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. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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."