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That question might have benne answered before but I would have liked to kwon what did Ayn Rand liked about Victor Hugo. May be this could serve as a quotations analysis section. I will myself look into it but I would have liked to get the opinion of senior members.

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That question might have benne answered before but I would have liked to kwon what did Ayn Rand liked about Victor Hugo.

Ayn Rand disliked Hugo's philosophy but greatly admired him for his literary style and for his heroic portrait of man. If you are interested in understanding the detailed reasons for her admiration you would enjoy reading Ayn Rand's book The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers. In that book she makes extensive reference to Hugo, as well as other writers, for illustration and concretization of literary style.

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--Les Miserables SPOILER--

Stephen's correct. I've been reading a bit of Victor Hugo--prompted by Ayn Rand's praise for him--and he's obviously Christian and an altruist. But, upon reading Les Miserables, I have begun to realize why Ayn Rand enjoyed Hugo. For instance, Jean Valjean is a former convict who changes his philosophy and becomes a producer. In fact, he becomes one of the most successful factory owners in France. This is over-simplified, and I am no student of literature, but apparently Hugo's themes were historically unique.

George

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That question might have benne answered before but I would have liked to kwon what did Ayn Rand liked about Victor Hugo. May be this could serve as a quotations analysis section. I will myself look into it but I would have liked to get the opinion of senior members.

I just listened to Shoshana Milgram's Victor Hugo's Les Miserables: Valor in Defense of Values lecture and I thought it was interesting to note that her liking of Hugo had (I gather) more to do with his sense of life, and that Enjolras was the character that I think Ayn Rand liked the most in Les Miserables. Milgram compares him to some of the characters of Rand's fiction. I never really paid enough attention to that character, but after Milgram focused on him, and what Ayn Rand said about him, I can see why she thought this way. Milgram treats it extensively in the lecture, I only listened to it once, so in another listen or two when I have some time, I can go more into detail about it, if anyone would like me to.

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Ironically, I like Enjolras the next-best to Valjean. But in any case, I remember her saying that she excused his socialism because he believed in it before it had ever been tested in practice. She did admire his sense of life, and I think one way of making that specific is to look at his central "argument", if I may call it that, in Les Miserables. He believed that education would correct all wrongs in the world, and that all people were fundamentally good but often confused. He thought that the world was something that essentially offered human beings happiness and opportunities--we need only understand the world to have access to them. He believed that if every person were given an education, that we would have no more struggle, aggression, or hatred; with it, we could turn our energy toward development, and turn our attention toward the beautiful.

He was an altruist and a theist (though probably not a Christian in the truest sense). But he was, at his core, a good person.

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Forget the concretes and read the abstractions in Hugo's work. In Hugo's world, man controls his own destiny. Man has the ability to change the world according to his ideals, whatever those may be. In Les Mis, Hugo writes: There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky; there is a prospect greater than the sky, and it is the human soul. In my opinion, if one had to take a single thing away from Hugo's writing, it should be this thought.

Most of Hugo's main characters are driven by ideas, which I also love. I think Javert is a brilliant character. If I ever get around to it, I may jsut do a comparision between Javert, Petronius from Quo Vadis, and Gail Wynand from Fountainhead. There are a lot of similarities between the three. The other gem of a character in the work of Hugo that I have read so far is Pierre Gringore from Notre-Dame de Paris.

Interesting that Enjolras got much attention from Rand. I'll have to go back and reread some sections with him to understand why.

Edited by adrock3215

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Forget the concretes and read the abstractions in Hugo's work. In Hugo's world, man controls his own destiny. Man has the ability to change the world according to his ideals, whatever those may be.

Milgram welcomes us into Hugo's universe, where the characters have volition, choice, among other things and that choices matter, unlike most if not all other fiction of the time.

Most of Hugo's main characters are driven by ideas, which I also love. I think Javert is a brilliant character. If I ever get around to it, I may jsut do a comparision between Javert, Petronius from Quo Vadis, and Gail Wynand from Fountainhead.

Oh, Milgram does comparisons with Enjoras to Leo with how they are described with various marble physical attributes, and so forth. I'll make it a point, that when I listen to Milgram's lecture over again, I'll find out more about the comparisons. She does this with several characters, and saying how Enjoras influenced or Rand had him in mind while writing some of her own characters, if not directly, perhaps on a different level.

Interesting that Enjolras got much attention from Rand. I'll have to go back and reread some sections with him to understand why.

That's exactly what I was thinking of doing sometime when I was listening to Milgram talk about Enjoras. Btw, all cassettes must go at the ARB, so I bought this one, and ones by Lisa VanDamme. I also want to then reread Laura Kalpakian's Cosette: The Sequel to Les Miserables. Interesting to note that Rand didn't like Marius, because of all the mush and sentimentality that Milgram mentions in the tapes. Rand'd totally not want to read Kalpakian's novel then. But I definately enjoyed it nonetheless.

I've read both the abridged and unabridged version of Les Miserables, translated by Charles Wilbour, but I always read at least two different translations of a given work. In Milgram's lecture, I think she was reading from a different trnlator than Wilbour. Again, I really have a lot to go back and pay closer attention to detail, I was listening to it while at work, so I got what I could out of it.

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