Comments: 7
No wonder the French authorities feared Hugo's tongue. Sharp even in jest ...
BrokenTune 2 months ago
Sharp and then some. He was taking no prisoners.

One of my favourite descriptions was the one of the two ladies with boy and the cake:

"The two first walked with that step peculiar to Parisian ladies, showing Paris to women from the country. The provincial held by the hand a big boy, who held in his a large, flat cake. We regret to be obliged to add, that, owing to the rigor of the season, he was using his tongue as a handkerchief. The child was making them drag him along, non passibus Cequis, as Virgil says, and stumbling at every moment, to the great indignation of his mother. It is true that he was looking at his cake more than at the pavement. Some serious motive, no doubt, prevented his biting it (the cake), for he contented himself with gazing tenderly at it. But the mother should have rather taken charge of the cake. It was cruel to make a Tantalus of the chubby-checked boy."
Oh, no -- talk about "no prisoners". And reads as if it could well have been the inspiration for 1001 slapstick routines.
leöni 2 months ago
Mhm, definitely need to give this one another go. The (what felt like?) 100 pages description of Paris from a birds eye view made me conveniently leave this book in a corner and forget about it... a looooong time ago.
BrokenTune 2 months ago
There is a lot of description, but having read Les Mis previously I was just glad he didn't spend 20 pages on describing a loaf of bread. ;D

Seriously, the description of Paris kinda made sense when I read this because I was actually there and could look at it....and I did get from the start that his agenda was to mock any new building plans that would destroy the existing architecture, so I was happy to put up with his celebration of the medieval buildings and such like.
leöni 2 months ago
Sounds like in another universe he and Hildegunst von Mythenmetz were buddies! XD

I will keep that in mind for next time. But you're right, descriptions of things you can actually witness yourself are much more interesting most of the time (...that's why travel guides are more exciting to read after the holiday than before I think :) )
BrokenTune 2 months ago
That's very true!