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Prophetic Chattiness

Patrick McGuinness: Victor Hugo, 19 June 2003

The Distance, The Shadows: Selected Poems 
by Victor Hugo, translated by Harry Guest.
Anvil, 250 pp., £12.95, November 2002, 0 85646 345 0
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Selected Poetry 
by Victor Hugo, translated by Steven Monte.
Carcanet, 305 pp., £12.95, September 2001, 1 85754 539 7
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Selected Poems of Victor Hugo: A Bilingual Edition 
edited by E.H. Blackmore and A.M. Blackmore.
Chicago, 631 pp., £24.50, April 2001, 0 226 35980 8
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... For its due honour and its suffering – True to my parents’ blood in every way, He from the army, she from the Vendée. Hugo rhymes his birth with the moment Bonaparte becomes Napoleon. In Choses vues, a posthumous four-volume prose miscellany, he describes the 1848 Revolution as a ‘parody’ of 1793 in which the guillotine ‘plagiarised’ its ...

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