thjazi: Sketch of goofy smiling Enjolras (Default)
[personal profile] thjazi
Carrying on a discussion about Marius with KingEdmundsRoyalMurder from Tumblr!

Read more... )have a cut )
esteliel: (Les Mis)
[personal profile] esteliel
So I took a lot of notes on my Kindle while reading the Brick and apparently a lot of my Valjean and Javert feels are wrapped up with Hugo's symbolism, which I guess is no surprise because Hugo is not exactly subtle there. Umm. I feel like this has probably all been said a billion times already because Hugo is just that unsubtle, but as I am late to the party and Tumblr must just be the worst place possible to find old meta, feel free to point out if I'm wondering about stuff that has been rehashed a hundred times already.

Read more... )
thjazi: Sketch of goofy smiling Enjolras (Default)
[personal profile] thjazi
Right, I'm fallen into Making Playlists as an apparent new hobby, and so of course I'm making some for the Amis, and, well.... I can't find any decent Courfeyrac songs. Some might say this reflects my own poor musical choices, to which I say OF COURSE IT DOES, but the fact remains: Courfeyrac songs, I need 'em. Any Gen Enjolras & Combeferre recs would be appreciated too!
other_paths: (Default)
[personal profile] other_paths

I've been lurking silently around this fandom for a while, and have decided to put a toe in by asking a question about French inheritance law.

As I understand it under the Civil Code / Napoleonic Code people were (I think still are?) very restricted in how they could leave their money, it has to go to descendents or in the absence of descendents to the nearest collateral relatives. Yet part of the Marius plot in Les Miserables depends on Marius' grandfather and aunt being able to disinherit him, it's the threat of disinheritance that causes Marius' father to give him up, and there are repeated suggestions later that the money might go to Cousin Theodule instead.

So am I missing something? Was there a way Marius' family could disinherit him? Or is Hugo just ignoring bits of law that don't suit his plot?
miss_morland: (let me find him)
[personal profile] miss_morland
[personal profile] voksen recently modded a fanworks exchange for the denizens of the chatroom known as Les Misères, and I thought I'd post the masterlist here! (C/p-ed from [personal profile] voksen 's tumblr with her permission.) There is a nice variety of characters and pairings, and the overall quality is very high.

Art )


Fic )


tenlittlebullets: (tl;dr)
[personal profile] tenlittlebullets
Okay, I'm long past the point where I should be reading actual bios of these wonderful totally insane people, and as it so happens I've got an e-reader and a couple of 12-hour bus rides coming up. (*furtively avoids looking at the half-dozen books I'm currently in the middle of*) Any recommendations? Public domain or cheaply available preferred, Google Books ok, can read English, French, or (very badly and painfully) German. Particularly interested in Nerval, but really, any books you'd recommend on either of the Cénacles and the people in them, throw 'em at me.
takethewatch: (Default)
[personal profile] takethewatch
Does anyone have Opinions and/or Advice about translations to share? It's been a few years since my initial read-through of the Brick, and now that I have relapsed with a vengeance into this fandom, I am about due for another one (as soon as Life permits). I know not to read Denny--but I would love to see some discussion of the other translations out there (especially the new Donougher one) and their relative merits.
thjazi: Sketch of goofy smiling Enjolras (Default)
[personal profile] thjazi
The Lallemand event is a pretty obscure footnote these days, but well worth knowing for Les Mis context-- and nigh impossible to research if you don't know French, apparently. Hence, this post is from the lovely LOVELY AssumeSarcasm on Tumblr. I keep more discussion on it over on my Tumblr tagged with " the Lallemand thing" .

“Bahorel had figured in the bloody tumult of June, [1820], on the occasion of the burial of young Lallemand.”

Seeing as there’s practically nothing about this event to be found in English on the Internet about this event, and that most French sources just contradict each other on everything, I promised *cough*four*cough* months ago that I’d make a post with what I had found about what would probably be yet another forgotten event of history if not for Victor Hugo’s mention of it.

