Cover illustration from a bronze byAuguste Rodin pencil on board byVíctor Rodríguez, 2005
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With trenchant realism and profound understanding, Matthew Josephson presents in VICTOR HUGO the realistic biography of a great romantic who wrote Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Name, among others. Of tremendous sweep and scope, it is a penetrating analysis of a literary titan, who as a political pamphleteer, playwright, novelist, and romantic lover, dominated his time, influenced his peers, and moved the hearts of men.
Matthew Josephson, whose Stendhal, Zola, The Robber Barons, and Rousseau defined him as a master of the art of biography, has given us in VICTOR HUGO a highly readable account of this vigorous, zestful, and fruitful career. VICTOR HUGO is the final and definitive work on “France’s prince of poets and lord of language.”
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“Matthew Joseph’s third full-blown biography of a great French writer…is the best. There is more color and drive in it …because the materials are so rich.”
“Victor Hugo’s varied and colorful career offered Josephson a perfect opportunity to display again his gift for spirited narrative and keen characterization. He skillfully traces Hugo’s conversion from literary great to political hero. Along the way he adds texture to his portrait by interweaving the fascinating components of Hugo’s personal life –his marriage to Adèle Foucher, his fifty-year liaison with Juliette Drouet, and his friendship and betrayal by Sainte-Beuve…Victor Hugo’s life was a success story without parallel, and it provided an apotheosis of Josephson’s point about the duty of writers in times of social and political crisis. The critics again praised Josephson’s talents as a biographer.”
- David E. Shi, Matthew Josephson: Bourgeois Bohemian, Yale University Press, 1981
About the Author
Josephson's chief concerns were nineteenth-century French literature and twentieth-century American capitalism. In the 1920's lived in Paris and Berlin where he became acquainted with the European Dadaists and Surrealists as Paul Eluard, Andre Breton, Louis Aragon, and Max Ernst.
In Stendhal Matthew Josephson thought he ha discovered the meaning of his own life.
David E. Shi. Matthew Josephson, Buergeois Bohemian, Yale University, 1981 Move to Top
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Stendhal || Victor Hugo || Paul Samuelson || Thomas Mann || Herman Hesse || Nigel Holmes || Zhang Xin