Book 5, Chapter 1, Abbas Beati Martini
In this chapter Frollo gets visitors. One is the King’s doctor and the other is hiding his identity. They debate and Frollo defends alchemy and says that the printing press will kill architecture. On the one hand, it’s an interesting chapter as it shows Frollo’s attitude in opposition to his peers and it sets up the next chapter but maybe it’s my mood, it’s not a favorite chapter of mine. It is interesting to see that medicine was treated with contempt “Medicine is the daughter of dreams” and alchemy was considered to be more scientific by Frollo.
Book 5, Chapter 2, The One Will Kill the Other
This chapter is self-indulgent and the opening paragraph admits it. Hugo once again stop the story but in this the case of this chapter it goes into the idea that Frollo brought up, that “the printing press will destroy the building.” To this chapter’s credit a few movies use this chapter as a very core theme. Basically what this chapter says is that architecture was the chief registrar of humanity. It showed advancement, it demonstrated philosophy and religion. Architecture celebrated ideas in it stones, it taught the masses. In cathedrals and church architecture it taught the bible to the people. Then the printing press came long and changed that. It was the latest technology and made words accessible and thus architecture’s place the cheif human advancement was surpassed. For a chapter that stops the novel to give an essay about modernity and technoical advancement from an 1830’s perceptive on medieval technology, it’s quite interesting. But this chapter can be skip if you want to read the story. However I do recommend reading sometime.