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Welcome to the new group dedicated to Hugo and Les Misérables.

This new blog is dedicated to this masterpiece and to the author, Hugo. I want to to investigate with you and other interested parties, this masterpiece from the perspective of the author's humanity and our social activism, moving the context from 19th century France to 21st century USA.


I have already re-published a few diaries by other kossacks who have either discussed the novel, the musical or made a parody of one of the songs.

In a few days, I will explain more what my plans are for this group. However, any Hugo fan, Les Misérables fan or any social activist should definitely join this group. If you want to join, send me a message and I'll send you an invite. You are also welcome to suggest any diary for re-publication in this blog.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Les Misérables is my all time favorite novel. (4+ / 0-)

    What is yours?

  •  I helped build the original B'way production (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    augustin, Laurence Lewis

    Shipped it down to Washington, D.C. for tryouts and then  installed it into the Broadway theatre. Later I helped move it from the Broadway to the Imperial Theater.

    I might have a few stories to tell.

    One thing that strikes me, a change since I watched that first rehearsal to now is how shocking the treatment of Jean Valjean back in 1987 for an American and how much less shocking it seems today.

  •  jean valjean (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the greatest soul ever imagined.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:28:45 PM PST

  •  One thing about Les Miserables (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This may not be the kind of discussion we're going for but I happen to really like Anne Hathaway a lot.  I never actually saw the recent film.

  •  Looking forward to more. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I can't say it's my favorite book but it is a very powerful story.  Looking forward to more diaries about it.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:03:36 AM PST

  •  The Glums (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Many people know that the usual contraction of the title of the musical is "Les Miz" however this was not the original nickname in Britain.

    "The Glums" were a family in a continuing sketch in the BBC radio comedy show "Take it from here". It later enjoyed a short run as a television adaption with a different cast but the original starred Jimmy Edwards as the father and June Whitfield as the daughter (she is now perhaps best known in the USA for playing Eddie's mother in "Absolutely Fabulous")

    So when the Royal Shakespeare Company launched the English language version at the Barbican Theatre in London, the joking translation of the French title stuck.

    Incidentally along with such shows as Cats, it shows how the subsidised theatre (the RSC gets Arts Council and National Lottery funding) can effectively pay for itself in the generation of highly popular productions that move into the commercial sector.

    "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 02:55:16 AM PST

    •  "Les Miz" (0+ / 0-)

      I actually don't like that contraction. So much is lost both in the contraction as in the musical (see comments above).

      Can you explain again the connection between the Glums and the musical, Les Misérables? The Royal Shakespeare Company launched the English language version of what?

      I used to live in the UK. In Birmingham, to be precise! :) A lot of good memories from there!

      •  Oops! Silly me! (0+ / 0-)

        I just noticed that the original lyrics of the musical were in French. I am actually not so knowledgeable about the musical: for a long time, I have been avoiding it in fear of being disappointed, as compared to the novel.
        However, I now love it.
        See discussion upthread:

        So, I guess LibDem meant the English language version of the musical. I never heard the French version, didn't know it existed. Hence my confusion.

        I still don't get the "glums" moniker, though.

      •  Cod translation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The original French book's title "Les Miserables" has no exact simple translation into English, despite the obvious connection. In the context of the book, it could equally be translated to "the miserable ones" but the meaning of "miserable" in the sense of those in poverty, repression etc; a more apt one would be "the discontented". However an equally good would be a concept around "unhappy" - so we get "the unhappy (or glum) ones".

        A few years before the original London production, there was a TV adaption of the sketch - this is the trailer for the DVD released in 2011. It does not feature the original actors playing "Ron" and "Eth" but they do sound very similar to them.

        Although produced in 1977/78, they would probably have been repeating the showings but certainly the radio or TV shows would have been in the back of the original cast's minds in 1985. "Les Miserables" is a bit of a mouthful so I understand they came up with the nickname. It did appear in one critic's review of the opening so the precise origin is clouded. It was however picked up as a nickname for the show for several years in London and I can certainly remember it being called that in the past few years.

        "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:45:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  One thing that always irritates me is when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    people refer to Les Mis and the French Revolution in the same sentence.  

    There is no higher achievement in life than to make a child laugh.

    by Fiddler On A Hot Tin Roof on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 07:58:00 AM PST

  •  I have only seen the play and the movie. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've seen the play about 4 times and took my kids to see it when they were young.  I saw the movie the week it came out, which is something, because I don't go to movies.  I think the songs are amazing.  

    I don't know that I could muddle through the book, but the story is so compelling and validates my belief/hope that humans are basically good (exception/Thérnardiers) and righteousness prevails. (And even the Thérnardiers produced righteous children.)

    It's a wonderful story.

    Research Shows Poverty Creates the Biggest Achievement Gap.

    by Desert Rose on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:34:19 PM PST

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