Victor Hugo’s Devil-Fish

An article on the impact of Victor Hugo’s representation of the octopus in “Les Travailleurs de la Mer” (Toilers of the Sea). This article was published a few years after Travaillieurs was published in French in 1866 and later that year in English (in New York). “THE OCTOPUS—DEVIL-FISH—OR MAN-SUCKER." Kapunda Herald and Northern Intelligencer (SA : 1864 – 1878) 19 […]

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Victor Hugo As Apollo and Gillatt

Victor Hugo as both Apollo (the lyre) and Gilliatt (from ‘Toilers of the Sea’). Artist: G. Deloyoti. Published as front cover of “Le Hanneton” 6 June, 1867 issue no. 17.  This is not a political cartoon, but I thought it relevant given Victor Hugo’s role in the development the octopus metaphor. Image Source: bridgeman.co.uk

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The following post aims to show links between Victor Hugo’s The Toilers of the Sea and some of the earlier octopus political cartoons from the books publication in 1866 to 1910 when obvious references to Hugo’s pieuvre disappeared. Page numbers and quotes come from the following edition (English translation): Hugo, Victor. The Toilers of the Sea. […]

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The cephalopod – terrestrial devil fish – a monster of centralization (?) (1873) This is the earliest cartoon (1873) in my collection of the octopus as a metaphor for an industry. The presence of the cave, and the timing1 would suggest an Victor Hugo influence. It also precedes the ‘burst’ of octopus cartoons in the1880s […]

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“The Modern Devil Fish” was (re)published July1 1925 in the Chicago Tribune. The is a caption beneath the cartoon that reads ‘”The tentacles of the Devil Fish cannot be destroyed unless the HEAD, the source of their sustaining power, is destroyed.” – Victor Hugo “Toilers of the Sea”‘2. The cartoon is an incitement to vote (the […]

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Les “viles” tentaculaires : réquisitions satiriques de la pieuvre (Monocelet, 2003)

A short post to point out this article (in French): Moncelet, C. (2003) Ridiculosa N°10, Les Animaux pour le dire, Université de Bretagne occidentale/ Université de Limoge, p. 43-60. Moncelet notes the pieuvre or monstrous octopus originates with Victor Hugo’s “Travailleurs de la Mer” (Toilers/Workers of the Sea). I find this interesting as I am […]

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