Victor Hugo, Odes et Ballades [Odes and Ballads]

Laurence M. Porter (Michigan State University)
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Victor Hugo began writing poetry regularly at the age of twelve. At seventeen, he twice won prizes at France’s major poetry contest, the Jeux Floraux of Toulouse, and became a “Maître” who could thenceforth judge that competition. Chateaubriand, the leading writer of early nineteenth-century France, called him a “sublime child” (Albouy, ed., lxiii). King Louis XVIII awarded him a permanent state pension in 1822. He was appointed poet laureate for Charles X’s coronation in 1825. Among European poets, only Goethe and Shelley matched Hugo’s precocious mastery of versification, stanzaic forms, and classic lyrical modes from Ancient Greece and Rome (ode, elegy, verse narrative, and satire).

The Odes et Ballades (1822-1828) were Hugo’s first collections of lyric poetry. They

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Citation: Porter, Laurence M.. "Odes et Ballades". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 May 2011 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11215, accessed 17 April 2024.]

11215 Odes et Ballades 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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