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Posts Tagged ‘Victor Hugo’

Les Misérables in Infographics

Ever wonder what your favorite novel would look like as an infographic? Programmer Jeff Clark took Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, exploring the book in a set of visualizations exploring the relationships between words, themes and the shape of the classic novel (click to enlarge).

With digital books and graphic-making tools, we can now see how words interact inside massive novels. Here’s an excerpt:

A word used in multiple places in a text can be interpreted as a connection between those locations. Depending on the word itself the connection could be in terms of character, setting, activity, mood, or other aspects of the text. This graphic shows a number of these word connections. The 365 chapters of the text are shown with small segments on the inner ring of the circle with the first chapter appearing at the top and proceeding clockwise from there. The outer ring shows how the chapters are grouped into books of the novel and the book titles are shown as well. The words in the middle are connected using lines of the same color to the chapters where they are used. (link via)

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Lincoln Nominated for 12 Academy Awards

Steven Spielberg‘s adaptation of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin has lead the Academy Award nominations this year, earning 12 Oscar nominations.

We’ve embedded the trailer above–what did you think of the film? The Theatre Communications Group will be publishing the Lincoln screenplay on January 22nd.

The Best Picture nominees included a host of adapted books. Below, we’ve linked to free samples of books adapted into Best Picture-nominated films.

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Is Jean Valjean a Superhero?

As the Les Miserables musical hit theaters this holiday, Hugh Jackman drew fans among tweens, compelling one Slate reporter to ask this question: “is Jean Valjean a superhero?

Here’s more from Slate: “For one thing, Valjean (pictured, via) has super strength—the strength of ‘four men,’ as Victor Hugo tells us. He also has a secret identity: When he leaves prison after 19 years (the result of first stealing bread for his sister’s starving family and then trying to escape), he breaks parole and changes his name to Monsieur Madeleine.”

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Free eBook Flowchart

What’s your favorite kind of book? We’ve created a giant flowchart to help you browse the top 50 free eBooks at Project Gutenberg.

Click the image above to see a larger version of the book map. Your choices range from Charles Dickens to Jane Austen, from Sherlock Holmes to needlework. Below, we’ve linked to all 50 free eBooks so you can start downloading right now. The books are available in all major eBook formats.

Follow this link to see an online version of the flowchart, complete with links to the the individual books.

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‘Legend’ Author Marie Lu on Social Networking & Writing YA Fiction

Marie Lu‘s debut novel, Legend, hits the shelves tomorrow. We caught up with Lu (pictured, via) to learn more about how authors can utilize social networking tools, the writing process for the book and her views on being an Asian-American author. The highlights follow below…

Q: How did you land your book deal?
A: My agent, Kristin Nelson, first took me on for a novel that we ultimately didn’t sell. While we waited for feedback on that one, I began writing Legend. After two intense rounds of edits with Kristin, we submitted Legend to publishers in the summer of 2010, and I recall shrieking in my apartment when Kristin told me it was going to auction with six interested publishers. Legend sold to Penguin a couple of weeks later!

Q: You drew inspiration for Legend from watching a musical production of Les Miserables. During the writing process, did you consult with Victor Hugo‘s Les Miserables?
A: It’s odd–Les Miserables triggered the first flash of inspiration for Legend (a criminal versus a detective-like character), but after that, I never referred to it again. I think the story just started going in a completely different direction. I did consult Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow a few times for inspiration on how to write from the point of view of a child prodigy.

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Seven Authors Who Wrote While Nude

Writers have always had interesting stories beyond the ones they put down to paper. Here’s the naked truth: Neatorama has outed seven well-known authors as nudist writers.

The authors are Victor Hugo, Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, James Whitcomb Riley, Edmond Rostand, Benjamin Franklin, and Agatha Christie.

Hemingway’s cousin, Edward actually opened Britain’s oldest nudist colony during the 1930s and called it Metherell Towers. So far, there are no accountings of Ernest having visited the colony. Most of the authors don’t give an explanation for the unclothed state, but French novelist Hugo had a legitimate methodical purpose behind his nudeness.

Neatorama reports: “When Victor Hugo, the famous author of great tomes such as Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, ran into a writer’s block, he concocted a unique scheme to force himself to write: he had his servant take all of his clothes away for the day and leave his own nude self with only pen and paper, so he’d have nothing to do but sit down and write.”

Hugo Chavez Hobbles Venezuelan Publishing

chavezlineas.jpgBetween roving book squadrons and his international book club urges, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has exerted an enormous influence on the literary scene in his country.

According to Publishing Perspectives, a recent change in government approval for books has hobbled the publishing industry. The Chavez government closely regulates foreign currency used to purchase imported goods, and the demand for foreign books has greatly exceeded the amount of book purchases approved by the government.

The article explains it more fully: “Venezuela’s non-governmental publishers and booksellers find themselves on the outside looking in, as the Chavez administration gives away thousands of copies of books like Victor Hugo‘s Les Miserables or the Diary of Che Guevara, and selling hundreds of other nationally produced and ideologically approved titles for under $2. Meanwhile, a lonely copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sits on a bare shelf in a Caracas bookstore with a prohibitive price tag of $132.” (Link via, image via)

Hugo Chavez Deploys “Book Squadrons”

9780142437230L.jpgIn Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez has launched a “Revolutionary Reading Plan.” Extending his book club urges, Chavez has given away thousands of free books and sent “book squadrons” around the country to urge citizens to read.

According to the BBC, the Venezuelan government has handed out thousands of free books, including “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes and “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo, encouraging citizens to read to improve the country. Eager readers lined up in the capital city for “hundreds of meters” to get their free copies of the Hugo classic.

Here’s more from the article: “[A] key part of the Reading Plan are thousands of ‘book squadrons’ … Each squadron wears a different colour to identify their type of book. For example, the red team promotes autobiographies while the black team discusses books on ‘militant resistance.’” (Via Book Bench)

Happy Bastille Day and Vive La Bookclub

vive la france.jpgBook Club Girl has a great idea today, pairing wines with books! Who doesn’t love to settle into a cozy chair with a glass of Merlot while re-reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. They’ve set up a deal with wine.com for 1 cent shipping on french wines till the 18th. I’ll drink to that. Vive La France.

“Les Mis II” Gets a Court Reprieve

After reporting earlier this week that a sequel to Victor Hugo‘s LES MISERABLES was up for banning by the French courts thanks to a lawsuit by the author’s great-great grandson, the Guardian reports that Pierre Hugo was “bitterly disappointed” after his six-year battle was ended when France’s highest appeal court ruled against him. But he vowed to continue fighting to protect what he described as his family’s “moral rights” to the classic work.

“I believed we were fighting the good cause but the court decided otherwise. It is very, very disappointing,” Hugo was quoted as saying. “I am not just fighting for myself, my family and for Victor Hugo but for the descendants of all writers, painters and composers who should be protected from people who want to use a famous name and work just for money.” Hugo, 59, a goldsmith, has been fighting to have banned COSETTE OU LE TEMPS DE ILLUSIONS (Cosette or the Time of Illusions), written by journalist Francois Ceresa. He had demanded 450,000 pounds in damages, claiming the publishers had betrayed the spirit of his ancestor’s work to make money.

The court decision met with a sigh of relief from authors, playwrights and musical producers who had feared an end to adaptations of classical works. The case set French copyright laws, which put a literary work in the public domain 70 years after the author’s death, against the concept of an author’s “moral rights”. The latter are considered timeless and passed on to descendants.