37

Yes: it corresponds to the date of Hugo's conception. This is part of a pattern of similarities between the character of Jean Valjean and the author himself: both are of similar age, have similar habits and similarly austere lifestyles, and even share the same dreams. This is according to David Bellos's The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure ...


30

It's a mistranslation. I checked the original French text (emphasis mine): —Eh bien, reprit Monte-Cristo, supposez que ce poison soit de la brucine, par exemple, et que vous en preniez un milligramme le premier jour, deux milligrammes le second, eh bien, au bout de dix jours vous aurez un centigramme; au bout de vingt jours, en augmentant d'un autre ...


16

One Year. Near the end, the Little Prince journeys to the wall and has an encounter with a snake - the same snake, I believe, that he met when he first arrived on Earth. He wants to meet death by its venom. The narrator saves him, and after some brief discussion, the prince looks up at "his star": But he said to me: "Tonight, it will be a year . . . ...


15

There are two parts to this question: why does English use iambic meter while French doesn't, and why does English have 10 syllables in each line of iambic pentameter, while French has 12 syllables per line in an alexandrine. To answer the second question first, it may be pure chance that French settled on 12 syllables per line, while English settled on 10. ...


15

That wouldn't follow the rhyme scheme of the other verses, which follow the scheme ABCC. The next verse is: There is a lady all in white, Holds me and sings a lullaby, She's nice to see and she's soft to touch, She says "Cosette, I love you very much." The extra rhyme is unnecessary. Further, "toys" and "boys" are a very simple, sing-songy rhyme, ...


13

Norman Denny has this to say in the introduction to his translation of Les Misérables: Hugo [...] had little or no regard for the discipline of novel-writing. He was wholly unrestrained and unsparing of his reader. He had to say everything and more than everything; he was incapable of leaving anything out. [...] One reason for [so many ...


11

Most likely real, by the laws of the fantasy world. Of course this is a fictional book, but in-universe they are real. They teach him (true) facts about the world. The fact that they teach him is pretty obvious, but think about it: how would he learn new information from himself? If they were figments of his imagination, they wouldn't know any more than ...


9

I'm adding my own answer to complement Peter Shor's. In an interview, the Shakespeare scholar Kenneth Muir talks, among other things, about his translations of Racine and Corneille. When asked how he translated the alexandrines, Muir responds that he translated them into pentamers: I decided that alexandrines would not be taken by an English audience, ...


8

Initially, there isn't much. The final words of Part I read this: I wanted to hear the murmur of its water again, to escape from the sum and the effort and the women's tears, and to relax in the shade again. But when I got nearer, I saw that Raymond's Arab had come back. He was alone. He was lying on his back, with his hands behind his head ... As far as ...


7

The third one reads as a completely different work because it is, in fact, a completely different work. The first two are different versions of the same work, both by Rabelais. The first paragraph of chapter I “De l'origine et antiquité du grand Pantagruel” of Pantagruel, (full title: Pantagruel, Roy des dipsodes, restitué à son naturel, avec ses faictz et ...


7

In this chapter, Camus is comparing "the Christian and Marxist world," and finds that the two have much more in common with each other than either does with the "ancient world" – by which he largely means Aristotelian Greece. "For the Christian, as for the Marxist, nature must be subdued;" he writes. It may help to understand if we restore the full text of ...


7

I'm not sure if whole books have been written on the topic, but at least whole book chapters have been. I haven't read this book, but I'll share my first impression. One thing to note is that the English translation you quote is reasonably faithful. It slightly misses the effect of the original, however, in that it doesn't use a future tense. A more ...


7

Note that the realization that the characters are their own tormentors is made clear quite early in the play: INEZ: It's obvious what they're after— an economy of man-power— or devil-power, if you prefer. The same idea as in the cafeteria, where customers serve themselves. ESTELLE: Whatever do you mean? INEZ: I mean that each of us will ...


7

The line is a bit of a pun. A "masque" is a masked ball, and in this case refers to the kind of music played at masques. The name actually has a somewhat convoluted history, originally referring to a masked drama in France, then to a stylized dance in Elizabethan England, and that use re-exported back to France. Despite the name a "bergamasque" is not a ...


