The Novel of the Century

The Novel of the Century

The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables

Book - 2017
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"Putting a century of scholarship on one of the world's most enduring popular novels into accessible, narrative form, this new approach to a classic of world literature is written for a wide general readership. Packed full of information about the book's origins and later career on stage and screen, The Novel of the Century brings to life the extraordinary story of how Victor Hugo managed to write his novel of the downtrodden despite a revolution, a coup d'état, and political exile; how he pulled off the deal of the century to get it published; and how he set it on course to become the novel that epitomizes the grand sweep of history in the nineteenth century."-- Provided by publisher.
"The story of how Victor Hugo wrote Les Misérables and why it became among the most influential and protean works of art ever created"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780374223236
0374223238
Branch Call Number: 843.7 HUGO
Characteristics: xxii, 307 p. ; 24 cm

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David_W_B
Dec 05, 2018

A wonderful analysis and commentary. A review of this criticism and commentary of the book (peripherally the stage/play versions) at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/29/the-novel-of-the-century-extraordinary-adventure-les-miserables-david-bellos-review and https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/david-bellos-5/the-novel-of-the-century/ Now I have to find the best available English translation of Les Misérables, put it beside the original work, and have a Latin guide at hand. Appeals to my inquiry into this fascinating social commentary and novel.

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rpavlacic
Sep 25, 2017

For those who have never read "Les Misérables," or are only familiar with Victor Hugo's masterpiece via the musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, this book by David Bellos is probably the best primer to the social context of the book and the historical events that prompted its writing. For those who have read the novel, this book will be a surprising revelation on why the massive story came to be. One of the most surprising parts of the story of its composition was that, being in exile from France and chased out of Jersey, Hugo chose to write the book on the British territory of Guernsey in the English Channel, was edited by a team that included both his wife and his mistress - then had the books smuggled out piecemeal to a printing house in Belgium. Bellos also attempts to provide a plausible translation of "misérable," which is quite different from the miserable we are familiar with. Whether the epic is THE novel of the 19th century can be disputed, but it's no doubt one of the cycle's monuments. Elucidating as well as educational; Bellos' book should be on the must read of anyone who is doing comparative literature with French novels and poems.

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