Note added to the Definitive Edition.
It is by mistake that this edition was announced as
augmented by many new chapters. The word should have been
unpublished. In fact, if by new, newly made is to be
understood, the chapters added to this edition are not new.
They were written at the same time as the rest of the work;
they date from the same epoch, and sprang from the same
thought, they have always formed a part of the manuscript of
"Notre-Dame-de-Paris." Moreover, the author cannot comprehend
how fresh developments could be added to a work of this
character after its completion. This is not to be done at
will. According to his idea, a romance is born in a manner
that is, in some sort, necessary, with all its chapters; a drama
is born with all its scenes. Think not that there is anything
arbitrary in the numbers of parts of which that whole, that
mysterious microcosm which you call a drama or a romance,
is composed. Grafting and soldering take badly on works of
this nature, which should gush forth in a single stream and
so remain. The thing once done, do not change your mind,
do not touch it up. The book once published, the sex of
the work, whether virile or not, has been recognized and
proclaimed; when the child has once uttered his first cry he
is born, there he is, he is made so, neither father nor mother
can do anything, he belongs to the air and to the sun, let
him live or die, such as he is. Has your book been a failure?
So much the worse. Add no chapters to an unsuccessful
book. Is it incomplete? You should have completed it
when you conceived it. Is your tree crooked? You cannot
straighten it up. Is your romance consumptive? Is your
romance not capable of living? You cannot supply it with
the breath which it lacks. Has your drama been born lame?
Take my advice, and do not provide it with a wooden leg.
Hence the author attaches particular importance to the
public knowing for a certainty that the chapters here added
have not been made expressly for this reprint. They were
not published in the preceding editions of the book for a very
simple reason. At the time when "Notre-Dame-de-Paris" was
printed the first time, the manuscript of these three chapters
had been mislaid. It was necessary to rewrite them or to
dispense with them. The author considered that the only
two of these chapters which were in the least important,
owing to their extent, were chapters on art and history which
in no way interfered with the groundwork of the drama and
the romance, that the public would not notice their loss,
and that he, the author, would alone be in possession of the
secret. He decided to omit them, and then, if the whole
truth must be confessed, his indolence shrunk from the task
of rewriting the three lost chapters. He would have found it
a shorter matter to make a new romance.