…As usual, I got sidetracked. But here it is, now! (and you definitely should all thank Pilf for that)


Let’s talk about that first fortnight of June 1820;  

(Note that I won’t really get into what happened inside the Chamber of Deputies because that would become a novel-length essay and it’s not really what interests us, but long story short: Benjamin Constant was a snarky badass who pretty much stole the show. (uh, don’t quote me on that))

We’ll first need a bit of political context, since it’s actually pretty much what it’s all about. France, in 1820, had been under a constitutional monarchy for a few years: the Bourbon Restoration.  The Charter of 1814 acted as a compromise between the King and the Revolution, but both ultra-royalists and the more liberal left disliked it for giving too much to the other party. Having already lost their majority in the elections of 1816, the murder of the Duke of Berry on February 13th, only sent the monarchists, afraid of seeing their power weaken, into panic. In an attempt to bring more ultras deputies to the Chamber of Deputies, they were, as of late May 1820, discussing around the idea of implementing the double vote law. This law was meant to add a set of 172 new deputies (to the 258 already in place) but —and here’s the catch— these new deputies would only be elected by the very richest electors, in ADDITION to their regular vote.

This clearly unjust law inevitably displeased a lot of people and caught the general public’s interest.

On May 30th, M. de Chauvelin, a liberal/leftist deputy who was bedridden and in great pain at the time, nonetheless ordered for his bed to be taken to the Chamber of Deputies so that he could make his voice heard. Impressed by his courage, a good number of medicine and law students came to meet him at the exit of the Chamber the next two days, to thank him for his devotion to the cause and to know where the negotiations were heading, and to follow him back to his hotel while shouting “Vive le roi! Vive la Charte!” a lot.

June 2nd was the third day of the students’ demonstrations. Only, this time, they were also joined by a group of well-dressed young men (who would the next day be identified as a group composed of disguised military personnel). Everything went as usual, until Chauvelin came out of the Chamber, carried by two men to help him to get to his car, and some of these absolutely-not-royalists decided to deliberately block the carriers’ way. For the next quarter of an hour, as Chauvelin testified, the men that he calls “bourgeois” would shout “Vive le roi!” (with no mention of the charter: here lies all the difference) and threaten anyone who dared to approach with their batons, while the students were too busy trying to protect their deputy to do more than answer back with a few “Vive la charte!” until, finally, Chauvelin made it safe and sound to his car.

After this incident, the students didn’t waste time to tell about the day’s incident to everyone they could reach, and on June 3rd, it was a huge crowd of Parisians of all classes that showed up. After their usual chat with Chauvelin, the police that was posted on the scene began to disperse the crowd that had started shouting “Vive le roi! Vive la charte!” again.

As people started to peacefully heading back to their occupation, they were intercepted by the same group of well-dressed men as the previous day, trying to force everyone they saw to shout “vive le roi!” and beating up everyone who tried to add “vive la charte!” to it.

The worst to happen of that day was when people would be attacked with fucking hidden hatchets for saying the word “charte”, or even for simply not complying fast enough. One person having to defend themselves against up to twenty of these men was not unusual, and the police was suspiciously idle in front of that, or even arrested the people the bourgeois brought to them when they were getting bored of beating them up. (Whether or not some people died as a result of these beatings is unclear.) Also, some deputies felt that people had insulted them and hadn’t respected their authority. (Oh no! both of my main sources make a big deal out of it.)

As it started to die down and most people were getting out of there, groups coming from the surrounding streets gathered in the Place du Carrousel. Royal Guards were sent to disperse them, and one of them fell as he tried to arrest someone. In anger, he shot without aiming, and the bullet ended its course when it hit a law student from behind. This student, Nicolas Lallemand, was fatally wounded.  

