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31 mars 2012 6 31 /03 /mars /2012 04:20

Religious views

Hugo's religious views changed radically over the course of his life. In his youth, he identified himself as a Catholic and professed respect for Church hierarchy and authority. From there he became a non-practicing Catholic, HP EG417AA Battery

and increasingly expressed anti-Catholic and anti-clerical views. He frequented Spiritism during his exile (where he participated also in many séances conducted by Madame Delphine de Girardin),[6][7] and in later years settled into a Rationalist Deism similar to that espoused by Voltaire. A census-taker asked Hugo in 1872 if he was a Catholic, and he replied, "No. A Freethinker".HP EV087AA Battery

 

After that point, Hugo never lost his antipathy towards the Catholic Church, due largely to what he saw as the Church's indifference to the plight of the working class under the oppression of the monarchy; and perhaps also due to the frequency with which Hugo's work appeared on the Church's Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Hugo counted 740 attacks on Les Misérables in the Catholic press). HP EV088AA Battery

On the deaths of his sons Charles and François-Victor, he insisted that they be buried without a crucifix or priest, and in his will made the same stipulation about his own death and funeral. However, although Hugo believed Catholic dogma to be outdated and dying, he never directly attacked the actual doctrines of the Church. HP EX941AA Battery

 

Hugo's Rationalism can be found in poems such as Torquemada (1869, about religious fanaticism), The Pope (1878, anti-clerical), Religions and Religion (1880, denying the usefulness of churches) and, published posthumously, HP EX942AA Battery

The End of Satan and God (1886 and 1891 respectively, in which he represents Christianity as a griffin and Rationalism as an angel). "Religions pass away, but God remains", Vincent van Gogh wrote that Hugo declared (but actually it was Jules Michelet).[8] Christianity would eventually disappear, he predicted, but people would still believe in "God, Soul, and the Power".[citation needed] HP F1466A Battery

 

Although Hugo's many talents did not include exceptional musical ability, he nevertheless had a great impact on the music world through the inspiration that his works provided for composers of the 19th and 20th century. Hugo himself particularly enjoyed the music ofGluck and Weber and greatly admired Beethoven, HP F1739A Battery

and rather unusually for his time, he also appreciated works by composers from earlier centuries such as Palestrina andMonteverdi. Two famous musicians of the 19th century were friends of Hugo: Berlioz andLiszt. The latter played Beethoven in Hugo's home, and Hugo joked in a letter to a friend that thanks to Liszt's piano lessons, HP F2019 Battery

he learned how to play a favourite song on the piano – with only one finger. Hugo also worked with composer Louise Bertin, writing the libretto for her 1836 opera La Esmeralda which was based on the character in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.[9] HP F2019A Battery

Although for various reasons the opera closed soon after its fifth performance and is little known today, it has been recently enjoying a revival, both in a piano/song concert version by Liszt at the Festival international Victor Hugo et Égaux 2007[10] and in a full orchestral version presented in July 2008 at Le Festival de Radio France et Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon.[11] HP F2019B Battery

 

Well over one thousand musical compositions have been inspired by Hugo's works from the 19th century until the present day. In particular, Hugo's plays, in which he rejected the rules of classical theatre in favour of romantic drama, HP F2024 Battery

attracted the interest of many composers who adapted them into operas. More than one hundred operas are based on Hugo's works and among them are Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia (1833), Verdi's Rigoletto(1851) and Ernani (1844), and Ponchielli's La Gioconda (1876). HP F2024A Battery

Hugo's novels as well as his plays have been a great source of inspiration for musicians, stirring them to create not only opera and ballet but musical theatre such as Notre-Dame de Paris and the ever-popular Les Misérables, HP F2024B Battery

London West End's longest running musical. Additionally, Hugo's beautiful poems have attracted an exceptional amount of interest from musicians, and numerous melodies have been based on his poetry by composers such as Berlioz, Bizet,Fauré, Franck, Lalo, Liszt, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninov and Wagner.[12] HP F2299A Battery

 

Today, Hugo's work continues to stimulate musicians to create new compositions. For example, Hugo's novel against capital punishment, The Last Day of a Condemned Man, was adapted into an opera by David Alagna, with a libretto by Frédérico Alagna and premiered by their brother, tenor Roberto Alagna, in 2007.[13] HP F3172A Battery

 In Guernsey, every two years the Victor Hugo International Music Festival attracts a wide range of musicians and the premiere of songs specially commissioned from such composers as Guillaume Connesson, Richard Dubugnon, Olivier Kaspar and Thierry Escaich and based on Hugo's poetry. HP F4486A Battery

