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Les arcs-en-ciel du noir : Victor Hugo

Annie Le Brun

Like Soulages! The color black had an indescribable attraction on Victor Hugo. He liked the ink he used for writing as much as the one that allowed him to do wash drawings that fascinated the Surrealists, in their rush to see in him the pioneer of automatic writing. The thesis of the book, due to a great specialist of Sade, is that black is the instrument that allowed him to present all his obsessions – his fight against poverty, the death penalty, the exile imposed by Little Napoleon as of 1852, his madness, his solitude… This ink, these shadows also allowed him to immortalize his trips, based on little stains: Burg, the dilapidated castles, the lighthouse of Casquets and of course Hauteville House in Guernesey. Photographs by Edmond Bacot in 1862 show a house in the color of a sepulcher…

Les arcs-en-ciel du noir : Victor Hugo, par Annie Le Brun, Gallimard, 2012, 160 p., 19 €.

Review published in the newsletter #252 - from 29 March 2012 to 4 April 2012

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