Victor Hugo

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"Oh Memories! Treasures in darkness born! Murky horizon of our ancient dreams! Dear brilliance of a past that brightly beams! Casting a radiance on things dead and gone" (Hugo 116)! In a foreign land, in a foreign era, an extinct sound resides in the atmosphere. It's the sound of a world that has never experienced or conceived of anything like an automobile or a jet, a television or a radio, a microwave or even an alarm clock. It's the sound of a small population, people that live on the amusement they find in polite conversation, art, theatre, and primarily literature. When night falls, the only illumination casting a glow on this world comes from the flickering of a lantern or a small bedside candle. In the midst of this existence a war was brewing amongst the citizens of France, and the peaceful simplicity is interrupted. Republican armies in conflict with the aristocracy lace the country in tents and encampments by night and in battlefields by day. Soldiers regularly intrude upon the homes and properties of rural citizens to stay for weeks or even months. Life is one interruption after another. On one fateful occurrence a charming young general led his troops across the French countryside in search of temporary shelter. They came upon a small farm, home to a family of devout royalists by the name of Trebuchet. Here the troops would stay for over a year. Over the course of that time the young general became infatuated with the young daughter of the household, Sophie. Sophie was strong willed and opinionated. She could hold her own ground in the midst of masculine politics and war. But despite their differences the two were married. They would become the parents of three children -- Abel, Eugene, and Vi... ... middle of paper ... ...cannot die. It is our souls, then, that love, and not our bodies." (Maurois 66) In a new era, a noisy era, someone wanders through an oversized book emporium. They find their way to the "literature" section. Browsing the shelves they come across a thick novel with a pretty cover. They leaf through the pages wondering whether it's the story they want, and after a hasty decision they purchase it for only $9.95. They return to their home and sit in their chair with a bright lamp glowing beside them. It doesn't flicker as the candlelight that once illuminated the world did. The cars rush past in the street outside creating hum that with adaptation can be ignored. The reader scans the words across the page. He becomes involved with the story of a man from so long ago, and he smiles. He is moved by the work, for the work will never perish. It will never be dead and gone.

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