त्या कादंबरीवरती 'The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of ‘Les Misérables’ by David Bellos हे पुस्तक प्रसिद्ध झाल्यावर त्याची दोन-तीन परीक्षणे वाचली.
त्यातील टीम पार्क्स यांचे लंडन रिव्यू ऑफ बुक्स मधले परीक्षण फार आवडले:
"...The discovery of his adultery exposed Hugo to ridicule around the time he began Les Misérables, a book that opens, we remember, with a long account of a man who having ‘given the best years of his life … to worldly pursuits and love affairs’ becomes a priest, a prelate and ultimately a kind of saint. ‘People joked,’ Bellos remarks, ‘that [Hugo] must be doing penance for his unsaintly behaviour,’ but declares himself sceptical of this ‘moralising approach’ or of any idea that a troubled Hugo might have looked for ‘refuge in an uplifting tale’. Rather, ‘the main impact of the Biard affair’ was to convince Hugo to ‘write about everything except that’. The novel ‘is unusual … for not talking at any point about adultery or even sex’...
. Les Misérables is built on a gesture of simplification, even denial...."
सेक्स नाही, त्यामुळे साने गुरुजींना पण एक comfort feeling, अनुवाद करताना आल असणार.
"For all Bellos’s insistence that Hugo did careful research and has his facts right, we are very far from realism. To turn to Madame Bovary, published six years before Hugo’s novel and equally interested in the hypocrisies of the middle classes, is to find oneself in a world of social and psychological subtlety that simply isn’t there in Les Misérables, isn’t attempted. Essentially, Hugo has split society into innocent and loveable victims (viewed in great detail), callously complacent middle classes (who remain, for all their proper Christian and surnames, an anonymous chorus) and magnificent (Hugo-like), strangely powerful saints."
खालील वाचून मात्र गुरुजींना धक्का नक्कीच बसला असता: