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Welcome to the website for "The Les Misérables Reading Companion," where you'll find all the episodes of this podcast about Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, plus extras relating to what I've discussed there. 

This page is a work in progress. Come back early and often for updates!

The comment function on this page was giving us trouble--comments disappearing, that sort of thing--so I've shut it off...

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Episode 07 extras

Feb 6, 2018

In 1895, 10 years after Hugo's death, Edmond Biré undertook to explain the chapter "L'année 1817"/"The Year 1817" line by line. Here is the result. It is in French; to my knowledge, no translation exists. But, I don't happen to think that the English-speaking world loses much by that fact--this is the sort of analysis that can't see the proverbial forest for the trees. In my opinion, at least. Still, it's an impressive monument to his persistence.

The poem "Melancholia" from Les Contemplations is often called Les Misérables in miniature. It includes a character that we might consider a "draft" of Fantine (including plot points we haven't seen yet--consider yourself warned), as well as a story similar to the horse we saw in this section. This link is in French only, I'm afraid; I haven't found a translation I like yet--that's especially challenging with poetry.