7

The sin of Adam and Eve could be stated as a desire for knowledge that did not belong to them - the tree that they ate from was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the snake tempted Eve into eating the fruit by telling her that this knowledge would give her power akin to God's. So if this is indeed intended to be a specific reference, it is ...


7

You don’t say which edition of the novel you were reading (you’ll see below why it’s vital to be clear about this), but I guess it is the 2002 paperback published by Wordsworth Editions Limited, where the text appears on page 631 and the note (number 209) appears on page 890. In this edition, the note has been attached to the wrong paragraph. It belongs here,...


6

Yes, the books are related and are intended to be read in order. In Search of Lost Time is one work in seven volumes. Each volume is not an independent work. Rather, the novel is a developing story; the narrator is relating events from his life, and each volume furthers the narrative. Outside of specialized research or publication/translation contexts, it is ...


6

In Recomposing the Past: Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen, it's claimed that: The original title of Hugo's work was Notre Dame de Paris, making no mention of the disfigurement of Quasimodo, highlighting that the cathedral itself, rather than Quasimodo, was to be the central character. […] The shift in emphasis towards Quasimodo as a main ...


6

TL;DR: The discrepancies can be reconciled if we allow the painter to flatter Mercédès, and Monte Cristo to lie about his age. Chronology 24 February 1815 — Edmond arrives at Marseilles: On the 24th of February, 1815, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples. [Chapter 1] 28 February ...


6

So from the context, here's my understanding: A common trend that's observed from a lot of A Happy Death is the treatment of women as mere objects, rather than as human beings. This is portrayed quite well in the beginning of that paragraph: The natural stupidity which glowed in her eyes emphasized her remote, impassive expression. The remark, "hello, ...


6

Candide, ou l’Optimisme is a satire, a work of literature in which people, ideas, countries, religions and so on are ridiculed. The targets of satire are usually presented in disguise or under a transformation, so the reader has to be on the lookout for clues as to their intended identity. Since you’re studying Candide, I’m sure you’ve already covered the ...


5

This only applies to some of the translations, but there's actually a very simple reason: chemist does not rhyme with Trismegist, while alchemist does. The word chemist has the stress on the first syllable, and would require a double (or feminine) rhyme like menaced—which is still only a very good near-rhyme (I actually can't think of any perfect rhymes ...


5

Warning: very much personal opinion; you should consider posting on the French Language SE for better feedback on the original text. In particular to check on the intended sense of arrachant, as I’m a little uneasy about my understanding there. At first glance I wondered if arrachant was meant in the sense of being torn between her pride and "being tamed" ...


5

The French word that was translated to stud was ferret. I don't actually see any justification for translating ferret here as stud, as I will explain later. To explain how the diamonds were worn first, these twelve diamond ferrets were part of a decoration meant to be worn on a shoulder. It was made of six blue ribbons woven or knotted together. The twelve ...


5

In the original French (Tome 2 "Cosette", Livre 3, Chapitre IX), it reads: Quoi qu'il en fût, en entamant la conversation avec l'homme, sûr qu'il y avait un secret dans tout cela, sûr que l'homme était intéressé à rester dans l'ombre, il se sentait fort; à la réponse nette et ferme de l'étranger, quand il vit que ce personnage mystérieux était ...


5

UPDATE: I have figured out where they got the quote form. Googling the original quote in Croatian shows that the line appears in the book Zlatna knjiga svjetske poezije za djecu by Zvonimir Balog, which Google translate says means The Golden Book of World Poetry for Children. MY ORIGINAL ANSWER, which shows that Jean de la Fontaine never wrote anything ...


4

TL;DR: If you don’t like Hugo’s prose, why are you reading Les Misérables?! The lengthy disclaimer is just one paragraph long, a drop in the ocean of this novel, so I will take the liberty of quoting it in full, in the 1887 translation of Isabel Hapgood: The author of this book, who regrets the necessity of mentioning himself, has been absent from Paris ...


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