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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Bug-Jargal by Victor Hugo. Bug-Jargal by Victor Hugo. Bug-Jargal is one of the most important works of nineteenth-century colonial fiction, and quite possibly the most sustained novelistic treatment of the Haitian Revolution by a major European author.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published July 26th by Broadview Press Inc first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Bug-Jargal , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3.

Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Bug-Jargal. First published in The novel follows a friendship between the enslaved African prince of the title and a French military officer named Leopold D'Auverney during the tumultuous early years of the Haitian Revolution.

Nov 09, classic reverie rated it it was amazing Shelves: , french-writers , hugo , first-novel-by-author , war-related , poltical-bend , romance , suspense , tragedy , favorites. When I saw that Victor Hugo's first novel written in was Bug-Jargal, I did not know it would be on my list of favorites. Last year I read Les Miserables which ended up on my ultimate favorites so I should not have been that surprised.

The Haitian Revolution is the driving force of the story but in no means the main story which is of two men different in skin tone but with more in common than not. Slavery has been going on since time began but only recently over the last centuries has the in When I saw that Victor Hugo's first novel written in was Bug-Jargal, I did not know it would be on my list of favorites.

Slavery has been going on since time began but only recently over the last centuries has the inhumanity of this caused mankind to seek freedom for all, but sadly we still hear of this abominable evil still exist in this modern world. That being said I thought Victor Hugo was far ahead of his time in regards to showing man to be cruel, deceitful and evil but also honorable, kind, having camaraderie, good and lenient on both sides.

Hugo gives examples of both sides with those tendencies and shows the inhumanity of brutal and cruel acts of slavery. He talks about the duplicity shown an African King by a ship's captain who promises so much but sells the whole family into slavery and separating them.

This is a favorite of mine because the relationship between both main characters which despite their trials are true to each other. Right away you know that Leopold looks for death without the usual worry because all his family has been lost. He then tells the story of Bug Jargal and his dog Rask. What also for me was a driving force was the romance element. This story is gloomy but it has a kind of gentle happiness which makes it a favorite for me.

I did not read this edition but a collection of his works, where my notes are placed. Oct 22, Mostafa Naghizadeh rated it really liked it. Aug 06, Rodrigo rated it liked it. An unexpected Hugo's novel. One can tell this is one of his first works. Not because it is not well written or so. As in every Hugo's novel, the language is just exquisit, but he doesn't get as deep as he later got describing human emotions and feelings, as you can see, for instance, in "Notre Dame de Paris".

Beside, the subject, the place, the characters, didn't seem to me what I would expect from Hugo. So different.. One thing: sometimes, during the reading, I couldn't tell wh An unexpected Hugo's novel. One thing: sometimes, during the reading, I couldn't tell whether Hugo was defending freedom and human rights some of main Hugo's favorite themes , or he was on the side of the french masters. Nice novel, easy reading. Bug-Jargal est le 1er roman de Victor Hugo. Jul 11, Christian Robertson rated it really liked it.

Of all the love stories written in and set amidst the Haitian slave revolt Night and the day, when united, Bring forth the light.

I am an addict. Yet I do not scrounge for my fix, nor do I hope for it. But when I find it, I harken back to all the previous times when it satisfied me and shiver at the shock of its course. Then again, my drug fills everything and everytime. My needle and my pipe neither inject nor bellow smoke but rather peel away the layers of exhaustive thinking which blanket the brilliance of my drug.

When concluding a book, certain last sentences release Night and the day, when united, Bring forth the light. When concluding a book, certain last sentences release the unutterable radiance of understanding - not an idea or a smart conjecture, but something already in existence, simply noticed.

And I reach the high of a blown mind. No other writer, for me, deserves my unwavering trust to fulfill my need for this graceful electricity. Bug-Jargal , albeit an overly-romantic novella, measures the quality of humanity in its capacity for true justice, honor, friendship, sacrifice, love, vengeance and failure.

Hugo bases the story on the Haitian slave uprising in the late 18th century. His protagonist, Captain Leopold D'Auverney, narrates his experience during the uprising. Hugo knits the entire story in the first-person narrative style which, in my opinion, adds a certain level of fallibility but humanity to it.

