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Showing posts from February, 2020

Today in Language: Victor Hugo

The year 1802 should not have been auspicious for French society, what with the ominous cloud of imperialism and the uncertain legacy of the Revolution hanging in the air. But Victor Hugo was born on February 26, 1802. One of the most versatile and profound French writers of the 19th century, Hugo was at his best (not without contradiction and tension) expressing either urgent warnings about the dangers and immorality of French conservatism or intimate reflections on God and nature. The latter can be seen in the following stanza from his poem « A Villequier » upon the accidental death by drowning of his newlywed daughter.

Je viens à vous, Seigneur, père auquel il faut croire ; Je vous parte, apaisé, Les morceaux de ce coeur tout plein de votre gloire Que vous avez brisé !