Julie Rose’s new translation of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables has been part of my summer reading. On Saturdays, I am sharing some quotes worth pondering (see first collection here):

“Pain everywhere is an occasion for goodness always.” (49)

“And yet, the details, which are wrongly described as little – there are no little facts in the human realm, any more than there are little leaves in the realm of vegetation – are useful. The face of the century is made up of the lines of the years.” (102)

“Puns are the droppings of the mind in flight.” (114)

“Indigestion was invented by God to force morality on stomachs.” (115)

“Whether a person sits or stands – fate hangs by threads like these.” (127)

“What a gravedigger does becomes cheery when done by a child.” (128)

“Certain natures can only love someone when they hate someone else.” (132)

“No one pries as effectively into other people’s business as those whose business it most definitely is not.” (150)

On the virtuous: “Their lives have a sequel.” (153)

“They say slavery has vanished from European civilization. That is wrong. It still exists, but now preys only on women, and it goes by the name of prostitution.” (158)

“Curiosity is a form of greed. To see is to devour.” (160)

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One thought on “Les Misérables: Quotes to Ponder (2)”

  1. Darrin says:

    I have not read this particular translation, but I love the book. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

    Skepticism, that dry rot of the intellect, had not left one entire idea in his mind. – Victor Hugo — les Miserables

    A skeptic adhering to a believer is as simple as the law of complementary colors. What we lack attracts us. Nobody loves the light like the blind man. Victor Hugo — les Miserables

    “A cannonball travels only two thousand miles an hour; light travels two hundred thousand miles a second. Such is the superiority of Jesus Christ over Napoleon.” Victor Hugo – Les Misreables

    “He who does not weep does not see” Victor Hugo – Les Misreables

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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