Although the above version of Lallemand’s death is the one that was recognized as factual, I would note that it took several days for the commission de censure, the governmental censorship under the Restoration, to reluctantly admit it. Initially, they tried to stop the liberal newspapers from spreading it and banned them from publishing a letter from Lallemand’s father, favoring the ultràs’ version that Lallemand was trying to forcibly disarm a soldier when he was shot, saying that this version was more likely and that they had to make sure that they were not misinforming the public.

Lallemand’s burial was in the morning of June 6th. Despite the torrential rain, four thousand people, most of them law or medicine students, showed up: it was the biggest funerals for a “mere” citizen that was ever seen. Fearing trouble, many police officers were sent to watch over the cortege, but everyone behaved well and maintained a perfect silence all the way to the Père Lachaise cemetery. After the ceremony’s end, they went back to their occupations, but not before slipping a few “vive la charte!”

The rain stopped the people from reuniting for most of rest of the day. Bahorel’s “bloody tumult” would have to wait for the evening.


Notice: the Chambre des Députés at the far left, the Cimetière du Père Lachaise at the far right, and mostly everything in between.

In the two days between Lallemand’s death and his burial, tension had built up. June 5th had seen number of people reuniting in public places to spread shouts of “Vive la charte!” from the Place Louis XV, until it reached all the other crowds across the center of Paris. Three or four hundred young men rushed through the boulevards (Boulevart on the map) from the Place Louis XV (now Place de la Concorde), their cries of “Vive la charte!” echoed by the women at their window. When they reached the Porte Saint-Martin, they were now more than six thousand people. At least 35 people were arrested and the royal dragoons were sent after the crowd refused to disperse.

Some people were slightly injured, but it is June 6th that first saw blood: over 20 people were injured by the dragoons’ swords.

It gets worse. On June 7th, it’s the workers turn to gather and protest (until then, it was mostly only students). The dragoons were sent out again, but this time, they were drunk. There were more serious injuries than on the previous day; notably, a man lost all the skin of his face to the dragoons’ swords. On June 9th, over a hundred thousand people were on the streets; men, women and children were shouting “vive la charte!” On that night, a lot of people were gravely injured and even killed –mostly innocent people: the ones causing trouble are the ones who can run. People were angry. On the next day, the Chamber of Deputies receives a letter: people felt that public security couldn’t be left for the official authorities to deal with.

For many other days, people would still gather in public places, but the resistance they met from the gendarmes was too great that they had to give up. No more people were injured, although many were still arrested.

On June 12th, the Double Vote law passed.





Main sources :

Tableau de Paris dans les quinze premiers jours de juin 1820, par M.J.J.E.R.

Histoire de la première quinzaine de juin 1820

tenlittlebullets: (cosette can has bukkit)
[personal profile] tenlittlebullets
These used to happen periodically at the [ profile] lesmiz community back on LJ, and y'know what, why not bring them back to inaugurate the attempted Dreamwidth revival? (Besides, this one's too recent to have been used in the old caption contests, and it's screaming for a caption.)

thjazi: Sketch of goofy smiling Enjolras (Default)
[personal profile] thjazi
(Slightly (very very slightly) edited reblog of my Brick!club post on Bahorel's intro For Future Reference)

“Bahorel had figured in the bloody tumult of June 1822, at the time of young Lallemand’s burial.”

I’d like to pause right here and thank fandom for helping me appreciate what an absolute wheelbreaker of an opening line that is. Here we are traveling along, talking about very important but somewhat abstract things, the rights of citizens, the rights of nations, the patterns of personalities, and suddenly BRUTALITY BLOODSHED BETRAYAL and this guy was in the middle of it, personally involved. Anyone who’s read my freaking out about the Lallemand Thing (which, btw, 1820 not 1822. I…choose to see this as a typo. A 150 year old typo.) knows that *I* was about ready to booze and riot when I learned about it, and I AM PHYSICALLY INCAPABLE OF EITHER ACTION. Surely some of the original readers of the story would have remembered the days when it happened, and even more would have heard about it as a fairly relevant event— it was only about as far from Les Mis’ publishing date as, say, Kent State was from today (43 years), and it is not THAT hard to find people who can still tell you how they felt watching that happen, or people who grew up with parents who watched it happen, and told them about it. So the first thing we’re told is that this guy was in the middle of that disaster, and wow, depending on your politics at this point that’s gotta make you think he’s either carrying some righteous trauma or get you ready to go establishment-fury Gillenormand style—

