Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lost in translation

Even the most profound of literary geniuses have their little slip-ups. As the Gentle Reader may have noticed, the Amateur Historian possesses a certain fondness for Victor Hugo, whose life might as well have been the subject of one of his novels (and, to a certain extent they were; though some literary critics have floated the theory that all writing is, to a certain extent, autobiographical, Hugo drew inspiration for all of his works from his own life).

The Amateur Historian believes that Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was the first to point out that it took an odd sort of genius for a man exiled for about fifteen years to English-speaking islands in the Channel to never learn a word of English. It would have been useful for Hugo to learn at least one as, in his novel Les Travailleurs de la Mer, set on and dedicated to the island of Guernsey, Hugo lovingly devoted an entire chapter to his character's 'bug-pipe'.

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