I picked up reading Les Misérables earlier in the year. I wrote this half-way through as a personal reflection, but it’s just been collecting dust in my drafts box ever since. Every time I’d work on it, it’d get too personal and I’d be overcome with anxiety to post it. But with the growth and transformation I’ve had in the past half year, a lot of these words and thoughts have lost their sensitivity, and I have little reserves of holding back.
Reading through Les Misérables, a book I adored in my adolescence, I was remembered all over again how big an impression that novel had on me growing up.
The first time reading Hugo’s novel, I was 15, back in high school. I only got a quarter through— never even saw the barricades rise. But that was fine by me. Back then, the whole epic tale of a thousand-so-pages all dissolved and faded behind nothing more than the beautiful tale between Valjean and Cossette. That was the center; everything else was relative. Marius I cared nothing for, a minor role; his love with Cossette a mere side-plot, or conclusion, to that of her and Valjean. The barricades, the revolutionaries, Javert and the social commentaries; all of it was all just added color drowned behind the relationship of the kind convict and his little orphan. The rest was all just to show what a father would go through for love of his daughter.
And I realized now this sheds a little light into the life I had as a kid.