I had kind of a weird revelation in the shower about the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Uh, let me back track a bit, that sounds weird.
So in my new job at the aquarium, part of what I have to do is what is called a ‘dive show’, which basically means you go down into the aquarium, there’s creepy music and a voice-over that plays on the speakers, and a diver shows the audience various animals. My job is to narrate the show and control the volume and lights and stuff like that. Anyway part of the voice-over thing is an exerpt from something Victor Hugo wrote about being eaten alive by an octopus.
So later on my new workmates and I got to talking, and we couldn’t remember what Victor Hugo was famous for.
“Didn’t he write ‘Around the world in Eighty Days?'”
“No, that was Jules Verne”
“I think he wrote Frankenstein or something to do with monsters.”
“No, it was something French! I think he wrote Les Miserables!”
“Oh yeah, that’s it.”
Anyway, I must have been thinking about the dive shows while I was in the shower last night and realized that he also wrote the Hunchback of Notre Dame, that was the monster we had been thinking of. And I thought some more about Quasimodo. And then about hunchbacks.
Wait…hunchbacks…are not … monsters.
Somehow, maybe because my only real experience with the Hunchback of Notre Dame has been in story form and the Disney movie, I never put it together that Quasimodo was just a man with a weird back.
I had him in the category of Bigfoot and Nessie and Frankenstein’s Monster for my entire life. In reality, he would have been some sad boy with terrible spinal problems who was shunned and hidden away in a church.