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text SPOILER ALERT! 2018-10-11 20:04
Reading progress update: I've read 543 out of 551 pages.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame - Victor Hugo,Walter J. Cobb

 

The deaf man was leaning, with his elbows on the balustrade, at the spot where the archdeacon had been a moment before, and there, never detaching his gaze from the only object which existed for him in the world at that moment, he remained motionless and mute, like a man struck by lightning, and a long stream of tears flowed in silence from that eye which, up to that time, had never shed but one tear."

That's done it. That broke me. And then Hugo slips this in:

Phoebus de Châteaupers also came to a tragic end. He married.

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text 2018-10-11 10:47
Reading progress update: I've read 416 out of 551 pages.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame - Victor Hugo,Walter J. Cobb

Every city during the Middle Ages, and every city in France down to the time of Louis XII. had its places of asylum. These sanctuaries, in the midst of the deluge of penal and barbarous jurisdictions which inundated the city, were a species of islands which rose above the level of human justice. Every criminal who landed there was safe. There were in every suburb almost as many places of asylum as gallows. It was the abuse of impunity by the side of the abuse of punishment; two bad things which strove to correct each other. The palaces of the king, the hotels of the princes, and especially churches, possessed the right of asylum. Sometimes a whole city which stood in need of being repeopled was temporarily created a place of refuge. Louis XI. made all Paris a refuge in 1467.

Hugo's writing is beautiful and it is likely to make the ending very hard to read. 

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text 2018-10-10 22:58
Reading progress update: I've read 364 out of 551 pages.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame - Victor Hugo,Walter J. Cobb

This book is phenomenal. It's totally worth reading for Hugo's satirical tone of voice and his breaking the fourth wall alone. It makes for quite an unusual Gothic read...and yet it is one.

"The physician, to whom the soldiers of the watch had carried him at the first moment, had feared for his life during the space of a week, and had even told him so in Latin. But youth had gained the upper hand; and, as frequently happens, in spite of prognostications and diagnoses, nature had amused herself by saving the sick man under the physician's very nose."

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text 2018-10-07 21:52
Reading progress update: I've read 205 out of 551 pages.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame - Victor Hugo,Walter J. Cobb

"Our lady readers will pardon us if we pause for a moment to seek what could have been the thought concealed beneath those enigmatic words of the archdeacon: "This will kill that. The book will kill the edifice."

To our mind, this thought had two faces. In the first place, it was a priestly thought. It was the affright of the priest in the presence of a new agent, the printing press. It was the terror and dazzled amazement of the men of the sanctuary, in the presence of the luminous press of Gutenberg. It was the pulpit and the manuscript taking the alarm at the printed word: something similar to the stupor of a sparrow which should behold the angel Legion unfold his six million wings. It was the cry of the prophet who already hears emancipated humanity roaring and swarming; who beholds in the future, intelligence sapping faith, opinion dethroning belief, the world shaking off Rome. It was the prognostication of the philosopher who sees human thought, volatilized by the press, evaporating from the theocratic recipient. It was the terror of the soldier who examines the brazen battering ram, and says:—"The tower will crumble." It signified that one power was about to succeed another power. It meant, "The press will kill the church."

 

[...]

 

"The cathedral itself, that edifice formerly so dogmatic, invaded henceforth by the bourgeoisie, by the community, by liberty, escapes the priest and falls into the power of the artist. The artist builds it after his own fashion. Farewell to mystery, myth, law. Fancy and caprice, welcome."

 

LoL. I see what you did here, Victor.

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text 2018-10-05 22:27
Reading progress update: I've read 27 out of 551 pages.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame - Victor Hugo,Walter J. Cobb

I really did not remember Hugo's tone in this book. It is fabulously acerbic.

"Much ill-will would also have been required, not to comprehend, through the medium of the poetry of the prologue, that Labor was wedded to Merchandise, and Clergy to Nobility, and that the two happy couples possessed in common a magnificent golden dolphin, which they desired to adjudge to the fairest only."

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