Victor Hugo

  • French author
  • Born February 26, 1802
  • Died May 22, 1885

Victor Marie Hugo (French: [viktɔʁ maʁi yɡo] (listen); 26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. Hugo is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Outside France, his most famous works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (French: Notre-Dame de Paris), 1831. In France, Hugo is known primarily for his poetry collections, such as Les Contemplations (The Contemplations) and La Légende des siècles (The Legend of the Ages).

Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your deity made you in his image, I reply that he must have been very ugly.

When a man understands the art of seeing, he can trace the spirit of an age and the features of a king even in the knocker on a door.

Style is the substance of the subject called unceasingly to the surface.

A library implies an act of faith.

Almost all our desires, when examined, contain something too shameful to reveal.

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.

Verse in itself does not constitute poetry. Verse is only an elegant vestment for a beautiful form. Poetry can express itself in prose, but it does so more perfectly under the grace and majesty of verse. It is poetry of soul that inspires noble sentiments and noble actions as well as noble writings.

Whenever a man's friends begin to compliment him about looking young, he may be sure that they think he is growing old.

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age.

What a grand thing, to be loved! What a grander thing still, to love!

The last resort of kings, the cannonball. The last resort of the people, the paving stone.

Our life dreams the Utopia. Our death achieves the Ideal.

What would be ugly in a garden constitutes beauty in a mountain.

Architecture has recorded the great ideas of the human race. Not only every religious symbol, but every human thought has its page in that vast book.

It is often necessary to know how to obey a woman in order sometimes to have the right to command her.

Blessed be Providence which has given to each his toy: the doll to the child, the child to the woman, the woman to the man, the man to the devil!

It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.

It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather in spite of ourselves.

Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.

Joy's smile is much closer to tears than laughter.

To love is to act.

Freedom in art, freedom in society, this is the double goal towards which all consistent and logical minds must strive.

The ox suffers, the cart complains.

The ox suffers, the cart complains.

The learned man knows that he is ignorant.

To be perfectly happy it does not suffice to possess happiness, it is necessary to have deserved it.

The soul has illusions as the bird has wings: it is supported by them.

Amnesty is as good for those who give it as for those who receive it. It has the admirable quality of bestowing mercy on both sides.

There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.

Fashions have done more harm than revolutions.

Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.

Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.

I put a Phrygian cap on the old dictionary.

I put a Phrygian cap on the old dictionary.

Idleness is the heaviest of all oppressions.

The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

Stupidity talks, vanity acts.

Stupidity talks, vanity acts.

Wisdom is a sacred communion.