PriArc PhD Ben Vandenput publishes an article on Victor Hugo and the Paris sewer system in the next issue of OASE Journal of Architecture, no. 104 on ‘The Urban Household of Metabolism’. “‘A City of Slime Only Lacking Humankind’. Victor Hugo’s Paris of the Sewers”, argues that Hugo’s view of the Paris sewers in Les Misérables provides a unique perspective on the fast-growing subterranean infrastructure and,by extension, the overground metropolis itself. Hugo pleads for the scaling-up and intensive transformation of the sewers, but also for the recognition of the subterranean city as the only place where the pre-modern city and its inhabitants are archived.
Image credits: Pierre Emonts, discovery of Merovingian tombs when digging the Paris sewers, Paris, 13th arrondissement, 1868. Picture on cardboard (25,3 x 17,4 cm). Musée Carnavalet. Paris Musée – Inventory PH35458. Pierre Emonts
Copyright: Bibliothèque de l’Hôtel de Ville / Roger-Viollet