Documents: 11

Sub-project: Autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Start: April 2014

Status: In progress

Financed by: swissuniversities

Description: The autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) are preserved in different locations. When Rousseau moved from one place to another, he often left his papers to a close friend, for example Pierre-Alexandre DuPeyrou, who donated a big collection of important works and notebooks to the Library of Neuchâtel, today Bibliothèque publique et universitaire. Other autographs, that Rousseau left to his Genevan friend and editor Paul Moultou, are located in the Bibliothèque de Genève. Autographs can also be found abroad: in the Bibliothèque de l’Assemblée nationale, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, in the Musée Rousseau of Montmorency or in the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.
The Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel starts by publishing „Les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire“ and the „Dictionnaire de Musique“ on e-codices in a new sub-project dedicated to the autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau with the goal of creating a common and coordinated network for the autographs of the Swiss philosopher.

All Libraries and Collections

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, B-24.1
Paper · 2 pp. · 23 x 19 cm · n.d. [Paris, around January 1797]
Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, Pour Mr La Rochelle jouant Brid’oison. En cas de bruit à la fin, signed autograph

The comedy The Mad Day, or The Marriage of Figaro is a vivid satire of society during the Ancien Régime and of aristocratic privileges; it was first performed on April 27, 1784 and presaged the beginning of the French Revolution, which it doubtlessly helped bring about. After the fall of the monarchy in 1792, the comedy was again performed on several Parisian stages, albeit the concluding songs were modified by Beaumarchais. The final stanza of the stuttering judge Don Gusman Brid’oison, which in 1784 had concluded Tout fini-it par des chansons, was adapted to the difficulties of the period: Pour tromper sa maladie, / Il [the people] chantoit tout l’opera : / Dame ! il n’sait plus qu’ce p’tit air-là : / Ca ira, ça ira... However, after the fall of Robespierre and the Thermidorian Reaction, these words roiled young Muscadins just as the previous ones had caused the Sansculottes to react. Since the performances were disrupted by such turbulent audiences, Beaumarchais entrusted La Rochelle, the actor who performed the role of Brid’Oison, with an alternative ending that could be recited en cas de bruit (in case of noise). This variant, which remained unpublished until recently, was a praise of freedom of speech and of the sang froid de la raison (the cold blood of reason) against the stratagème (wiles) of ideological cabals. (duc)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, F-16.1
Paper · 4 pp. · 23 x 34.6 cm · 1851
Gustave Flaubert, Le Chant de la Courtisane, autograph

Despite visible erasures, this is the completed version of this untitled text, which consists of six paragraphs on two leaves, bound in red Morocco leather. At the earliest it was written by Flaubert during his voyage to the Orient (1849-1851) with his friend Maxime du Camp, although it seems more likely to date from his return to France in 1851, the moment he dedicated his life to writing. Later know by the title Le Chant de la Courtisane, this prose poem in a humorous tone was not published by Flaubert himself. Nonetheless, it sums up his challenges as a writer: the work shows the author’s fascination with Oriental culture and landscape, which he hopes to to reproduce in a realistic manner. A journal of his voyage, which records his observations and sensations and directly feeds his fictional work. The vocabulary reveals a certain erudition and a concern for accuracy, procedures which herald Salammbô. This manuscript, from the collection of Paul Voute (who had published a facsimile thereof in 1928), was purchased by Martin Bodmer at the Blaizot bookstore. (exq)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, F-16.3
Paper · 46 pp. · 22.5 x 35 cm · 1858
Gustave Flaubert, explanatory chapter from Salammbô, autograph

