Dear Victor Hugo on your birthday,


Thank you for writing Les Miserables. It means a lot (probably too much) to me.

But mostly I want to say. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry your book is still relevant. I’m sorry your lessons fell on deaf ears. We are destroying our world through corruption and power and your writing has become more relevant than ever.

You state in your preface “as long as there is misery in the world books like this will be useful” but to think that in 2017, almost 200 years later, those words still ring true? It’s awful. So much has changed in the world, yet fundamentally the problems you address in your preface – and in the 1500 pages that follow – have barely shrunk a measurable amount.

Your book is an award winning musical now. It was filmed with a star-studded cast. It has had so many adaptation both for screen and radio I honestly cannot count them.
And yet nothing has changed.

I love your book. I think about it constantly. It is a work of genius and care to the extent I have not seen before. So this is a thank you for writing it.
But I hate that it is still relevant and I am sorry that your book is still useful.