A Hugo Connection

2009-04-04

Once you conceptualize things a certain way, you start to see your concepts everywhere. It's seductively dangerous. Case in point: here's evidence of the tetrad of thought, choice, action, and feeling in Hugo's Les Misérables (Volume 4, Book 7, Chapter 3):

The work of the eighteenth century is healthy and good and wholesome. The encyclopedists, Diderot at their head; the physiocrats, Turgot at their head; the philosophers, Voltaire at their head; the Utopians, Rousseau at their head -- these are four sacred legions. Humanity's immense advance towards the light is due to them. They are the four vanguards of the human race, marching towards the four cardinal points of progress. Diderot towards the beautiful, Turgot towards the useful, Voltaire towards the true, Rousseau towards the just.

I see the true as one goal of the power of thought, the just as one goal of the power of choice, the useful as one goal of the power of action, the beautiful as one goal of the power of feeling. Illusion? Perhaps, but it's yet another connection I can use in The Tao of Roark...


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