Allie (cosmicautumn) wrote in prouvaire,

The Man Who Laughs

I was reading an article on the director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) and I came across an interesting Hugo reference. Apparently his 2001 film, The Devil's Backbone, was inspired by Victor Hugo's novel The Man Who Laughs. That's one Hugo novel I've never read, but the description is really intriguing:

In one of his favourite Victor Hugo novels, The Man Who Laughs, there is a group of men called the Comprachicos, the buyers of children. They make their living by deliberately distorting and disfiguring the young, and then selling them as novelties: servants, beggars or carnival attractions. The title character has a permanent grin carved into his face with a knife. One of their techniques is to grow babies in jars, so that they take on the distorting shape of the containers they are confined in.

"And I think that's what the world does to kids," del Toro says.

"You are born into your family jar and you grow into the shape of it, and the rest of your life you are limping like a motherf---er."

Full article: Unravelling the entrails of the mind

(And if you haven't seen Pan's Labyrinth, it's probably at your dollar theater right now. I highly recommend it!)
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