Mentioned in his correspondence by Flaubert as an explanatory chapter to Salammbô, this manuscript consists of 28 leaves, which are all numbered, except for the last one that contains notes regarding the gods. The manuscript is in a folder on which Flaubert noted the work’s title as well as a date, 1857, that corresponds with the beginning of the writing of Salammbô. This chapter, however, was written after 1857: it was actually conceived after an important documentation phase indispensable to the project and after a trip to Carthage. Upon his return in 1858, the writer worked on a chapter that would be “the topographical and picturesque description of the aforementioned city, with a portrayal of the people who inhabited it, including the traditional costume, government, religion, finances and commerce, etc." (Letter to J. Duplan, dated 1 July 1858). Despite a certain number of corrections and marginal additions, this is the completed version of the text, which ultimately was removed from the novel, even though information therefrom was scattered throughout the work. This chapter reveals the way the author works. He is distinguished by his encyclopedic erudition and his attention to detail, which shed light on the original challenges in the creation of Salammbô: that of reconstructing the then-lost city of Carthage. In November 1949, Martin Bodmer purchased this manuscript at the Blaizot bookstore. (exq)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, M-48.1
Paper · 1 f. · 13.5 x 10.5 cm · not dated
John Stuart Mill, Note on Freedom of Speech, signed autograph

Following enlightenment philosophers, liberal thinkers - which include Mill - considered freedom of speech a fundamental human right. In this small autograph, with embossed monogram "JSM", consisting of three folios intended for dispatch, the philosopher copies a passage of his famous "On Liberty" from 1869, taken from chapter II: "Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion." Mill emphasizes that humankind no more has the right to silence a single opinion than it has the right to silence all of humankind, if it had the power to do so. Before it became the property of Martin Bodmer, this letter had been purchased by the author Stefan Zweig in 1923. (giv)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, R-49.1
Paper · 1 f. · 18 x 12 cm · not dated [ca. 1764]
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Lettres écrites de la montagne (Letter VII), second draft, autograph

The Lettres écrites de la montagne are the last work that was published during Rousseau’s lifetime. For the first time, the philosopher becomes directly involved in the affairs of Geneva. Beyond fundamental proposals, the letters contain further developed thoughts on the spirit of the Reformation as well as a defense of the Contrat Social. Letter VII, where this page comes from, supports the right of representation when it comes to correcting abuses of the Small Council, and it recommends that citizens convened in the General Council reject all new elections of magistrates if these should insist upon overstepping the rights given them by the Constitution. The Lettres were censored in Geneva as well as in Paris. This document is from the collection of Ch. Vellay (purchased by Martin Bodmer in 1926) and contains a draft of two passages from the Lettres. The first of these was published in the original edition (Amsterdam, M. M. Rey, 1764), the second in the edition of the Œuvres complètes of the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. (giv)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, R-49.2
Paper · 38 pp. · 27.5 x 18.5 cm · December 1740
Rousseau, Mémoire présenté à M. de Mably sur l’éducation de M. son fils

The Mémoire présenté à M. de Mably sur l’éducation de M. son fils is Rousseau’s first writing related to his experience as an educator. In 1740 he took up a difficult position as tutor in the family of the notable Jean Bonnot de Mably, provost general of police in the Lyon region. This position came to an end after only one year. Two young children with little inclination to study had been entrusted to his care: François-Paul-Marie Bonnot de Mably, called Monsieur de Sainte-Marie, five and a half years old, and Jean-Antoine Bonnot de Mably, called Monsieur de Condillac, four and a half years old. The long Mémoire, dedicated to the older boy, emphasizes the “educational mission” and experience with practical education: it is presented as a plan and a synthesis; its writing has been dated around December 1740. The young tutor addresses M. de Mably and makes known to him the plan and structure for the education of his son in order to shape “the heart, the judgment and the spirit.” This is not the natural education, which later on will be advocated in ’Émile. Did Rousseau really present this Mémoire to M. de Mably? Known is only that he gave this manuscript of the Mémoire to Mme Dupin, his employer in 1743, and that since then it has been kept with the “Papers of Mme Dupin.” It was published for the first time in Paris in 1884 by G. de Villeneuve-Guibert in Le portefeuille de Madame Dupin. The Fondation Bodmer’s manuscript is the only one in existence. A Projet d’éducation, much shorter, more clearly structured and of unknown date, was found among Rousseau’s papers at the time of his death (this manuscript, now lost, was first published in Geneva in 1782). It is very similar to the Mémoire and seems to have been written (brc)

