robert B Parker s Boston for example were filled with as many marvels as any Arthurian Romance instead of a sorceress one might meet a sexy widow instead of a liveried dwarf a mysterious butler and instead of a disguised knight offering a cryptic challenge one might be offered a tailing ob by a Beacon Hill Brahmin with a mask of smiles and hidden motivations The world of the marvelous had been transported from the isolated castles woods and meadows of England s green and pleasant land to the magnificent townhouses and seedy alleys of an urban environment How had this occurred and what were the literary antecedentsI believe that Notre Dame de Paris in 1831 is the point where this all begins Hugo took a shoot of the delicate gothic already in decline grafted it to the hearty root of the city or precisely to a Gothic cathedral in the center of a great city where it was most likely to flourish watered it from the oasis of Arabian marvels dangerous hunchback guild of thieves beautiful dancing girl and cultivated the resulting growth with the historical method of Sir Walter Scott Thus the urban romance was bornThis was ust the start of course Another decade of industrialism and population growth would make the great European cities seem even like ancient Baghdad Dickens would make the thieves guild central to the sinister London of Oliver Twist and Eugene Sue s exploration of urban vices in The Mysteries of Paris 1841 would soon be successfully imitated commercially if not artistically by England s Reynolds in The Mysteries of London and America s Lippard in The uaker City or The Monks of Monk s HallA little later the detective arrived in the gothic city Poe s DuPont Gaboriau s Leco Conan Doyle s Holmes and soon the marvelous and fantastic were re introduced Stevenson s New Arabian Nights Machen s The Three Imposters as well fully preparing the urban landscape for the writers of the 20th century to construct their cities of romance in the worlds of detection and fantasyHugo tells us that the bones of uasimodo and Esmeralda have long ago turned to dust but the marvelous city of crimes and dreams continues to live Th century John Sturrock’s clear contemporary translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing it as a passionate novel of ideas written in defence of Gothic architecture and of a burgeoning democracy and demonstrating that an ugly exterior can conceal moral beauty This revised edition also includes further reading and a chronology of Hugo’s lif.

Victor Hugo s Les Mis rables is one of my all time favourite novels and so it s odd that I ve never read any of his other books In order to fill in the gaps in my reading I ve decided to read at least one classic a month this year and am so glad I started with The Hunchback of Notre Dame Wow wow WOW What a freaking good story It s not uite as good as Les Mis but it s still incredible At times Hugo can be long winded and I could have thrown the Kindle across the room when he rambled on for 50 or so pages describing Notre Dame and the view from there However as I didn t fancy breaking the Kindle and having to buy a new one I reined myself in and plowed through it Maybe physical books ARE better than e books in this case After that section thankfully near the beginning the book was very enjoyable and gripping But damn It will break your heart Still Hugo s wit is prevalent throughout and I found myself chuckling several times even though the story is so tragic I m so glad I finally got around to reading this An interesting read I enjoyed this though not as much as Les Miserables The characters were complex and interesting and the ending very powerful but it didn t uite hold my attention as much as Les Miserables Victor Hugo ties in the destinies of a handful people in Paris in the late fifteenth century so cleverly and atmospheric together in a tragedy that it belongs to the most known dramas in European literature The significance of this work is based on the psychological archetypes that Hugo portrays as tragic characters The author characterized the underlying society with particular destinies and psychographics Church nobility poets and criminality of the contemporary Paris which are here represented by individual fates are leading to genre picture of this time I personally think that Hugo s excellent narrative style and ability to act are complex and intelligent 922 Notre Dame de Paris Our Lady of Paris The Hunchback of Notre Dame Victor HugoThe Hunchback of Notre Dame is a French RomanticGothic novel by Victor Hugo published in 1831 The story is set in Paris in 1482 during the reign of Louis XI The gypsy Esmeralda born as Agnes captures the hearts of many men including those of Captain Phoebus and Pierre Gringoire but especially uasimodo and his guardian Archdeacon Claude Frollo Frollo is torn between his obsessive lust for Esmeralda and the rules of Notre Dame Cathedral He orders uasimodo to kidnap her but uasimodo is captured by Phoebus and his guards who save Esmeralda Gringoire who attempted to help Esmeralda but was knocked out by uasimodo is about to be hanged by beggars when Esmeralda saves him by agreeing to marry him for four years The following day uasimodo is sentenced to be flogged and turned on the pillory for one hour followed by another hour s public exposure He calls for water Esmeralda seeing his thirst approaches the public stocks and offers him a drink of water It saves him and she captures his heart Later Esmeralda is arrested and charged with the attempted murder of Phoebus whom Frollo actually attempted to kill in ealousy after seeing him trying to seduce Esmeralda She is sentenced to death by hanging As she is being led to the gallows uasimodo swings down by the bell rope of Notre Dame and carries her off to the cathedral under the law of sanctuary temporarily protecting her from arrest Frollo later informs Gringoire that the Court of Parlement has voted to remove Esmeralda s right to the sanctuary so she can no longer seek shelter in the Cathedral and will be taken away to be killed Clopin the leader of the Gypsies hears the news from Gringoire and rallies the citizens of Paris to charge the cathedral and rescue Esmeralda When uasimodo sees the Gypsies he assumes they are there to hurt Esmeralda so he drives them off Likewise he thinks the King s men want to rescue her and tries to help them find her She is rescued by Frollo and Gringoire But after yet another failed attempt to win her love Frollo betrays Esmeralda by handing her to the troops and watches while she is being hanged When Frollo laughs during Esmeralda s hanging uasimodo pushes him from the height of Notre Dame to his death uasimodo goes to the cemetery hugs Esmeralda s body and dies of starvation with her Years later they are discovered and while trying to separate them uasimodo s bones turn to dust 1972 1348 242 19 1362 309 1362 108 1370 547 I have officially been wooed by nineteenth century French literature First Dumas and now this I ust finished reading Victor Hugo s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and it was fantastic The characters the themes the literary structures Ahhh swoonsBefore I proclaim my love affair with Victor Hugo I have to mention some negatives First off very very difficult book to get into I struggled through at least the first hundred pages and I m not that hard to please Second ok i ll be honest i hated the first 150 pages and had i not been reading it for book club i would have abandoned it about 300 pages in i started to think it was okay around 400 i really liked it at page 450 i couldn t put it down i stayed up till 2am last night finishing it so is it. More commonly known as The Hunchback of Notre Dame Victor Hugo’s Romantic novel of dark passions and unreuited loveIn the vaulted Gothic towers of Notre Dame Cathedral lives uasimodo the hunchbacked bellringer Mocked and shunned for his appearance he is pitied only by Esmerelda a beautiful gypsy dancer to whom he becomes completely devoted Esmerelda howev.

