Excerpt from “Les Travailleurs de la Mer,” by Victor Hugo, 1866

Translated by Paul Ben-Itzak

“Imagine a deserted isle. The day after his arrival, Robinson creates a newspaper, and Friday subscribes…. Arrive, live, exist. Go where you want to go, do what you want to do, be who you want to be. No one has the right to know your name. Do you have your own god? Preach him. Do you have your own flag? Fly it. Where? In the street. It’s white? Fine. It’s blue? Excellent. It’s red? Red is a color. Does it please you to denounce the government? Get up on the podium and speak….. Think, speak, write, print, harangue — it’s your own business.”