Sunday, April 16, 2006

L'homme Universel

Yes, Victor Hugo is my favorite poète Français, and my favorite novelist in any language, but I had no idea.... Avedon Carol points out that this year's science fiction awards nominees include this revealing piece:
Paul: As you know, the Hugo Awards are named for the father of modern science fiction - that tireless self-promoter, prolific journalist, pioneering inventor of television and the steam-driven automatic pencil, and editor of the world's first real f-s magazine: Victor Hugo.

Kim: Born in 1802, Victor Marie Hugo is little-remembered for his comparatively rare excursions into fiction, though connoisseurs rate highly his 1862 dystopian vision, Les Misérables, in which everyone lives unhappily under the jackboot of the tyrannical Frère Énorme ...

Paul: ... and, of course, for younger readers, there's the enchanting tale of a gypsy girl, her pet goat and a flying alien from another dimension, The Jet-Pack of Notre Dame.

Kim: But Hugo's real achievement was his founding, in 1879, of the quarterly periodical Histoires Étonnaments, whose first number modestly bore the legend 'le journal meilleur de fiction-scientifique dans le monde entire'....

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