Victor Hugo in Exile: From Historical Representations to by William VanderWolk

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By William VanderWolk

Throughout the moment Empire (1852-1870), Louis-Napolean Bonaparte verified an authoritarian regime, and republican politicians together with Victor Hugo, fled. Hugo remained out of the country for eighteen years, returning to Paris triumphantly in 1870 after Louis's defeat by way of the Prussians.
During his exile, Hugo wrote and clandestinely released a chain of scathing opinions oft the hot regime, each one portraying the empire because the antithesis of republican values the French had come to carry expensive because the revolution of 1789. at the present time, works comparable to Les Châtiments and Les Misérables and the non-fictional Napoléon le petit express Hugo to be a tremendous historian of his time, a polemicist and prophet whose model of prior occasions and imaginative and prescient of the longer term proved to be extra lasting than these authorised through the empire.

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Extra resources for Victor Hugo in Exile: From Historical Representations to Utopian Vistas

Sample text

Ricœur sums u p Hugo's project succinctly. Another aspect of the duty of memory is the debt that each of us and each society has toward the memory of those who have come before. Yet even the means by which a society remembers its victims can be abused by those who have the power to control those means. A "frenzy of commemoration" (MHF, 90) can take the place of a thoughtful and comprehensive system of remembrance by replacing a national, historical remembrance understood by all with a fragmented, local and cultural system of commemoration.

History naturally outlasts individual memory, and so the distinction between primary and secondary memory becomes that much more important when talking about the writing of history. As the actual memory of an event fades, the written record describing the event takes the place of memory. It has its own present (the moment of writing) that will recede into memory, but the written record will remain. The point of view of the historian, who wrote the account during his present moment, will be a matter of discussion, disagreement, and revision, as future generations read the written account, but the record will still exist.

Hugo is obviously a man who said " n o " to the regime of Louis-Napoléon and who took it upon himself to make sure that his refusal was heard by the greatest number of people. The enemy of memory is always forgetting, a topic I will discuss in the conclusion. It is important to mention it here, however, because it is one of the primary motivating factors for the formation of the archives of a society. We remember in order not to forget (MHF, 27). This is true for the individual as well as the society in which he lives.

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