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

All Hunchback of Notre Dame movies

Below I've made a listing of all the changes made to Victor Hugo’s novel in these movie adaptations. 1923 Quasimodo - Lon Chaney Esmeralda - Patsy Ruth Miller Frollo - Brandon Hurst https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh20p-GvCl0 1939 Quasimodo - Charles Laughton Esmeralda - Maureen O'Hara Frollo - Sir Cedric Hardwicke https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_p8khzyK-E 1956 Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo Esmeralda - … Continue reading All Hunchback of Notre Dame movies

Quasimodo d’El Paris

I recently saw an adaptation of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" set in the modern day. It's a French-language film, a black comedy/satire known as Quasimodo d’El Paris. It's set in 1999 or thereabouts in an unnamed place, in a city called El Paris. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy8KIUCGSAA&list=PLGuUJt6IB8_ET1gFct-hHQO62Dkqx90Lm&index=23 It is strange and over-the-top, but funny and charming.  It … Continue reading Quasimodo d’El Paris