okay I saw someone in my notes being sad that they never hear any positive Victor Hugo stories
(honestly most Victor Hugo stories are just bizarre, like how do you even rank the seance thing or the bat present, like at a certain point there just has to be a classification off the good/bad beam that’s just “Romantic” so everyone can get on with life , but I digress)
Anyway I was reading Alexandre Dumas’ memoirs, and apparently early in his career, after a lag caused by multiple censor bans and refusals for all the usual show biz profit reaons, he had put on a play for a sort of Society Preview to get assessed to see if it would keep going? As you do (oh gad French theater in the 20s-30s was so big and so complicated please don’t ask me to explain it all right here but anyway)
and it was a success! But he had to do multiple edits to get permission to make it an ongoing play! Which, okay, he could do that! Except he also had to have an opening night party and entertain the Right People to get this play to be successul! Like, really, had to. So he wines and dines and schmoozes the necessary schmoozing all night and THEN has to go and look at his play and try to be creative and make necessary edits at Why O’Clock in the early morning–
and all the edits were already done. Done really well, by someone really good who totally knew the sort of thing Dumas would have written himself. And it was Why O’Clock in the morning, so he didn’t question the Magic Editing Elves too closely, he was just grateful and went to bed.
But Dumas found out later from a mutual friend who’d been in on it that Hugo and another friend had snuck into the writing studio while the party was going on and done the edits without telling anyone
because they were buddies and buddies do that
even in the memoirs years later Dumas is like YES HIGH FIVE THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY BACON PAL
so there you go, Victor Hugo, Study Buddy and Stealth Assistant Editor FOR FRIENDSHIP.