Victor Hugo: Orientales [The Orientals] (1109 words)

Laurence M. Porter (Michigan State University)
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Most of the forty-one poems of Les Orientales were composed in a fever of inspiration during the thirteen months from November 1827 to November 1828. Having become a successful, prolific writer, and the leader of the second generation of Romantics after the appearance of his literary manifesto, the preface to his play Cromwell, Hugo no longer depended for financial support on his pension from the king, or on the support of the conservative monarchists. The preface to Les Orientales, dated January 1829, expresses a joyful sense of freedom and independence: “Tout a droit de cité en poésie … Il n’y a pas de fruit defend” [Every topic has a legitimate place in poetry … There is no forbidden …

Citation: Porter, Laurence M.. "Orientales". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 May 2011 [, accessed 08 March 2021.]

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