Thursday, July 03, 2008

Victor Hugo !

ஏழை படும் பாடு !!!

எழுதிப்புகழ் சேர்த்த பிரெஞ்சுப் புட்சிக் கவிஞன்

விக்டர் ஹியுகோ:

Victor Hugo, the premier writer of the 19th century, through his vast and powerful collection of works, takes his place among the literary greats। His genius of words puts him in the company of Shakespeare, Dante, Homer, and several others, producing masterpieces built to withstand time and eternally touch the human heart.

இவரது கதையான "ஏழை படும் பாடு" 1951ல்தமிழ்ப் படமானது। அதில் மறைந்த நடிகை பத்மினி அவர்கள் நடித்திருந்தார்கள்।

Victor Hugo is, without doubt, the most famous figure ever to have lived in the Channel Islands. He is famous worldwide as both a literary and political celebrity and he has succeeded in the difficult task of being both intellectually respectable and at the same time immensely popular, especially through two of his major works, Notre Dame de Paris, and Les Misérables which was completed in Guernsey.
He was born in Besancon in 1802 and quickly realised (at the age of thirteen) that he had a literary calling, his early poems winning a number of awards, including two "mentions" from the Academie Francaise. During the eighteen twenties he became one of the leading figures of the French Romantic movement. In 1830 his position was enhanced by the success of the play Hernani which was subject to fierce controversy, symbolising as it did the conflict between the new ideas and classical French theatre. Indeed, the "battle" surrounding the play is now considered to be a major turning point in French literary history.
1830 saw the publication of Notre Dame de Paris, with its evocation of life in the Middle Ages centred on the famous Paris cathedral. This novel has of course been on more than one occasion successfully adapted for the cinema, most recently as a Disney cartoon.
During the 1830's Hugo concentrated principally on the theatre, with mixed success. Following difficulties in his relationship with his wife, Adèle, he began a liaison with Juliette Drouet, whom he met as an actress in one of his plays. This relationship was to last more than fifty years.
In 1841 he was elected (at the fifth attempt) to the Academie Francaise, but following the failure of his play Les Burgraves in 1843, Hugo turned his attention more to public and political issues, becoming a Peer of France in 1845. Tragedy also struck during this period when, in September 1843, his daughter Leopoldine and her husband were drowned in the Seine at Villequier in Normandy.
In his earlier years Hugo had been a monarchist, and during the political upheaval from 1848 onwards, Hugo was at first concerned that order should be maintained, initially welcoming and supporting the candidature of Louis Bonaparte. He began to realise, however, that his moral and political ambitions were not shared by his political allies, and his relationship with them soon deteriorated.
By July 1851, his opposition to Louis Bonaparte had hardened with his coining of the phrase "we have had Napoleon the Great, now we have to have Napoleon the Small", and after the coup d'état of the 2nd December, which he tried in vain to oppose with Juliette's assistance he fled the country, to avoid arrest, initially to Brussels. It was clear however that, as a close neighbour of France, the Belgian authorities were concerned that Hugo's political statements would strain relationships between the two countries, and in 1852 Hugo moved to Jersey where there were already a number of "proscribed" opponents to the new French regime.
In 1855, Queen Victoria's visit to Paris caused a highly satirical article to be published by French exiles in a London newspaper, and the contents of the article were repeated by some of Hugo's fellow "proscribed" in the newspaper they had founded in Jersey. This led to three of them being expelled. Declaring his own solidarity with them led subsequently to the expulsion of Hugo himself, with him arriving in Guernsey at the end of October. In 1856, he published Les Contemplations, a book of poetry which was an immediate success, and with the proceeds he bought 38 Hauteville, now often known simply as Hauteville House, which he decorated in his own highly imaginative manner. Indeed, his son Charles described the house as a kind of "four-storey autograph, something like a poem in many rooms".
Although legally able to return to France in 1859, Hugo chose defiantly to remain resident in the Island until 1870, and he also returned subsequently, notably for almost a year during 1872/1873. During his period in Guernsey he wrote, completed or published, the majority of the works for which he is best known, in particular Les Contemplations (1856), Les Misérables (1862), Les Chansons des rues et des bois (1865), Les Travailleurs de la mer (1866), L'Homme qui rit (1869), and Quatre-Vingt-Treize (1874). To varying degrees these works were substantial popular successes, particularly of course Les Misérables which remains a popular literary work even today. It illustrates some of Hugo's ideas on the social and moral issues, which he felt to be important.
