Re-Reading Les Misérables

Thoughts and commentary on Victor Hugo’s masterpiece.

Third Time Through

I finished reading Les Misérables for the third time on Wednesday. Yes, I sought escape from reading about current events by reading about how the hero of the book ultimately succumbs to depression and self-loathing, cuts himself off from his loved ones and starves himself to death.

Six months of lunch hours as I found, time and again, that a 150-year old book set 200 years ago on another continent continues to be relevant in ways I wish it wasn’t.

I wish everyone had the time and patience to read it. I think a lot of people would gain valuable perspective from it. Or not. There are people who read or watch superheroes, and take the use of power as the lesson, not the efforts to help the powerless.

Fiction can’t prove a point about about reality, but it can make you think about it, and consider connections or perspectives that you might not have considered before. And that’s a very valuable thing.