Psychanalyse de Victor Hugo
- Author: Charles Baudouin (1893 – 1963) was a French-Swiss psychoanalyst
- Title: Psychanalyse de Victor Hugo
- Published: 1943 (original) later in Paris, Ed. Imago, 2008.
- Trivia: read for information to help me with #LesMisReadalong
- Trivia: Monthy Reading Plan
- This book was written in 1943 yet it never felt dated.
- I read it just to discover more about Victor Hugo the man.
- The book concentrates on the images used in Hugo’s poems.
- The use of antithesis for example…
- lumière-ombre, bien-mal, naissance-mort, amour-haine.
- The book is not available in English….so I struggled in French.
The author explained many complexes that Hugo was struggling with:
- Oedipus – demanding exclusively the love of his mother
- Guilt – brother Eugène became insane on Hugo’s wedding day and never recovered .
- His brother was madly in love with Adèle Foucher as well.
- The Chase – (poursuite) Les Mis: Valjean, the outlaw
- …his fate (fatalité) purses him.
- Retreat – (retraite) flee from tyrannical father = outside world
- —> to mother = refuge
- Les Mis: Valjean receives refuge in a convent.
- Convent is a typical symbol of a retreat…a maternal aisle.
His exile on Jersey and Guernsey felt like a new freedom.
- Hugo was constantly trying to reach the unconscious mind.
- He built a special porch on his house to gaze into
- … the heavens, stars, cosmos and the sea.
Shadows and darkness permeate Hugo’s thoughts.
- He believed that the darkness, the night was the normal state of our lives.
- Daylight was only here because our planet was close to a star….the sun.
- Abyss (gouffre) is mentioned more than 40 x in Les Misérables.
There are a few symbols that might be used in Les Misérables…..
- Spiderweb – In Notre-Dame Follo watches the
- fly struggle with the spider.
- It represents man’s struggle with inescapable fate (l’araignée)
- Spider – symbol of “La Mere terrible” who succeeds
- to imprison child in the chains in her web.
- Birds – represent passionate, free search into doctrines (bird = ideas)
- Window – linked to the subconscious
- …a place where you can drift into your memories/thoughts.
- Cord (rope) – dropped into a well….feeling of mystery, anguish
- Hibou (owl) – represents skepticism
- Chavue-souris – (bat) represents atheism
- Deep well (puits) – eternal mystery
- “ Quel puits que le coeur humain…” pg 1265 Les Mis