Victor Hugo is a French author and poet famous for The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables. He wrote stories that are considered some of the greatest romances of all time. While I appreciate the classic nature of these stories I’ve never gotten swooped up in the romantic happily ever after story of it all. To say the least, Victor Hugo does not come up much in my day to day life. (Sorry my dedicated lit professors! :s)
While Victor might have been squeezed from my day to day conversation he is still very much alive here in Mali. Many of my Malian girlfriends are beautiful hopeless romantics. They are waiting for a prince charming to come and treat them like a queen and live happily ever after. Because of this hopeless romanticism, people often say “you’re a hugo-ist” when their friends’ romanticism sweeps them off their feet and they day dream of that dream world.
I am often discouraged and hence really hard on the Malian education system. I just feel like it is a missed opportunity to not equip the younger generations with the basic tools to innovate new solutions to the country’s biggest challenges. And then there are these suddle references to classic literature and another understanding of the world.
All I can say is it makes me appreciate Victor Hugo in a new way.