However, of all his works, those which are of particular interest to Guernsey are Les Travailleurs de la mer (Toilers of the Sea), the story of which takes place in Guernsey, and its preliminary book L'Archipel de la Manche which constitutes even today an excellent guide to the Islands, and particularly Guernsey. Hugo intended it to be published as the first section of Les Travailleurs de la mer, but it was not published until many years later. In addition there are references to the Island in other works as well, of course, as in Hugo's own notebooks and letters.
Following the fall of Louis Bonaparte in 1870, Hugo returned to France as a hero and once more took an interest in political life during a further period of upheaval further complicated by the Franco-Prussian war. He was elected to the National Assembly in 1871 and was by now a famous public and literary figure. Publication of his works continued, including, in 1877, L'Art d'être grand-père, one of the first books in French literature to deal specifically with childhood, and much of which was written in Guernsey.
Hugo was also a believer in European integration, and as an illustration of this, on the fourteenth of July 1870, he planted in the garden of Hauteville House an oak (which still flourishes today), predicting that when the tree was mature "The United States of Europe", uniting all European nations, would have become a reality.
Hugo's wish was to be buried in a pauper's coffin. While this wish was granted, he was nevertheless, on his death in 1885, voted a National Funeral by the two government assemblies. The coffin lay in state under the Arc de Triomphe and, on the first of June 1885, he was buried as a national hero in the Panthéon. It is estimated that at least two million people followed the funeral procession.
Victor Hugo's first mature work in prose fiction, Le Dernier Jour d'un condamné, has appeared thirteen years earlier (1829). As a tragic monodrama it is incomparable for sustained power and terrible beauty. The story of Claude Gueux, published five years later (1834), another fervent protest against the infliction of capital punishment, was followed by many other eloquent and passionate appeals to the same effect, written or spoken on various occasions which excited the pity or the indignation of the orator or the poet. In 1831 appeared the greatest of all tragic or historic or romantic poems in the form of prose narrative, Norte-Dame de Paris. Three years afterwards the author published, under the title of Littérature et philosophie mêlées, a compilation or selection of notes and essays ranging and varying in date and in style from his earliest effusions of religious royalism to the magnificent essay on Mirabeau which represents at once the historical opinion and the critical capacity of Victor Hugo at the age of thirty-two. Next year he published Le Rhin, a series of letters from Germany, brilliant and vivid beyond all comparison, and followed by a political supplement rather pathetically unprophetic in its predictions.
At the age of thirty-eight he honored the French Academy by taking his place among its members; the speech delivered on the occasion was characteristically generous in its tribute to an undeserving memory, and significantly enthusiastic in its glorification of Napoleon. Idolatry of his father's hero and leader had now superseded the earlier superstition inculcated by his mother. In 1846 his first speech in the chamber of peers -- Louis-Philippe's House of Lords -- was delivered on behalf of Poland; his second, on the subject of coast defense, is memorable for the evidence it bears of careful research and practical suggestion. His pleading on behalf of the exiled family of Bonaparte induced Louis-Philippe to cancel the sentence which excluded its members from France. After the fall and flight of the house of Orleans, his parliamentary eloquence was never less generous in aim and always as fervent in its constancy to patriotic and progressive principle. When the conspiring forces of clerical venality and political prostitution had placed a putative Bonaparte in power attained by perjury after perjury, and supported by massacre after massacre, Victor Hugo, in common with all honorable men who had ever taken part in political or public life under the government superseded by force of treason and murder, was driven from his country into an exile of nearly twenty years. Next year he published Napoléon le petit; twenty-five years afterwards, Histoire d'un crime. In these two books his experience and his opinion of the tactics which founded the second French empire stand registered for all time. In the deathless volume of Châtiments, which appeared in 1853, his indignation, his genius, and his faith found such utterance and such expression as must recall to the student alternately the lyric inspiration of Coleridge and Shelley, the prophetic inspiration of Dante and Isaiah, the satiric inspiration of Juvenal and Dryden. Three years after Les Châtiments, a book written