and then the NEXT line is that THIS IS A TOTALLY FUN GUY. Good natured, good humored, good tempered, or well intentioned, depending on your translation—hangs OUT with a bad element maybe, but brave and generous and open-dealing and just buckets of fun. Some unpleasant tendencies, maybe, but he takes them so far they’re actually sort of great (and if duty and honesty and modesty can all be vices when taken too far, then it’s not outlandish to think carelessness and prattle and shamelessness can be virtues in excess going the other direction, is it?)The kind of guy you don’t want your daughter to go out with maybe (though you might understand if she did[1]) but you wouldn’t be upset to know your son was friends with him. A laugh riot and—and oh, an actual riot. LOTS of Actual Riot, apparently. Lots of VERY INTIMATE acquaintance with riots. And revolution. And the sheer physical acts involved in that. Forget philosophy and logic, this guy is TEARING UP PAVING STONES, SMASHING WINDOWS, DEMOLISHING, RIOTING.. None of the Amis are more specifically dangerous than Bahorel, none even approach his level of implied and stated violent action (or action, period. Bahorel is made of verbs.) This, right after Courfeyrac’s warmth and centredness— RIGHT after that, and for a reason.

Because Courfeyrac is Like Tholomyes through schooling and environment, but is AT HEART a good person— the soul of a paladin. Bahorel is basically NOT GOOD PEOPLE, not by ANY count. In person and environment he’s bad news. He keeps bad company, as might be said of Courfeyrac, but he’s got no particular inherent nobility— at least, not apparently. He is MADE to be used by the devil* . He’s described as a “creature” in half the translations, a “ mortal” in one, a “being” — forget being a GOOD man, he’s not even called a man! And yet all his vices turn to virtues, his commitment to his cause is unquestionable, he is beyond a doubt a constructive force—and what he builds highlights why he isn’t a villain. Because what Bahorel BUILDS, in place of all the things he tears apart, is connection, community. He’s the one connecting the group to others— not Feuilly, not even Courfeyrac. He’s the one, the ONLY one, with parents who expressly think well of their son— he has taught to respect him. That can be read as an intimidation, or a con, or as an honest respect between adults, but it is the ONLY parent-child relationship in all the Amis— the only biological parent-child relationship in THE ENTIRE BOOK, I think— that specifies both true, ongoing interaction AND mutual acknowledgment, with no mention of disdain on either side. He brags about his family roots, he revels in his current community, he MAKES his community, holding it together now and building out towards the future. For all his violence and aggression, Bahorel isn’t scary or repellent; he challenges as invitation, prompts and needles and encourages friends and strangers and new blood to NOT be afraid, to embrace action, to come together, join join join, while being dead set on maintaining individual expressionism.

I’ve harped on this before, I WILL NO DOUBT DO IT AGAIN, because this is a HUGE issue— the question of whether humans behavior is decided by environment or internal nature is still going strong and comes up in pretty much every philosophical system sooner or later. Les Miserables, once again, always, puts all its chips on the squares for Humanity, for love and connection, being the deciding factor. It’s a decision, AND it’s a question of environment— and it transcends both of those. A rough man in rough company becomes a hero when he reaches out to others and helps bring others together— say, that does sound a little familiar in this book, doesn’t it?— even while a smooth, proper sort in the best circumstances (hello, Gillenormand) can become destructive, parasitic, when he chooses to close himself away from the world and start severing those connections.

