God and The End of Satan / Dieu et la fin de satan

Written by Victor Hugo | Translated by R. G. Skinner
God and The End of Satan / Dieu and La Fin de Satan
by Victor Hugo
Translated by R. G. Skinner
(Swan Isle Press, 2014)

While living in exile with his family on the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy, Victor Hugo wrote some of his greatest poetry and prose, including Les Misérables and two epic poems: Dieu and La Fin de SatanDieu pictures the imaginary search for God by a nameless protagonist, who must face the possibility of failure in this quest. La Fin de Satan, an indictment of prison, war, and capital punishment, depicts an attempt at reconciliation between good and evil. 

This book brings together abbreviated editions of these two book-length poems—unfinished and unpublished at the time of the author’s death—comprised of selections that capture their visionary and mystical essence. The poems are accompanied by an introduction framing them within the author’s experience as an exile and tracing their publication history. 

Victor Hugo is one of the most important figures in the history of French literature, and this beautifully rendered translation brings two of his lesser-known works deservedly to the forefront.

More info

Praise

"These late works—rendered into English by R. G. Skinner—are the culminating achievement of a writer who constantly wrestled at the intersection of the head and the heart, and there at that crossroads tried to find avenues into the deepest reaches of humanness. Reminiscent of William Blake’s late mythologies and Leo Tolstoy’s final ‘mystical’ period, they should be read for their insight into Hugo’s art, for the artistry that emerged from the mixing of intellectual memory and aging desire in this engaged artist and intellectual, and for the subject itself: the universe of good and evil."
Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation and editor of The Collected Poems of Marcel Proust
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

The Thursday Night Men

Every Thursday night at 7 o’clock a group of three men meet in Paris. Each man’s life, his story, his situation, is as different from the others’ as can be. What unites them is heartache. Trouble, that is, with women.
new titles

The Society of Equals

An ambitious transatlantic history of the struggles that, for two centuries, put political and economic equality at their heart, The Society of Equals calls for a new philosophy of social relations to re-energize egalitarian politics. According to Pierre Rosanvallon, there is no returning to the days of the redistributive welfare state. Rather than resort to outdated notions of social solidarity, we must instead revitalize the idea of equality according to principles of singularity, reciprocity, and communality that more accurately reflect today’s realities.
new titles

Nature is a Battlefield: Towards a Political Ecology

In the midst of the current ecological crisis, there is often lofty talk of the need for humanity to ‘overcome its divisions’ and work together to tackle the big challenges of our time. But as this new book by Razmig Keucheyan shows, the real picture is very different.