Victor Hugo


French Author, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist, one of the best-known French Romantic Writers

Author Quotes

You would have imagined her at one moment a maniac, at another a queen.

To contemplate is to look at shadows.

To recognize is something; to know is better.

Under Louis XV, children disappeared in Paris; the police carried them off--nobody knew for what mysterious use. With horror, people whispered monstrous conjectures about the king's crimson baths.

We may be indifferent to the death penalty and not declare ourselves either way so long as we have not seen a guillotine with our own eyes. But when we do, the shock is violent, and we are compelled to choose sides, for or against... Death belongs to God alone.

What I feel for you seems less of earth and more of a cloudless heaven.

When events, which are variable, ask us a question, justice, which is immutable, calls on us to answer.

Wherever the Turkish hoof trods, no grass grows.

Woe to the intellectual who lets himself fall completely from thought into reverie! He thinks he will rise again easily, and he says that, after all, it is the same thing. An error! Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie its pleasure. To replace thought with reverie is to confound poison with nourishment.

You'll see that, since our fate is ruled by chance, Each man, unknowing, great, Should frame life so that at some future hour Fact and his dreamings meet.

To die for lack of love is horrible. The asphyxia of the soul.

To reform a man you must begin with his grandmother.

Unity begetting complexity — that is the law of laws.

We may remark in passing that to be blind and beloved may, in this world where nothing is perfect, be among the most strangely exquisite forms of happiness.

What is done is but little by the side of what remains to be done. To destroy is the task: to build is the work. Progress demolishes with the left hand; it is with the right hand that it builds. The left hand of Progress is called Force; the right hand is called Mind.

When God desires to destroy a thing, he entrusts its destruction to the thing itself. Every bad institution of this world ends by suicide.

Whether this young girl was a human being, a fairy, or an angel, is what Gringoire, sceptical philosopher and ironical poet that he was, could not decide at the first moment, so fascinated was he by this dazzling vision. She was not tall, though she seemed so, so boldly did her slender form dart about. She was swarthy of complexion, but one divined that, by day, her skin must possess that beautiful golden tone of the Andalusians and the Roman women. Her little foot, too, was Andalusian, for it was both pinched and at ease in its graceful shoe. She danced, she turned, she whirled rapidly about on an old Persian rug, spread negligently under her feet; and each time that her radiant face passed before you, as she whirled, her great black eyes darted a flash of lightning at you.

Work is the law of life, and to reject it as boredom is to submit to it as torment.

Youth is the future smiling at a stranger, which is itself. It is always at its risk that Utopia takes the form of Insurrection, substituting armed for reasoned protest, transforming Minerva into Pallas.

This uninspired play on words had the effect of a stone thrown into a country pond...All the frogs fell silent.

This soul is full of darkness, sin committed there. The culprit is not the one who has committed the sin, but the fact is that the shade.

This man was a compound of two sentiments, simple and good in themselves, but he made them almost evil by his exaggeration of them: respect for authority and hatred of rebellion.

This is the battle between day and night... I see black light. [Last Words]

This book, Les Misérables, is no less your mirror than ours. Certain men, certain castes, rise in revolt against this book, — I understand that. Mirrors, those revealers of the truth, are hated; that does not prevent them from being of use. As for myself, I have written for all, with a profound love for my own country, but without being engrossed by France more than by any other nation. In proportion as I advance in life, I grow more simple, and I become more and more patriotic for humanity.

They ridiculed the century, which did away with the need to understand it.

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French Author, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist, one of the best-known French Romantic Writers