in lightning, appeared Les Contemplations, a book written in sunlight and starlight. Of the six parts into which it is divided, the first translates into many-sided music the joys and sorrows, the thoughts and fancies, the studies and ardors and speculations of youth; the second, as full of light and color, grows gradually deeper in tone of thought and music; the third is yet riper and more various in form of melody and in fervor of meditation; the fourth is a great tribute paid by song to sorrow -- a series of poems consecrated to the memory of the poet's eldest daughter, who was drowned, together with her husband, by the upsetting of a boat off the coast of Normandy, a few months after their wedding day in 1843; the fifth and the sixth books, written during his first four years of exile (all but one noble poem which bears date nine years earlier than its epilogue or postscript), contain more than a few poems noted for depth and clarity and trenchancy of thought, for sublimity of inspiration; completed by their matchless dedication to the dead. Three years later again, in 1859, Victor Hugo gave to the world the first installment of one of the greatest books published in the 19th century, La Legende des siècles. Opening with a vision of Eve in Paradise which eclipses Milton's in beauty no less than in sublimity -- a dream of the mother of mankind at the hour when she knew the first sense of dawning motherhood, it closes with a vision of the trumpet to be sounded on the day of judgment which transcends the imagination of Dante by right of a realized idea which was utterly impossible of conception to a believer in Dante's creed: the idea of real and final equity; the concept of absolute and abstract righteousness. Between this opening and this close the pageant of history and of legend, marshalled and vivified by the will and the hand of the poet, ranges through an infinite variety of action and passion, of light and darkness, of terror and pity, of lyric rapture and of tragic triumph.
After yet another three years' space the author of La Legende des siècles reappeared as the author of Les Misérables, one of the greatest epic and dramatic works of fiction ever conceived: the epic of a soul transfigured and redeemed, purified by heroism and glorified through suffering; the tragedy and the comedy of life at its darkest and its brightest, of humanity at its best and at its worst. Two years afterwards Hugo paid homage to the greatest of his predecessors in a volume of eloquence which bore the title of William Shakespeare, and might, as its author admitted and suggested, more properly have been entitled Á propos de Shakespeare. It was undertaken with the simple design of furnishing a preface to his younger son's translation of Shakespeare; a monument of perfect scholarship which eclipses even Thomas Urquhart's Rabelais -- its only possible competitor; and to which the translator's father prefixed a brief and admirable note of introduction in the year after the publication of the volume which had grown under his hand into the bulk and the magnificence of an epic poem in prose. In the same year Les Chansons des rues et des bois gave evidence of new power and fresh variety in the exercise and display of an unequalled skill and a subtle simplicity of metre and of style employed on the everlasting theme of lyric and idyllic fancy, and touched now and then with a fire more sublime than that of youth and love. Next year the exile of Guernsey published his third great romance, Les Travailleurs de la mer, a work unsurpassed even among the works of its author for splendor of imagination and of style, for pathos and sublimity of truth. Three years afterwards the same theme was rehandled with no less magnificent mastery in L'Homme qui rit; the theme of human heroism confronted with the superhuman tyranny of blind and unimaginable chance, overpowered and unbroken, defeated and invincible. Between the dates of these two great books appeared La Voix de Guernesey, a noble and terrible poem on the massacre of Mentana which branded and commemorated forever the papal and imperial infamy of the colleagues in that crime. In 1872 Victor Hugo published in verse his record of the year which followed the collapse of the empire, L'Année terrible. All the poet and all the man spoke out and stood evident in the perfervid patriotism, the filial devotion, the fatherly tenderness, the indignation and the pity, which here find alternate expression in passionate and familiar and majestic song. In 1874 he published his last great romance, the tragic and historic poem in prose called Quatrevingt-treize; a rich in thought, in tenderness, in wisdom and in humor and in pathos.
