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Victor Hugo on Immortality

You say that the soul is nothing but the result of bodily powers. Why, then, is my soul the more luminous when my bodily powers begin to fail? Winter is on my head, and eternal spring is in my heart. For half-a-century I have been writing my thoughts in prose, verse, history, philosophy, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode, song. I have tried all. But I feel that I have not said the thousandth part of what is in me. When I go down to the grave I can say, like so many others: "I have finished my day’s work." But I cannot say, "I have finished my life." My day’s work will begin the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare. It closes in the twilight to appear with the dawn. I improve every hour because I love this world as my father-land. My work is only a beginning. My work is hardly above its foundation. would be glad to see it mounting and mounting forever. The thirst for the infinite means infinity.

For life, with all it yields of joy and woe,
And hope, and fear...
Is just our chance o’ the prize of learning love.
—Robert Browning

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Victor Hugo

  • Born on February 26th, 1802 in Besançon, France and died on May, 22nd 1885
  • French poet and author
  • Authored Les Misérables
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