Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, H-71.2 : Victor Hugo, <i>Oh ! N'insultez jamais une femme qui tombe</i>, signed autograph
AbstractThis famous poem, probably written on 6 September 1835, is part of the composite manuscript Les chants du crépuscule that was published in the same year. Hugo movingly denounces the condition of prostitutes: he actually invites the reader to sympathize with rather than despise the “fallen women”. This symbolic vocabulary, usually denoting moral depravity, is used here not to convey a fault, but to express the courage of women who long struggled against the inevitability of the burden of misery before succumbing to it. Far from a moralizing Manicheism, Hugo assigns faults generally attributed to these women also to “à toi, riche ! à ton or”, pointing a finger at the injustice of a social system lacking any distribution of wealth as well as “à nous”, each citizen whose regard is not charitable enough. This manuscript presents a slight variation of the printed text since it reads: “s’y retenir longtemps de leurs mains épuisées” instead of “s’y cramponner longtemps”.
Datenot dated :: notBefore 1835 :: notAfter 1835
oai:Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, H-71.2