In a story that never stops calling people to reach out, Bahorel engages, in spirit and on the surface. Other people have written on what a great turn of phrase “rash waistcoats and scarlet opinions” is, so I’ll skip that—but I can’t let it go without discussing, there’s SO MUCH in this line. For one: despite Courfeyrac’s dandyism-by-implied-association and Joly’s cane, Bahorel and Jehan are the only ones in the group to have their clothing explicitly mentioned AS PART OF THEIR INTRO**. In both cases, these are people who definitely DO NOT FIT in general society,the dedicated flaneurs of the group— Jehan wandering in his flowers, Bahorel roaming his streets, both of the in society but observing it from an interior distance. In this they both specifically echo the gamin. Jehan’s only said to dress “ badly” , but it comes in with all the other descriptors highlighting his awkwardness, his shyness, his blushing— all the things that put him visibly apart and, in Jehan’s case, seemingly contradict his essential courage (although any real thought would point out that it takes a LOT of courage to stand out in the world when you are a shy, blushing, awkward sort of person). Bahorel’s waistcoats, though, apparently enhance what people would think his most obvious traits are—his violence, his physicality, his aggression— aggression that is essential to his connecting with others. We see him using it as exactly that later,and even now, it’s expressly linked to his opinions. The waistcoats are dialogue, they are considered, even if they are rash. He uses shock and outrage as his feint, to move in and get a better opening to pull things apart— streets, governments, ideas. Like a good stage magician, everything about Bahorel’s presentation announces exactly who he is, exactly what he’s about, exactly what he’s going to do— and invites people to watch closely and be amazed when that’s exactly what happens.

Yet I’ve never seen anyone say they thought Bahorel was intimidating or scary (dismiss the character as dumb or find him hard to write,yes, but that’s another thing…). I’ve been reading reactions to this chapter for a couple of days, and the general reaction to Bahorel’s introduction is pretty much LOL with a side order of Oh, YOU. Because he’s funny! Honestly and knowingly and purposely funny, with his filking and his melodramatic reaction to the law school, and his bluster. There’s something almost childish about it, really— a specific kind of child. In his studies he saw subjects for ditties (turns superstition into doggerel and sings them) , in his professors opportunities for caricatures (introduces caricature into all epic pomposities)—that’s the sort of thing a little kid would do, right? He carries himself to be funny. He enjoys life. And it is disarming, if you’ve forgotten the beware in Parvulus (3.1), if you don’t realize he looks on, ready to laugh; ready too, for something else.

A penetrating turn of mind, and more of thinker than he seemed— a thoughtful witness of our social realities and human problems.

He comes in with the memory of death and betrayal of the future by the present. He is the bond with what will take shape later, not just the tragic adventure we’ve been warned about but everything, 1830, 1848, on and on and on.

He thinks himself carefree.
He is not.

[1] Gross gender assignments brought to you in keeping with the 19th century

**Translation Things**
* I am very Not Okay with this line being changed in Rose.

**Unless you’re reading Denny, in which case, I’m just so sorry.
thjazi: Sketch of goofy smiling Enjolras (Default)
[personal profile] thjazi
--- takethewatch wrote:
> hi there, i have a LM question that i was going to ask on tumblr but then
> i thought hey people are trying to get this dreamwidth thing going i will
> ask over there instead. and although i am flailing cluelessly around this
> website (what are things? does one have Friends here? where does one
> say things? what does one say?), "private message" seems pretty straightforward
> so i am pretty confident i can at least manage that.
> so my question is a follow-up to the reply you posted about Bahorel and
> Jehan's death. you had offered (perhaps tongue-in-cheek) to expound at
> length about these two and their interactions in the text. well, i would
> be VERY interested to read such a discussion. Because I just sort of assumed
> that this was a fanon-only pairing, and while I love it very much, it seems
> so unlikely, with their very different personalities (especially in the
> Brick description, where Jehan is so soft and Bahorel isn't given cute
> hobbies like knitting). I mean obviously there isn't an explicit torrid
> romance between them in the Brick I'm not looking for that, but it would
> be gratifying to know that these two were more than two dudes who happened
> to be in the same group and maybe spoke to each other once or twice. So
> I would very much like to know more about connections between them in the
> text, so maybe if you're looking for something to post about to the community
> page, that could be something?

