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Les Miserables

by Victor Hugo Chris Bohjalian Lee Fahnestock Norman Macafee

Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean--the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread--Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope--an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart. This Signet Classics edition is the ONLY completely unabridged paperback edition available today. Translated by Lee Fahnestock and Norman Macafee, based on the classic nineteenth-century Charles E. Wilbour translation With an Introduction by Lee Fahnestock and a New Afterword

Mute Objects of Expression

by Francis Ponge Lee Fahnestock

Francis Ponge boldly proclaims his poetic goal in Mute Objects of Expression: "To accept the challenge that objects offer to language." These objects--less chosen than received spontaneously--are perceived with inimitable Pongean humor and rendered into glimmering still lifes. He gives voice to the often unnoticed aspects of natural objects and beings. Shunning familiar poetic modes, Ponge forges new visions, images drawn from nature, from mythology and the classics. In this volume, springing from the Loire countryside in the early 1940s, Ponge's "prôems" recall the violent perfume of the mimosa, the cries of carnations, and the flirtations of wasps. From a small note- book, his sole supply of paper withinthe wartime deprivations, he composes repeated drafts of an innovative form combining poetry with analysis and impish play. Despite the demoralizing clouds of Occupation, Ponge wrests a soaring paean to his beloved sliver of Provence.

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