Victor Hugo


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

Author Quotes

The blinder the passion, the more tenacious it is. It is never more solid than when it is unreasonable.

The drama is complete poetry. The ode and the epic contain it only in germ; it contains both of them in a state of high development, and epitomizes both.

The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness.

The last resort of kings, the cannonball. The last resort of the people, the paving stone.

The ox suffers, the cart complains.

The sickness of a nation does not kill Man.

The victims should always be arrested first.

There are no trifles in the human story, no trifling leaves on the tree.

There is no distress so complete but that even in the most critical moments the inexplicable sunrise of hope is seen in its depths.

These Greek capitals, black with age, and quite deeply graven in the stone, with I know not what signs peculiar to Gothic calligraphy imprinted upon their forms and upon their attitudes, as though with the purpose of revealing that it had been a hand of the Middle Ages which had inscribed them there, and especially the fatal and melancholy meaning contained in them, struck the author deeply.

The book is vaster yet than that grand scene, the world; for to the fact it adds the idea.

The elimination of war — warfare in the streets or warfare across frontiers — is the fruit of progress.

The habit of reading... produces dignity of manners... custom... is more despotic than law.

The learned man knows that he is ignorant.

The Parisian is to Frenchmen what the Athenian was to Greeks: Nobody sleeps better than he, nobody is more frivolous and idle than he, nobody seems to forget things more easily than he; but best not trust him nonetheless; he has adapted to all sorts of indolence, but when there is glory to be gained, he is wondrous at every kind of fury.

The sight was appalling and fascinating. Gavroche under fire, was mocking the firing. He seemed to be very much amused. It was the sparrow pecking at the hunters.

The voices of those children, that is the voice of the immense future.

There are obstinate and unknown braves who defend themselves inch by inch in the shadows against the fatal invasion of want and turpitude. There are noble and mysterious triumphs which no eye sees. No renown rewards, and no flourish of trumpets salutes. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment, and poverty and battlefields which have their heroes.

There is no interruption in creation; no broken arch, no lapse; an action and its consequences embrace all nature; the chain may be longer or shorter, but never breaks. (II.3.iii)

These two halves of God, the Pope and the emperor.

The book which the reader now holds in his hands, from one end to the other, as a whole and in its details, whatever gaps, exceptions, or weaknesses it may contain, treats of the advance from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from falsity to truth, from darkness to daylight, from blind appetite to conscience, from decay to life, from bestiality to duty, from Hell to Heaven, from limbo to God. Matter itself is the starting-point, and the point of arrival is the soul. Hydra at the beginning, an angel at the end.

The exaggeration of fright deprives facts of their true proportions.

The harsh blows of fate have this especial quality, that however self-perfected we may be, however disciplined, they draw from us the true essence of ourselves.

The life devoid of passion is not the movement of dry stark torn

The peculiarity of prudery is to multiply sentinels, in proportion as the fortress is less threatened.

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