Tragic Prophecy of Victor Hugo

(Opinion article)

Like millions of people around the world I can`t but express my condolences on the case of Notre Dame damaging blaze. The whole night I could not sleep keeping in mind the lamenting faces of Parisians. Next day, with a hard heart, instinctively, I took ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame,’ the novel written by Victor Hugo from my bookshelf, just to look through and to calm down a bit…

To my surprise, I was not alone. According to ‘The Guardian’ report, the literature masterpiece by Victor Hugo has become the smash hit book on Amazon in France so far by now. The different editions of the 1831 novel take the first, second, fourth, fifth and eighth places on the Amazon France bestseller list.

The beauty of blossoming Esmeralda, who won the hearts of many men, including the hunchbacked and deaf ringer Quasimodo from the Notre-Dame, still ignites the imagination of the present-day people.

A lot of literature critics affirm that the main character of the work is the Cathedral. I share this opinion too. While writing about the events of 1482, V. Hugo launched a campaign to preserve and restore the Gothic monuments of Paris. Like a prophet, the great French writer looked in the 350-old past and conveyed the feelings, emotions, and characters, of Medieval France in the slightest details. Like a prophet, he looked in the far away 2019 and with horror predicted the following,   “All eyes were raised to the top of the church. They beheld there an extraordinary sight. On the crest of the highest gallery, higher than the central rose window, there was a great flame rising between the two towers with whirlwinds of sparks, a vast, disordered, and furious flame, a tongue of which was borne into the smoke by the wind, from time to time. Below that fire, below the gloomy balustrade with its trefoils showing darkly against its glare, two spouts with monster throats were vomiting forth unceasingly that burning rain, whose silvery stream stood out against the shadows of the lower façade…”  Though we did not believe our eyes, though we refused to accept it, in April 2019, we witnesses as the dragons and demons, the griffins and gargoyles were laughing and yelling, sneezing and puffing on the roof of the Notre-Dame…Well-respected Victor Hugo, your predictions are shocking…

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