Les Miserables Quote Dump

I’m making this because Les Miserables had just too many awesome quotes about things for me not to do this. Also, I’ve been in a HUGE quote-happy mood lately.

If you needed any more proof that Victor Hugo is a brilliant writer (and, really, still very relevant and quotable), here it is:

Social Awareness and Politics:
“One may feel a certain indifference to the death penalty, one may refrain from pronouncing upon it, from saying yes or no, so long as one has not seen a guillotine with one’s own eyes: but if one encounters one of them, the shock is violent; one is forced to decide, and to take part for or against.”

“Civil war–what does that mean? Is there a foreign war? Is not all war between men, war between brothers? War is qualified only by its object. There is no such thing as foreign or civil war; there is only just and unjust war.”

Traveling:
“What is more melancholy and more profound than to see a thousand objects for the first and the last time? To travel is to be born and to die at every instant.”

“So long as you go and come in your native land, you imagine that those streets are a matter of indifference to you; that those windows, those roofs, and those doors are nothing to you; that those walls are strangers to you; that those trees are merely the first encountered haphazard; that those houses, which you do not enter, are useless to you; that the pavements which you tread are merely stones. Later on, when you are no longer there, you perceive that the streets are dear to you; that you miss those roofs, those doors; and that those walls are necessary to you, those trees are well beloved by you; that you entered those houses which you never entered, every day, and that you have left a part of your heart, of your blood, of your soul, in those pavements.”

Religion:
“At the same time that there is an infinite without us, is there not an infinite within us? Are not these two infinites (what an alarming plural!) superposed, the one upon the other? Is not this second infinite, so to speak, subjacent to the first? Is it not the latter’s mirror, reflection, echo, an abyss which is concentric with another abyss? Is this second infinity intelligent also? Does it think? Does it love? Does it will? If these two infinites are intelligent, each of them has a will principle, and there is an I in the upper infinity as well as there is an I in the lower infinity. The I below is the soul; the I on high is God.”

“There is, as we know, a philosophy which denies the infinite. There is also a philosophy, pathologically classified, which denies the sun; this philosophy is called blindness.”

“There is no such thing as nothingness. Zero does not exist. Everything is something. Nothing is nothing.”

Love:
“Not seeing people permits one to attribute to them all possible perfections.”

Human Existence and Identity:
“That light called history is pitiless; it possesses this peculiar and divine quality, that, pure light as it is, and precisely because it is, and precisely because it is wholly light, it often casts a shadow in places where people had hitherto beheld rays; from the same man it constructs two different phantoms, and the one attacks the other and executes justice on it, and the shadows of the despot contend with the brilliancy of the leader.”

“. . . perhaps, in the vaguest region of his mind, he did make comparisons between the shifting horizon and our human existence: all things of life are perpetually fleeing before us; the dark and bright intervals are intermingled; after a dazzling moment, an eclipse; we look, we hasten, we stretch out our hands to grasp what is passing; each event is a turn in the road, and, all at once, we are old; we feel a shock; all is black; we distinguish and obscure door; the gloomy horse of life, which has been drawing us halts, and we see a veiled and unknown person unharnessing amid the shadows.”

“Who are we ourselves? Who am I who know address you? Who are you who are listening to me? And are you very sure that we have done nothing before we were born? The earth is not devoid of resemblance to a jail. Who knows whether man is not a recaptured offender against divine justice? Look closely at life. It is so made, that everywhere we feel the sense of punishment.”

“Our chimeras are the things which the most resemble us. Each one of us dreams of the unknown and the impossible in accordance with his nature.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: