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    The Later Novels of Victor Hugo

    By: Kathryn M. Grossman

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    This study places the last three novels of Victor Hugo's maturity: "Les Travailleurs de la mer" (1866), "L'Homme qui rit" (1869), and "Quatrevingt-Treize" (1874) - within the context of his artistic development after the success of Les Misâerables (1862). By situating these historical narratives in relation to each other, to all of Hugo's previous fiction, and to a number of poetic and critical works published in exile and in the initial years of the Third Republic, it illuminates the final structural and thematic shifts from a poetics of harmony to one of transcendence. As in "Les Misâerables", the disharmony associated with social tumult, apocalyptic vision, and oxymoronic tensions provides an essential component of the later Hugo's Romantic sublime.

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