Phrenology, as everyone knows, is a way of reading someone’s character, aptitude, and abilities by examining the bumps and hollows on their head. Therefore–according to the kind of logical thinking that characterises the Ankh-Morpork mind–it should be possible to mould someone’s character by giving them carefully graded bumps in all the right places. You can go into a shop and order an artistic temperament with a tendency to introspection and a side order of hysteria. What you actually get is hit on the head with a selection of different size mallets, but it creates employment and keeps the money in circulation, and that’s the main thing.
Hannibal is pretty much my very favorite show, and in reaction to the cancellation news I wanted to join other fannibals in showing the amount of love we have for the amazing, lush television experience that Bryan Fuller has gifted us with. So here’s a slightly terrifying Hannibal phrenology bust! ENJOY, FELLOW FANNIBALS!!
I don't really know that much about Victor Hugo but I seen you mention his Opinions about foreheads a few times, would you mind explaining them to me?
Sure, this one’s pretty simple! As Victor Hugo things go XD
In Western Europe/the US in the early 19C, High Foreheads were considered a mark of an intelligent, superior, moral etc nature. The whole proto-phrenology/phrenology thing, you know? You keep your brains there, OBVIOUSLY High Forehead= More Awesome Brain Power!
(this is of course not at all how it works but like they were taking mercury internally as a recommended medicine, so. Terrible Theories were abundant.)
So that was in the popular culture already. Then ENTER VICTOR HUGO, who had..a Forehead. Like, it’s in all the caricatures of him. It got mentioned when people talked about him. As @fuckinwordsmithery has said, Hugo had a Fivehead. And he was SUPER PROUD of it.
(And he was also SUPER FAMOUS. So for a while in the 1830s and 1840s, Aspiring Artistic Trendy types would do what they could to increase their own foreheads, including shaving and plucking back their own hairlines. The Hugo Look!)
So pretty much all of Hugo’s Very Attractive characters, especially men, have SUPER FOREHEADS. Marius?
a lofty and intelligent brow. Enjolras? Much Forehead, Very Wow (like Much Horizon in a Landscape). Etc.
Just like Victor Hugo himself! What a wild coincidence!
(and conversely characters with LOW foreheads are the visual equivalent of getting an Ominous Background Theme Tune.)
Anyway, with the High Forehead thing, Hugo was using a reference he could rely on his contemporary audience to recognize–High Forehead=Superior Nature– and also reinforcing his own Super Hotness. So he does it a whole lot. XD