Talk:Victor Hugo

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"No army can stop an idea whose time has come."[edit]

This is cited lots of ways by different people; what's the original wording in French? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 2003-08-15

"One resists the invasion of armies..."[edit]

"On resiste a l'invasion des armees; on ne resiste pas a l'invasion des idees," "One resists the invasion of armies, but not the invasion of ideas." Histoire d'un Crime (History of a CrIme) (1877) This is one of the most splendid and most diversely translated of all of Hugo's statements… one could probably gather at least a dozen common variants of it in english. —This unsigned comment is by Kalki (talkcontribs) 2003-08-15.

telegram w/ publisher[edit]

I've heard of the following quote (in Eats Shoots and Leaves, in particular) but can't find a source on line.:

In a letter to his publisher regarding the sales of Les Miserables:


In response, indicating good sales:

Small note -- if true, the story is that these were telegrams, not letters. Which explains the brevity since the cost of the telegram was calculated by the number of characters.

—This unsigned comment is by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]]) .

Here's WP's source: Walsh, William S: Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities, page 600. Philadelphia: J.B. Lipincott Co, 1892. --Mermer (talk) 07:39, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

like a kiss through a veil[edit]

"A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil" Attributed to Hugo on the 'net, but did he say or write it, and if so, what's the French?

A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.[edit]

from Volume 1 - Book Heighth - Chapter 1 of Les Misérables (check there :

He who opens a school door closes a prison[edit]

Widely attributed to Hugo but I cannot find textual evidence. If it was said but not written, then who kept up the oral tradition until someone attributed it to Hugo? Do we at least know the first time it was attributed to Hugo?

There is a brief discussion on this quote on another page (link: ), but since it's one of the more employed quotations (at least here in California during our current education vs. prison budget priority crisis) I think it's a good investment for Wikiquote to search for some sort of legitimate attribution. If not Hugo, does someone else deserve credit, or was it hearsay until someone decided to write it down as an alleged Hugo quote and it's stayed that way ever since? 09:07, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Possibly a rephrasing of "Destroy the cave Ignorance, and you destroy the mole Crime." -- Les Miserables (Part III: Marius, Book VII: Patron Minette, Chapter 2: The lowest depth). If it is, it's unclear who the first was to make the paraphrase, though the meaning is close. --Gavroche42 (talk) 16:40, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

A very similar quote ("Open schools and prisons will be closed") is attributed to Concepción Arenal (link:ón_Arenal), a Spanish lawyer, feminist activist who worked extensively on education and prisons, and who lived roughly at the same time than Victor Hugo. -- 09:06, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

"To crush out fanaticism and revere the infinite, such is the law."[edit]

"To crush out fanaticism and revere the infinite, such is the law. Let us not confine ourselves to falling prostrate beneath the tree of creation and contemplating its vast ramifications full of stars. We have a duty to perform, to cultivate the human soul, to defend mystery against miracle, to adore the incomprehensible and to reject the absurd; to admit nothing that is inexplicable excepting what is necessary, to purify faith and obliterate superstition from the face of religion, to remove the vermin from the garden of God."

I see this quote on a lot of websites. Does anybody have a source for it or know if it is fake?

"Life is the flower for which love is the honey."[edit]

Widely seen on inspirational quote sites, probably fake.