Talk:Victor Hugo

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Former good article Victor Hugo was one of the Language and literature good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 4, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
November 8, 2006 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article

Citations Needed[edit]

There are very few citations for the vast amount of information provided. For example, the sections "Life", , "Writings", "Political life and exile", and "Declining years and death" have a total of 3 citations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

For sections in which citations are needed, can you find a less glaring way of pointing this out? It really detracts from the reading experience to see a superscript "citation needed" at the end of every sentence. I know these pages are a work in progress, but that doesn't mean they have to look like one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:18, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

In the intro when it says "citation needed" for the republicanism, you can cite with ""Hugo, Victor." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2013. <>." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:29, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

The story of the Parisian squid fad has been "citation needed" for 5 years or more. Everything I can find on the internet is traveable to here, AFAIK. It looks prankish to me. I'm not a Wiki regular or a Hugo expert or a Paris expert so I won't delete. Someone should look at it though. John Emerson — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:46, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I've added citations everywhere that it says citation needed. Any other areas? I am trying to improve the quality of this article to remove the boxes at the top and could use some suggestions. --GoldCoastPrior (talk) 02:34, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Reasons for GA Delisting[edit]

This article's GA status has been revoked because it fails criterion 2. b. of 'What is a Good Article?', which states;

(b) the citation of its sources using inline citations is required (this criterion is disputed by editors on Physics and Mathematics pages who have proposed a subject-specific guideline on citation, as well as some other editors — see talk page).

The famous telegram - apocryphal?[edit]

WP:Reference Desk to the rescue once again!

The story of the minimal telegram exchange is well known, but it may well be apocryphal. See the following exchange at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities#What is the origin of represent getting an idea by a light bulb?:

The general concept of using a symbol to represent what would normally be represented by words goes back at at least as early as 1862, when Victor Hugo sent a telegram to his publishers to ask how Les Misérables was selling. His query was, in its entirety: ?. The response was, in its entirety: !. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:42, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the charming Victor Hugo story is nonfactual. It's a variant of an earlier story, around since at least 1854, in which "0" represented no news (so I guess we can say that using a symbol instead of words goes back at least that far). Here's the story from Yankee Notions, vol. 3, p. 363 (1854): "But the shortest correspondence on record is the one between an American merchant in want of news and his London agent. The letter ran thus:  ? And the answer thus: 0 Being the briefest possible intimation that there was nothing stirring."
Thank you, dear anonymous editor. I'll pass this info on to the good folks at Talk:Victor Hugo, because it's currently mentioned in his article. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:31, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

My highlighting etc. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:49, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

One obvious problem with the story is that telegrams (at least English ones, which of course these weren't) didn't usually use punctuation marks, hence the use of the word STOP to represent a full stop, and I think QUERY for a question mark. See here for some instructions from 1928. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 23:47, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
I'm the anonymous editor. (I didn't mean to be anonymous, but just forgot to sign my post.) The story is pretty clearly apocryphal. There is some discussion here. In our rather troubled article on telegram style, the author is said to be Oscar Wilde, not Hugo. John M Baker (talk) 16:17, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
The Guinness Book of Records (the copy I possess being published in 1972, page 92, under side heading "Shortest Letter" (to an Editor)), states: The shortest correspondence on record was that between Victor Marie Hugo (1802-85) and his publisher Hurst and Blackett in 1862. The author was on holiday and anxious to know how his new novel Les Miserables was selling. He wrote ?. The reply was !.
I recall one of the McWhirter brothers (then both living), the book's compilers, mentioning this on the British TV programme "Record Breakers" (presenter Roy Castle) in the 1970s. Note that the GBR does NOT call it a telegram.Cloptonson (talk) 20:39, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Do we have a view on whether the Guinness Book of Records is RS? My impression is that it's pretty reliable on some records, but not so much on others. John M Baker (talk) 15:10, 29 April 2014 (UTC)


Article unclear. Says his mother had a lover. Later says his father was an officer. Who was his father? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

The article is explicit about who her father is. The possible lover, Lahorie, is unrelated to the father. Please correct if you feel this is unclear. --GoldCoastPrior (talk) 02:24, 14 September 2015 (UTC)


Why are so many Hispanic males given the names Victor Hugo (e.g. Victor Hugo Garcia)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:18, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

File:Victor Hugo by Étienne Carjat 1876 - full.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Victor Hugo by Étienne Carjat 1876 - full.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on February 26, 2016. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2016-02-26. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 23:46, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (1802–1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement who is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. He is recognized for his poetry, including Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles, as well as the novels The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831) and Les Misérables (1862). Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo later changed his views and became a passionate supporter of republicanism; his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and the artistic trends of his time. His legacy has been honoured in many ways; for some years his portrait appeared on the 5-franc banknote.

Photograph: Étienne Carjat; restoration: Scewing
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