When Hugo returned to Paris in 1870, the country hailed him as a national hero. Despite his popularity Hugo lost his bid for reelection to the National Assembly in 1872. Within a brief period, he suffered a mild stroke, his daughter Adèle's internment in an insane asylum, HP F4486B Battery

and the death of his two sons. (Adèle's biography inspired the movie The Story of Adele H.) His wife Adèle had died in 1868. His faithful mistress, Juliette Drouet, died in 1883, only two years before his own death. Despite his personal loss, HP F4809A Battery

Hugo remained committed to the cause of political change. On 30 January 1876 Hugo was elected to the newly created Senate. The last phase of his political career is considered a failure. Hugo took on the role of a maverick and got little done in the Senate. HP F4812A Battery

 

In February 1881 Hugo celebrated his 79th birthday. To honor the fact that he was entering his eightieth year, one of the greatest tributes to a living writer was held. The celebrations began on the 25th when Hugo was presented with a Sèvres vase, the traditional gift for sovereigns. On the 27th one of the largest parades in French history was held. HP HSTNN-DB02 Battery

Marchers stretched from Avenue d'Eylau, down the Champs-Élysées, and all the way to the center of Paris. The paraders marched for six hours to pass Hugo as he sat in the window at his house. Every inch and detail of the event was for Hugo; the official guides even wore cornflowers as an allusion to Fantine's song in Les Misérables. HP HSTNN-DB20 Battery

 

Victor Hugo's death on 22 May 1885, at the age of 83, generated intense national mourning. He was not only revered as a towering figure in literature, he was a statesman who shaped the Third Republic and democracy in France. HP HSTNN-IB04 Battery

More than two million people joined his funeral procession in Paris from the Arc de Triomphe to the Panthéon, where he was buried. He shares a crypt within the Panthéon with Alexandre Dumas and Émile Zola. Most large French towns and cities have a street named for him. The avenue where he died, in Paris, now bears his name. HP HSTNN-IB09 Battery

 

His last will

Hugo produced more than 4000 drawings. Originally pursued as a casual hobby, drawing became more important to Hugo shortly before his exile, when he made the decision to stop writing in order to devote himself to politics. Drawing became his exclusive creative outlet during the period 1848–1851. HP HSTNN-IB20 Battery

 

Hugo worked only on paper, and on a small scale; usually in dark brown or black pen-and-ink wash, sometimes with touches of white, and rarely with color. The surviving drawings are surprisingly accomplished and "modern" in their style and execution, foreshadowing the experimental techniques of Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. HP PB992A Battery

 

He would not hesitate to use his children's stencils, ink blots, puddles and stains, lace impressions, "pliage" or folding (i.e. Rorschach blots), "grattage" or rubbing, often using the charcoal from match sticks or his fingers instead of pen or brush. HP PB994A Battery

Sometimes he would even toss in coffee or soot to get the effects he wanted. It is reported that Hugo often drew with his left hand or without looking at the page, or during Spiritualist séances, in order to access his unconscious mind, a concept only later popularized by Sigmund Freud. HP PB995A Battery

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Hugo kept his artwork out of the public eye, fearing it would overshadow his literary work. However, he enjoyed sharing his drawings with his family and friends, often in the form of ornately handmade calling cards, many of which were given as gifts to visitors when he was in political exile. HP PP2210 Battery

Some of his work was shown to, and appreciated by, contemporary artists such as Van Gogh and Delacroix; the latter expressed the opinion that if Hugo had decided to become a painter instead of a writer, he would have outshone the artists of their centuryHP RW556AA Battery

The people of Guernsey erected a statue in Candie Gardens (St. Peter Port) to commemorate his stay in the islands. The City of Paris has preserved his residencesHauteville House, Guernsey and 6, Place des Vosges, Paris as museums. The house where he stayed in Vianden, Luxembourg, in 1871 has also become a commemorative museum. HP ProBook 4510s Battery

Hugo is venerated as a saint in the Vietnamese religion of Cao Dai.[14]

The Avenue Victor-Hugo in the XVIème arrondissement of Paris bears Hugo's name, and links the Place de l'Étoile to the vicinity of the Bois de Boulogne by way of the Place Victor-Hugo. This square is served by a Paris Métro stop also named in his honor. HP ProBook 4510s/CT Battery

A number of streets and avenues throughout France are likewise named after him. The school Lycée Victor Hugo was founded in his town of birth, Besançon in France. Avenue Victor-Hugo, located in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada, was named to honor him. HP ProBook 4515s Battery

 

In the city of Avellino, Italy, Victor Hugo lived briefly stayed in what is now known as Il Palazzo Culturale, when reuniting with his father, Leopold Sigisbert Hugo, in 1808. Hugo would later write about his brief stay here quoting "C’était un palais de marbre...". HP ProBook 4710s Battery

 

In Havana, Cuba there is a park named after him and bust of Hugo stands near the entrance of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing. HP ProBook 4710s/CT Battery

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