Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

by Brian Selznick

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:01 am

What is Hugo's invention?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby Buster » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:47 am

When you wind it up, it can do something I'm sure no other autumaton in the world can do, It can tell you the incredible story of Georges Melies, his wife, their goddaughter, and a beloved clock maker whose son grew up to be a magician. The complicated machinery inside my automaton can produce.....these words.


By inventing an automaton that tells his story, Hugo has effectively invented (or re-invented) himself.
Makes me wonder a bit if resurrection isn't a main theme of this book.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby ladylinn » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:41 am

Perhaps Hugo's invention was a talking - story telling automaton.

Buster - makes me wonder a bit if resurrection isn't a main theme of this book.


Interesting thought Buster.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby fansmom » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:23 pm

Hugo is a little young for this to be a coming-of-age novel, but I'd just figured his invention was himself and his place in the world.

Resurrection. Hmmm . . . .

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby Bix » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:03 pm

I agree that Hugo's invention was himself. I thought as I was reading the book that while I had been thinking of the title as meaning "Hugo Cabret's invention," it actually might be supposed to mean "the invention of the person who is Hugo Cabret". Does that make any sense? It does to me, but when I write it down, I'm not sure I conveyed what I want to say.
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby Liz » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:09 pm

I tended to take a lot of things in this story at face value. That has been my downfall in this discussion. You guys have made me see the light, as it were. :ohyes:

So it had not occurred to me that he had invented himself. But I think that you have nailed it on the head. :cool:

Buster, your idea about resurrection brings to mind liver regeneration (Prometheus). One could take that to mean re-invention or resurrection.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby Buster » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:27 pm

Liz wrote:
Buster, your idea about resurrection brings to mind liver regeneration (Prometheus). One could take that to mean re-invention or resurrection.

I hadn't considered Prometheus' liver, but it works for me. I was thinking more that the automaton was resurrected, Georges' films were rediscovered and revealed, which could be seen as a resurrection, and Hugo came out of his own catacomb of sorts - his grim life alone in the railway station.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:08 pm

Bix wrote:I agree that Hugo's invention was himself. I thought as I was reading the book that while I had been thinking of the title as meaning "Hugo Cabret's invention," it actually might be supposed to mean "the invention of the person who is Hugo Cabret". Does that make any sense? It does to me, but when I write it down, I'm not sure I conveyed what I want to say.


Bix, that is exactly what I thought! He struggled through all his trials and by enduring them and helping others to invent themselves he learned who he was and found himself.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby IngridN » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:39 pm

I am not an english native speaker and every now and then I have to look up words in my english-dutch dictionary.
For" invention "the first translation shows the meaning of inventing something but there is also a second translation which translated back
into english is: resourceful, imaginative, ingenious.
So could the title be translated to": The resourcefulness/ingeniousness of Hugo Cabret?
:perplexed:
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:20 pm

Interesting question, IngridN and it certainly fits Hugo. That definition also fits the word "inventiveness".
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby gemini » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:23 pm

Duh, Before this question, I forgot "Invention" was in the title. I guess I am a face value person too because I didn’t even think of it. I can’t even use the excuse that it isn’t in my language so I feel for you IngredN. Now that you ladies have enlightened me, I would agree it must be himself. He went from little lonely Hugo to a one day confident Professor Alcofrisbas.
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby fireflydances » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:26 pm

I won't try to re-state what others have said so very well, so instead an interesting quote from Ernest Hemingway (For Whom The Bell Tolls)

"From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive."
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #17 ~ The Invention

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:58 am

Very nice, firefly! :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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