October 10, 2008

The Octopus Bearing the Initials V. H.

This post now resides on my other site 50 Watts:


  1. I saw a few of Hugo's drawings/watercolors at an exhibit at the PMA last year. They are amazing. More impressive than any of his writing I've read,

  2. Your blog just keeps getting better.

  3. yes, these drawings are incredible, i went to ny to see this show when it was at the drawing center some years ago, and it completely overwhelmed me, and i thought if i ever got a tattoo, it would be this octopus (fortunately that hasn't happened..!) the toilers of the sea is an incredible book, i think one of the most underrated novels of any really famous writer. great stuff!

  4. Good one. I have a 'post-it note' with "Victor Hugo drawings" on my browser google homepage by way of reminder: a friend passed on some links and I've been waiting for her to get around to scanning some images from her book (don't know the title). From {vague, now} memory, I really liked what I saw of Hugo's work; shades of Goya coming through - imho - as I suspect was the case for many a French artist in his 19th cent. shadow.

  5. Mr. Roden, thanks for the Toilers on the Sea recommendation -- I was wondering where to start with his writing.

    I actually have a high tolerance for "massive and grotesque sentimentality" (Sante's description of much of Hugo's writing) in pop music and movies, so chances are I might like even Hugo's sappiest work -- though obviously I'll start with Toilers.

    PK, it's nice to get a comment from my blogging hero! I'll post the additional Hugo scans tonight. I'm trying not to duplicate what is already online. The scans will come from the book Shadows of a Hand -- it includes about 100 plates, but mentions Hugo did thousands of drawings. I haven't investigated French publications but they must exist.

    Derik, feeling salty for missing the drawings at the PMA.

    Calhoun, thanks for urging me to start up the blog again after I almost let it die back in March/April.

  6. Will, I think you'd have a good time with "Notre Dame of Paris" as well. The relationship between that novel and any given hunchback movie is distant.

    You've been putting up a lot of great stuff - thanks for that.

  7. Amateur Reader, I thought about you when posting those Japanese posters, because in your blogroll you describe my site as "some wild stuff." The Yokoo is truly wild.

    I will definitely try "Hunchback."