Notre Dame de Paris PDF/EPUB ☆ Notre Dame ePUB

This extraordinary historical novel set in Medieval Paris under the twin towers of its greatest structure and supreme symbol the cathedral of Notre Dame is the haunting drama of Quasimodo the hunchback Esmeralda the gypsy dancer and Claude Frollo the priest tortured by the specter of his own damnation Shaped by a profound sense of tragic irony it is a work that gives full play to Victor Hugo's brilliant historical imagination and his remarkable powers of description


10 thoughts on “Notre Dame de Paris

  1. says:

    I recently read Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris for the first time and was delighted and moved by the experience Although it lacks the depth and humanity of Les Miserables it possesses a grandeur of architectonic structure and an Olympian compassion all its own Best of all it gives us one of literature's most loving and detailed depictions of a city rivaled only by Joyce's Dublin in UlyssesIt is a shame that this book is so seldom referred to in English by its given name for it is about than the history of one hunchback however moving that history may be First of all it is about the great cathedral that dominates and defines the city the setting for much of the novel's action and most of its crucial events It is also about the “genius loci” of Paris the maternal spirit that offers sanctuary and support to its most unfortunate children many of them literally orphans Gringoire Quasimodo Esmeralda the Frollos be they ugly or beautiful virtuous or evil bringing a measure of comfort to their difficult and and often tragic lives Hugo's novel had been on my lengthy “must read” list for years but what finally moved it to the top was my growing fascination with cities in literature In childhood my favorite Arabian Night's tales were the ones that took place in Baghdad and from early adolescence I loved Sherlock Holmes' London D'Artagnan's Paris and Nero Wolfe's New York I also began to appreciate fantastic cities such as Stevenson and Machen's London and Leiber's Lankhmar Soon I fell in love with the hard boiled detective genre and—having been a childhood fan of Arthurian romances—identified with each of these modern knight errants on a quest I also realized that the individuality of each city—and the private detective's familiarity with it and his relation to it was an essential part of the genre's charm Even the most realistic of private eye cities—Robert B Parker's Boston for example—were filled with as many marvels as any Arthurian Romance instead of a sorceress one might meet a sexy widow instead of a liveried dwarf a mysterious butler and instead of a disguised knight offering a cryptic challenge one might be offered a tailing job by a Beacon Hill Brahmin with a mask of smiles and hidden motivations The world of the marvelous had been transported from the isolated castles woods and meadows of England's “green and pleasant land” to the magnificent townhouses and seedy alleys of an urban environment How had this occurred and what were the literary antecedents?I believe that Notre Dame de Paris in 1831 is the point where this all begins Hugo took a shoot of the delicate gothic already in decline grafted it to the hearty root of the city or precisely to a Gothic cathedral in the center of a great city where it was most likely to flourish watered it from the oasis of Arabian marvels dangerous hunchback guild of thieves beautiful dancing girl and cultivated the resulting growth with the historical method of Sir Walter Scott Thus the urban romance was bornThis was just the start of course Another decade of industrialism and population growth would make the great European cities seem even like ancient Baghdad Dickens would make the thieves guild central to the sinister London of Oliver Twist and Eugene Sue's exploration of urban vices in The Mysteries of Paris 1841 would soon be successfully imitated commercially if not artistically—by England's Reynolds in The Mysteries of London and America's Lippard in The Quaker City or The Monks of Monk's HallA little later the detective arrived in the gothic city Poe's DuPont Gaboriau's Lecoq Conan Doyle's Holmes and soon the marvelous and fantastic were re introduced Stevenson's New Arabian Nights Machen's The Three Imposters as well fully preparing the urban landscape for the writers of the 20th century to construct their cities of romance in the worlds of detection and fantasyHugo tells us that the bones of Quasimodo and Esmeralda have long ago turned to dust but the marvelous city of crimes and dreams continues to live on