Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I know all these things, but when keeping the works of the two apart was difficult from early teen age (when only the shared romantic, adventurous and historical-themed aspects are apparent), it's difficult to sort out which is which, "the flamboyant crowd-pleaser romantic" and "the serious romantic". The only work that, if and when I remember it, I can always identify as both Victor Hugo and the serious romantic, is 93.

Also, the biographies of Hugo and Dumas Sr, who were troubled friends, are more similar than you make it.

My confusion isn't helped by the fact that (checking) Dumas wrote his pro-Napoleon father's post-Napoleon situation into Monte Cristo (as the father of Villefort), while Hugo did the same with his own pro-Napoleon father in Les Misérables (Pontmercy). Further:

fighting the "Bataille d'Hernani"

In which Dumas both preceded him and supported him.

A Guide to the Life, Times, and Works of Victor Hugo - by David Falkayn - Google books:


...The success of Alexandre Dumas' " Henri III." had been a surprise.  The classics, unprepared and taken unawares, had not been able to resist.  They swore that such a calamity shall not befall them a second time...

Full text of "The Incredible Marquis Alexandre Dumas"

At one o'clock on the afternoon on February 25, 1830, a mob of young men gathered at the rue de Valois door of the Thatre-Franais and pushed through into the unlighted auditorium.

...Dumas, among the earliest to arrive, bayed
with joy as the strange figures of the Romantics, garmented in cos-
tumes indicating their complete break with the old conservative
tradition, appeared in the doorway.

he was also very political

So was Dumas:

Alexandre Dumas père

The revolution of 1830 temporarily diverted Dumas from letters. The account of his exploits should be read in his Mémoires, where, though the incidents are true in the main, they lose nothing in the telling. During the fighting in Paris he attracted the attention of Lafayette, who sent him to Soissons to secure powder. With the help of some inhabitants he compelled the governor to hand over the magazine, and on his return to Paris was sent by Lafayette on a mission to raise a national guard in La Vendée. The advice he gave to Louis-Philippe on this subject was ill-received, and after giving offense by further indiscretions he finally alienated himself from the Orleans government by being implicated in the disturbances which attended the funeral of General Lamarque in June 1832, and he received a hint that his absence from France was desirable. A tour in Switzerland undertaken on this account furnished material for the first of a long series of amusing books of travel. Dumas remained, however, on friendly and even affectionate terms with the young duke of Orleans until his death in 1842.

Also, there's this:

Alexandre Dumas > Dumas' Life > His close relations > Victor Hugo

Hugo, a political exile, saw Dumas quite often, who was in Brussels because of his debts. Dumas also visited Napoélon III's most famous opponent in Guernesey and publicly stood up for him in France.

There's a reason Hugo went to the Pantheon as soon as he died whereas Dumas was only transferred there quite recently...

I wouldn't be surprised if that had more to do with race than his achievements relative to Hugo.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 03:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I must admit I wasn't all that aware of Dumas' biography. Note Dumas came back from exile in 1853 instead of waiting for the fall of the empire. And also, the main reason Hugo is in the Pantheon and not Dumas is that Dumas died too early : in 1870 the Pantheon was a church, and the political system not very much republican... Whereas the Pantheon was reinstated in the current function at the time of Hugo's death, pretty much right when his ideas had entered government.

Also, from my rememberings of what extracts we actually studied in class, the extracts of Les Misérables were often the more "socially conscious" ones, Gavroche and les barricades, Cosette... And Notre Dame de Paris was more or less ignored.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 04:10:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series