The introduction to his first volume of Actes et paroles, ranging in date from 1841 to 1851, is dated in June 1875; it is one of his most earnest and most eloquent appeals to the conscience and intelligence of the student. The second volume contains the record of his deeds and words during the years of his exile; like the first and the third, it is headed by a memorable preface, as well worth the reverent study of those who may dissent from some of the writer's views as of those who may assent to all. The third and fourth volumes preserve the register of his deeds and words from 1870 to 1885; they contain, among other things memorable, the nobly reticent and pathetic tribute to the memory of the two sons, Charles and François, he had lost since their common return from exile. In 1877 appeared the second series of La Legende des siècles; and in the same year the author of that colossal work, treating no less of superhuman than of human things, gave us the most various book of song on the loveliest and simplest of subjects ever given to man, L'Art d'être grandpère. Next year he published Le Pape, a vision of the spirit of Christ in appeal against the spirit of Christianity, his ideal follower confronted and contrasted with his nominal vicar; next year again La Pitié supréme, a plea for charity towards tyrants who know not what they do, perverted by omnipotence and degraded by adoration; two years later Religions et religion, a poem which is at once a cry of faith and a protest against the creeds which deform and distort and leave it misshapen and envenomed and defiled; and in the same year L'Ane, a paean of satiric invective against the past follies of learned ignorance, and lyric rapture of confidence in the future wisdom and the final conscience of the world. These four great poems, one in sublimity of spirit and in supremacy of style, were succeeded next year by a fourfold gift of even greater price, Les Quatre Vents de l'esprit: the first book, that of satire, is as full of fiery truth and radiant reason as any of his previous work in that passionate and awful kind; the second or dramatic book is as full of fresh life and living nature, of tragic humor and of mortal pathos, as any other work of the one great modern dramatists; the third or lyric book would suffice to reveal its author as perhaps the greatest poet of his age, and one great among the greatest of all time; the fourth or epic book is the sublimest and most terrible of historic poems -- a visionary pageant of French history from the reign and the revelries of Henri IV to the reign and the execution of Louis XVI. Next year the great tragic poem of Torquemada came forth to bear witness that the hand which wrote Ruy Blas had lost nothing of its power and cunning, if the author of Le Roi s'amuse had ceased to care much about coherence of construction from the theatrical point of view as compared with the perfection of a tragedy designed for the devotion of students not unworthy or incapable of the study; that his command of pity and terror, his powers of intuition and invention, had never been more absolute and more sublime; and that his infinite charity of imagination could transfigure even the most monstrous historic representative of Christian diabolatry into the likeness of a terribly benevolent and a tragically magnificent monomaniac. Two years later Victor Hugo published the third and concluding series of La Légende des siècles.
On the 22nd of May 1885 Victor Hugo died. He was given a magnificent public funeral, and his remains were laid in the Pantheon. The first volume published of his posthumous works was the exquisite Théâtre en liberté, a symphony of seven poems in dramatic form, tragic or comic or fanciful eclogues, incomparable with the work of any man other than Shakespeare in combination and alternation of gayer and of graver harmonies. The unfinished poems, Dieu and La Fin de Satan, contain such wise simplicity of noble thought, such heroic and pathetic imagination, as no other poet has ever cast into deathless words and set to deathless music. Les Jumeaux, an unfinished tragedy, would possibly have been the very greatest of his works if it had been completed on the same scale and on the same lines as it was begun and carried forward to the point at which it was cut short forever. His reminiscences of "Things Seen" in the course of a strangely varied experience, and his notes of travel among the Alps and Pyrenees, in the north of France and in Belgium, in the south of France and in Burgundy, are all recorded by such a pen and registered by such a memory as no other man ever had at the service of his impressions or his thoughts. Toute la lyre, his latest legacy to the world, would be enough, though no other evidence were left, to show that the author was one of the very greatest among poets and among men; unsurpassed in sublimity of spirit, in spontaneity of utterance, in variety of power, and in perfection of workmanship.
Father: General J. L. S. Hugo (b. 1773, d. 1828)Mother: Sophie Trébuchet (d. 1821)Brother: Eugène (d. 20-Feb-1837)Wife: Adèle Fourcher (his cousin, m. 12-Oct-1822, d. 1868, three sons, two daughters)Son: Léopold (b. b. 16-Jul-1823, d. 10-Oct-1823)Daughter: Léopoldine (b. 28-Aug-1824, d. 4-Sep-1843)Son: Charles (b. 4-Nov-1826, d. 13-Mar-1871)Son: François-Victor (b. 28-Oct-1828, d. 26-Dec-1873)Daughter: Adè

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