Les Misérables – Mikhail Gorbachev

Only hours after the death of Mikhail Gorbachev yesterday, I came up to these lines in "Les Misérables": Although aware of the corrosive power of the light on privileges, he left his throne exposed to the light. History will recognize him for this honesty. (translation by Christine Donougher) Victor Hugo is referring to Louis Philippe … Continue reading Les Misérables – Mikhail Gorbachev

Les Misérables – atheism and faith

Alban Krailsheimer once wrote that Christianity was oddly missing as a subject in Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris (aka, The Hunchback of Notre Dame). And I agree: that novel can seem like a merely secular story about a Christian cathedral. Les Misérables, by contrast, opens immediately with Christianity as a subject: its entire first … Continue reading Les Misérables – atheism and faith

Les Misérables – guillotine and cross

I've started reading Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, and it's such a long novel that I'm going to start sharing partial impressions and thoughts as I go along. Victor Hugo was a lifelong opponent of the death penalty, which you may guess from the following passage in Le Miz: There is something nightmarish about the scaffold … Continue reading Les Misérables – guillotine and cross