Select manuscript from this collection: Cod. Bodmer 1  H-51.6 H-71.3  V-7.2  181/195
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Country of Location
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Library / Collection
Fondation Martin Bodmer
Manuscript Title:
Manuscript Title
Victor Hugo, Oh ! N'insultez jamais une femme qui tombe, signed autograph
Paper · 1 f. · 28.6 x 26.4 cm · not dated
Manuscript Summary:
Manuscript Summary
This 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”. (giv)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
DOI (Digital Object Identifier
10.5076/e-codices-fmb-ms-Hugo-H-071-002 (
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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, H-71.2: Victor Hugo, Oh ! N'insultez jamais une femme qui tombe, signed autograph (
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