Online Since: 06/23/2016

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Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, T-3.3
Paper · 1 p. · 6.8 x 19.1 cm · n.d. [Ferrara, 1576]
Torquato Tasso (1544-1595), stanza XVII, 42 of Gerusalemme liberata, autograph

This "paperolle" from the famous "Code Gonzague" (held in the Biblioteca Ariostea of Ferrara) is a working copy for a passage that was added to Tasso’s great work, completed the previous year. The poet had submitted his original work to various humanists and high-ranking scholars, and he took into consideration certain critiques and suggestions when editing his verses during the summer of 1576. Several stanzas were profoundly revised or even completely rewritten. Stanza 42 was one of the most reworked, to the point that Tasso had to paste this small strip of paper with the definitive version of the text into the manuscript. The text describes the attitude and thoughts of the Muslim princess Armide, who gets ready to harangue the caliph and his armies and incite them to fight to the death with the crusaders and thus to take revenge on the Christian hero Rinaldo, who had abandoned her. (duc)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Neuchâtel, Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel, Ms. R 17
Paper · 182 + 48 pp. · 25 x 20 cm · 1764-1767
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions

Manuscript of the first three books of the Confessions and part of the fourth. In comparison with the other two recorded copies, this one contains numerous corrections and variations. Parchment half-binding (spine and corners); the shelfmark 23 is handwritten on the cover, which has a permanent protective covering of acid-free paper. The introductory text was omitted from the published version. (beg)

Online Since: 12/17/2015

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Neuchâtel, Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel, Ms. R 55
Paper · 432 ff. · 24 x 18-18.5 cm · Paris · 1753-1764
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Dictionnaire de musique

First complete handwritten edition, with a number of deletions and cross-references. Each booklet consists of 12 bifolia. The pages were numbered by Rousseau. The recto of the pages contain the text, the verso corrections and additions. In his Dictionnaire de musique, Rousseau takes up again the approximately four hundred articles he had written in 1749 for the Encyclopédie. Starting in 1753, in answer to attacks and criticism brought on by his articles, he begins to revise and rewrite them. Because he strives for lexicographic completeness in the field of music, the author composes more and more new entries, reaching close to nine hundred terms. In 1794 the manuscript is donated to the Neuchâtel Library by Pierre-Alexandre DuPeyrou (1729-1794) from Neuchâtel, Rousseau’s friend and publisher. (beg)

Online Since: 04/09/2014

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Neuchâtel, Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel, Ms. R 78
Paper · 140 pp. · 16.8 x 10.7-10.9 cm · Paris · 1776-1778
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire

Carefully handwritten copy of the first seven Promenades (of the ten that make up the published text), with several crossed out and deleted passages. Each booklet consists of 12 bifolia. From page 1 to 83, the pages were numbered by Rousseau, from page 84 by Th. Dufour. In Les Rêveries, Rousseau performs one last introspection in the form of philosphical thoughts and reflections, which he himself characterizes as an appendix to his Confessions. In the fifth Promenade, he describes with nostalgia the moments of solitary happiness he experienced on St. Peter's Island in Lake Biel. The Rêveries are Rousseau’s last text; after the philosopher’s death, they were retained by his friend and publisher Pierre-Alexandre DuPeyrou (1729-1794) from Neuchâtel, who in his testament bequeathed the manuscript to the Neuchâtel Library. (beg)

Online Since: 04/09/2014

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Neuchâtel, Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel, Ms. R 79
Paper · 25 + 33 ff. · 15.5 x 10.3 cm · 1777-1778
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Draft of the “Promenades”

Small notebook with an 18th century cardboard binding that was covered in parchment. Double numbering by Théophile Dufour. Ink and pencil. The heavily corrected manuscript contains the draft of walks eight through ten of the Rêveries du Promeneur solitaire as well as parts of the Dialogues. It also contains references to botany. (beg)

Online Since: 12/17/2015

Documents: 11