Worth the painful first half to get to the second half now that i ve done it i would say so victor hugo could have used a good editor pages and pages of diatribes and descriptions that made me feel like pulling my hair out but the story is chilling and wonderful i understood after readi Written by Victor Hugo who also brought us the wonderful classic Les Mis rables which in some ways is very similar to this story I noticed a sort of parallel between Inspector Javert and Claude Frollo this large classic features deep characters dark but important thematic elements and morality which isn t always so black and white Until recently my only experience with The Hunchback of Notre Dame had been watching the 1990 s Disney animated film on VHS as a kid which was waaaay back in 2005 and my memory of it isn t so good except that I remember being disappointed by the ending in which Esmeralda inevitably doesn t love uasimodo in spite of him being a kind person I was eight years old it hadn t occurred to me back then that life rarely works out that way and feeling very sorry for poor Frollo in his eventual demise god knows why he was scary back then Kids in my elementary school classes had nightmares about him I decided I should go back and re experience the story but this time I wanted to try reading the original book over the Disney film The novel is considerably deeper although the Disney film did try and in all fairness did manage to capture some of the complex emotions and psychology behind the characters as a film intended for children it left out many of the book s deeper moments and is radically different from the book in many respects uasimodo actually isn t a huge presence in the novel in spite of him being the titular character which was a bit odd but the book seems to be about sharing a message than it is about the characters themselves I can t say that I loved The Hunchback of Notre Dame as much as Les Mis rables unfortunately While it s still a great novel and undeniably well written The Hunchback of Notre Dame seems in its own weird way to be a commentary on Victor Hugo s perception of France s architecture and a historicalpolitical glance back in time The pacing and structure of the novel is also difficult to get used to If you like linear plots with only a couple of characters I wouldn t recommend it but if you like stories that follow their own course at their own time this one is a good choice I do however recommend reading Les Mis rables first if you re new to the work of Victor Hugo It s arguably his best novel but also gives readers a chance to get immersed in his writing style before moving onto his other books While reading this book I started to notice how little the Hunchback is in it A Goodreads friend mentioned that this is why the title for it in France is actually Our Lady of Paris For some reason English translations chose the the Hunchback for the titleIf other books movies or TV shows named themselves based on a character that was involved as much as uasimodo was in this story here is what they would be calledStar Wars ChewbaccaHarry Potter Neville LongbottomThe Big Bang Theory Howard WalowitzThe Shining Danny Torrance Frozen OlafLost Smoke MonsterAll those characters are important to the stories but they are hardly the main focus While this is the case with this book it is not necessarily a bad thing ust a thing to be aware of going in you really don t get very much uasimodoAfter reading and loving Les Miserables I had high hopes for this book But it was ust okay I am glad I read it and I did enjoy it a lot in a few parts but most of it was a slog Hugo spends the first 350 pages or so setting up the story describing Paris at the time of the story etc I think many who try this would have a hard time staying interested Also and I hate to say this because I always want my books to be unabridged but you could probably abridge this to 150 200 pages and still get everythingClassics buffs Hugo fans hardcore historical fiction fans step right up Casual reader thinking about checking out some Hugo step on over to Les Mis Okay I m glad I read this book if only to find out ust how badly Disney ruined the story for the sake of their embarassing excuse for a film the horrendous straight to video seuel which I fortunately only saw previews for will not be spoken of at all Victor Hugo has a gift for the most ungodly depressing stories but he writes very well when he s not rambling pointlessly to stretch out his page count But I can t bring myself to give this four stars and for one simple reason with the exception of uasimodo and Esmeralda every single character in this book is an insufferable dickhead Frollo obviously deserves to be fed to sharks simply for the mind boggling levels of creepiness he manages to achieve over the course of the story Phoebus is even of a fratboy asshole that I d previously thought and the way he decides to seduce Esmeralda despite the fact that she s the Gypsy euivalent of a vestal virgin made me want to teleport into the story so I could kick him in the nuts Frollo s younger brother Jehan is a relatively minor character but he get. Er has also attracted the attention of the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo and when she rejects his lecherous approaches Frollo hatches a plot to destroy her that only uasimodo can prevent Victor Hugo’s sensational evocative novel brings life to the medieval Paris he loved and mourns its passing in one of the greatest historical romances of the nineteen.

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Victor Hugo in full Victor Marie Hugo poet playwrighter novelist dramatist essayist visual artist statesman human rights campaigner and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France who was the most important of the French Romantic writers Though regarded in France as one of that country’s greatest poets he is better known abroad for such novels as Notre Dam