Victor Hugo’s Testament of Life

“You say the soul is nothing but simply the result of bodily powers that begin to ail. In my heart, Winter gives way to eternal Spring. I breathe the fragrance of lilacs, violets, and roses. The nearer I approach to my eternal home, the plainer I hear around me the crescendo of a universe of endless symphonies.

Rodin’s “Bust of Victor Hugo

“Yet, the marvelous simplicity of ensemble washes over me like a warm summer shower. I feel like the charming prince in a children’s fairy tale. For half a century I have been writing my thoughts in prose, verse, history, philosophy, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode, song. I have tried all. But I feel that I have not said the thousandth part of what is in me.

“When I go down to the grave I can say, like so many others, ‘I have finished my day’s work,’ but I cannot say, ‘I have finished my life.’ My day’s work will begin again the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare. It closes in the twilight to open with the dawn.

“I improve every hour, because I love this world as my fatherland, because the truth compels me, as it compelled Voltaire, that human divinity. My work is only a beginning. My monument is hardly above its foundation. I would be glad to see it mounting and mounting forever. The thirst for the infinite proves infinity.”

Original Source: Sacramento Daily Union, March 16, 1882 (twenty years after publication of Les Miserables and three years before the great man’s death)


About Alfred J. Garrotto

Alfred J. Garrotto grew up in a theatrical family. He began working in films (crowd scenes) at the age of seven. As an adult, life detoured him into Catholic ministry. He is the author of 14 books, 8of which are novels.
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