The Fire in Fiction

April 18, 2019 | 1 book mentioned

When tragedy hits, what do we read? In the wake of the Notre Dame fire in Paris, at least, the answer is 19th-century fiction: Victor Hugo’s classic novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame has risen to the top of France’s bestseller list, with multiple editions of the book filling five out of the top 10 slots. As this Guardian article points out, many critics have suggested that the cathedral is the true protagonist of the novel—and, obviously, of the Disney adaptation.

Image credit: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

is a staff writer for The Millions. Born and raised in New York, she now lives in the Midwest, where she is a PhD student in American literature.

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