I shutter to hear some readers chastise this work as inexcusably racist when the white Captain, a product of French imperialism and racial injustice, tells the story! And tell me: if the events dictated from his perspective began as morally obligatory to sensitive racial issues, what room is left for Hugo to transform the Captain himself? His judgement throughout the narrative had proven erroneous so why wouldn't we, the reader, condemn him as a bigot with an opportunity for redemption rather than chastise the book as a promotion for racist sentiments?

Hugo layers his theme of justice and brotherhood through personal and societal levels. After the uprising, D'Auverney describes the character of the newly formed black army which, after several examples brilliantly symbolic of mental and physical oppression, simply emulates the oppressions of their white masters.

Hugo readily condemns nearly every suppressive weapon employed by those in power by mirroring their uses by blacks on whites. Some readers may choose to end their reasoning here and enjoy the ignorant comforts of condemning one race for attempting to right a wrong with the same wrong - and thereby defending their wrong by displacing it on those perpetrating the same evil.

In either case, the cycle of vengeance never ends! Where some see evil, reason to fear and hate, I see humanity! I see equality! Hugo also sees disease - which spreads through all close-quarter groups whether in the grips of battle or the beds of separate peace. Pierrot, a slave with a mighty history, patrols these happenings like Dostoevsky's Christ visiting the Spanish Inquisition.

He both commands obedience and the worship of his fellow slaves and befriends our captain. The nature of their relationship and the intrigue of his character add a particularly romantic, mystical and entirely fascinating element to the novella, which I will not spoil here.

But I found their relationship and the circumstances which cultivated it starkly different from the relationship between the groups of blacks and whites. For D'Auverney and Pierrot, two individuals guided by virtue rather than vengeance, love for humanity rather than brother, the end proved bitter in a bloated and selfish worldly system without space for their substance.

My drug paraphernalia reads, 'Who can tell if the bullets of the enemy nay not have spared his head for his country's guillotine? But a man who fights to liberate humanity, a true liberation of all life, will not only find an enemy in evil but also in those he seeks to save. In order to transcend such opposition, at both ends of the power pendulum , the liberator must honor his code of virtue, as opposed to the approach taken by oppressors, even to an unjust and ungrateful end for the sake of righteous living under the dictation of justice and love rather than pride, for the sake of all people whom he endeavors to liberate.

Through both Pierrot and the captain life itself seemed liberated from the chains of injured pride and hateful recompense. Where both white and black stood enslaved to the guttural urge to take the other eye, to shift power from one to the other only to perpetrate the same lingering evil, two men willfully succumbed to the graces of virtue, the abandonment of that evil, and the best of enlightened man.

In this sense, we can all be "the slave become king, the prisoner a liberator. Feb 29, Jon Glatfelter rated it really liked it.



Access options available:. Translated into English and Spanish and reissued in French in multiple editions over a thirty year period, Bug-Jargal takes as its explicit subject the Haitian Revolution. Referring explicitly to the Franco-Haitian ordinance belatedly recognizing Haitian independence at the cost of imposing a crushing national debt owed to France , Hugo gestures here toward the kind of fractured timeline needed to bring a Francophone Haitian dimension to a trans-American literary itinerary periodized by established national-imperial histories. In this process of historical foreclosure and reverse adaptation, Hugo performs multiple acts of translation. A French novel filled with Spanish and Creole words and phrases, some footnoted and translated, others not, Bug-Jargal appears to be as intensely ambivalent about the possibilities of translation as it is about the Haitian Revolution. As Hugo translates purportedly nonfictional sources into a fictive narrative, buttressed by an elaborate apparatus of sixty-plus footnotes, the novel approximates the necessarily multilingual pathways that historical research would have to take by highlighting the many social scales of language use from which these sources might have emerged: metropolitan British and American English; proper and pidgin Spanish; the French of the capital and the colony; the patois of plotting slaves who had been exposed to all of these as well as to African tribal and trade languages Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.


Signs of origin: Victor Hugo's Bug-Jargal

Bug-Jargal is a novel by the French writer Victor Hugo. The novel follows a friendship between the enslaved African prince of the title and a French military officer named Leopold D'Auverney during the tumultuous early years of the Haitian Revolution. Hugo later claimed that the story was to have been part of a collaborative work called Contes sous la Tente Tales under a Tent , and that he had written it in at the age of sixteen in two weeks; the manuscript is however dated April Several translations into English exist. The first, a modified version with the title The Slave-King , was published in The only modern translation is by Chris Bongie and was published in

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