This chapter shows how Victor Hugo gained the power to legitimize theaters’ new democratic mission during the Siege through his authorization—or refusal—of performances of his book of poetry Les Châtiments, first published in France during the Siege. In particular, I highlight the struggle between Hugo and the director of the Comédie-Française: Hugo claiming that he represented the people, against the Comédie-Française, which he claimed represented the inertia and political conservatism of cultural institutions. Literature was at war with itself. In this chapter, we find that Hugo himself had become an institution, and that his quarrel with theaters would be won in the eyes of the public by whoever or whichever of the two was more essentially French.
Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.