How the afternoon got away from me, but not from Victor Hugo.

Only writer's cramp made Hugo miserable.
Only writer’s cramp made Hugo miserable.

Here’s why it was better to be Victor Hugo back in the day.

There were no computers back in 1862 when Hugo published “Les Miserables.” He wrote every word of roughly 530,000 without the help of spell-check.

When inspiration struck, he grabbed a tablet and scribbled away.

Few artistic epiphanies got lost in the shuffle while Hugo:

  1. Replaced the lithium batteries in both his keyboard and his touchpad, while wondering for the sixteen-thousandth time what to do with the pile of worn-out lithium batteries that surrounded him.
  2. Updated the password-storage program that held the electronic keys to his computer’s word processing system. Because this involved a multi-step set of instructions for removing the old extensions from three different Internet browsers, this required brewing a cup of tea.
  3. Updated his computer’s central operating system because the password storage device could not be updated on such a rickety old operating system.
  4. Turned on his word processor after an hour and forty-five minutes of putzing around, only to be met with an insistent message that it has grave security weaknesses and may be hacked at any moment by literary pirates.

Yeah, Victor Hugo had it good.

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