Hugo on octopuses

At certain moments one is tempted to think that the intangible forms which float through our vision encounter in the realm of the possible, certain magnetic centres to which their lineaments cling, and that from these obscure fixations of the living dream, beings spring forth. The unknown has the marvelous at its disposal, and it makes use of it to compose the monster. Orpheus, Homer, and Hesiod were only able to make the Chimæra: God made the octopus.
When God wills it, he excels in the execrable.
—Victor Hugo, The Toilers of the Sea, trans. Isabel Florence Hapgood (1866/1888)

Also evidence for the argument that Hugo is a precursor (Borgesian, not Bloomian) of Lovecraft.

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