Like Hugo’s previous narratives, the later fiction reveals an arsenal of rhetorical and literary tactics for recuperating the past in order to shape the present, but with distinctly futuristic overtones. It is not enough to imagine a vision of national history; one must also create a vision of the future, a collective destiny. In his imaginative universe, the poetic, narrative, political, and philosophical works interanimate each other, finally merging into one gigantic, socially engaged œuvre. He sustained a deeply metaphorical dialogue among his own writings, as well as among the works of his literary rivals in the Western literary tradition. At the same time, we should recognize his vibrant capacity for reinvention, for continuous experimentation with mixing genres, especially the fusion of figurative language and mimetic reconstructions, to create uniquely poetic historical novels Vision, national history, collective destiny, imaginative universe, literary rivals, figurative language, mimetic reconstructions, historical novel
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