Victor Hugo: L'Homme qui rit [The Man Who Laughs] (1680 words)


Tasked with reviewing L’Homme qui rit [The Man who Laughs; also translated as By Order of the King] for the prestigious French periodical the Revue des deux mondes in 1869, the journalist Louis Etienne noted in a formulation which strives awkwardly for tactfulness that Hugo’s latest novel “ne restera sans doute pas les pages qui vivront toujours pour être l’honneur de cet exil” [will doubtless not remain the pages that will live forever to the honour of this exile’] (967). Etienne managed to spend most of his article avoiding talking about the novel itself; when he did it was with an attitude compounded of bafflement and boredom, suggesting that the balance of …

Citation: Bielecki, Emma . "L'Homme qui rit". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 December 2017 [, accessed 08 March 2021.]

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