Victor Hugo, Orientales [The Orientals]

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


, Hugo no longer depended for financial support on his pension from the king, or on the support of the conservative monarchists. The preface to


, 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 fruit there]. Whatever deity the poet chooses to worship is legitimate in art. And “ce…

1109 words

Citation: Porter, Laurence M.. "Orientales". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 May 2011 [, accessed 22 April 2024.]

11217 Orientales 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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