YES I WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT MY ROMANTICS, that was not an idle invitation!

OKAY so this is actually one of my favorite sets of characters in the text BECAUSE of how SNEAKY the narrative/structural relationship between them is.

Like you note, they don't have any big scenes together (much less an explicit torrid romance oh my gosh I am cracking up)(ANYWAY), in fact they don't directly speak to each other even ONCE. So what's a nice canonfan like me doing with a zeppelin like this?


The first is the easiest thing to get from a pure close-reading. In Back Room of the Musain, the 'camera' moves from the conversation Bahorel's leading (tight pants ahoy!) to Prouvaire's enthusiastic monologue on what gods might be available to worship (context there, SO MUCH CONTEXT, I'll get to it). And then there's the mentions from others, and in the text: Aside from the introductions, Bahorel and Jehan are ALWAYS named together in Amis Assemble countdowns. In Enjolras and His Lieutenants, Enjolras issues them their assignments in tandem (and somewhat thematically linked assignments at that!), and when Enjolras is thinking of his friends' strengths later he thinks of them immediately after each other and in perfect contradiction: Bahorel's smile, Jean Prouvaire's melancholy. You know who else he links that consistently? BOSSUET AND JOLY (who also get the similarly themed assignments!). Courfeyrac directly talks to two people about Marius' lovesickness: Prouvaire and Bahorel. And, of course, they show up to the emuete together, and are both lost in the first attack.

This isn't saying they're inseparable; they're super-separable! Prouvaire gets his poem and his death scene. Bahorel gets the whole relationship with Gavroche, and HIS death scene. But those are reflections of each other, because EVERYTHING EITHER OF THESE TWO DO reflects the other one-- Laughter and Melancholy; the Best Possible Clay for the Devil and Above All, Good; the adoption of the future and the hymn to memory and the past; the gunshot-quick death in the heat of action and the slow solitary death beyond all hope of action. Even their minor conversations and quirks play off each other, though I'll save that rundown for some other time.

The point is, while they're definitely NOT front-and-obverse, existing only on condition of each other, they ARE Complimentary Contrasts, Divine and Profane, studying the stars and tearing up the streets, and in Romantic terms that's Much Sublime, So Ideal, wow.

As to them being friends, well, we have them *coming to the barricade together*, always mentions by their other friends together, etc. There are also indicators of common interests in the text that might have been more apparent to people who lived through the 1820s, or were fans of Romantic lit at the time in general-- they both get the flaneur descriptor, there's the hint of it in the mention of them both dressing oddly, in Jehan's medievalism and Bahorel's stated hatred of Bourgie theater...basically, anyone who went through the era and was paying close attention would probably have twigged on that these two were both Romantics. It's the equivalent of having a group of friends set in the present day where one calls themselves Aragorn and one goes on an unprompted rant about how Marvel and DC are HACKS, man, webcomics are where it's AT; they don't have to be talking about exactly the same thing,anyone who's in fandom culture would know they both just shouted ONE OF US, ONE OF US. As to them being friends on a deeper level despite the considerable differences in personality-- well, sometimes the contrasts and compliments really do align just right. People are complicated, things happen. Sometime people are just friends because they are.

And they were.

Here's the more specific out- of-book context, though I suspect everyone on the comm right now knows it, it might be useful to someone later?: Bahorel and Prouvaire are based PRETTY DIRECTLY on Petrus Borel and Gerard de Nerval, two of Hugo's friends from the height of the Petit-Cenacle/Bouzingot days. Bahorel's scarlet waistcoats? Borel(he apparently ACTUALLY CLAIMED THEY WERE RED FOR THE BLOOD OF POLISH PATRIOTS, because Borel was A GIGANTIC DRAMA LLAMA). Prouvaire's speech about gods? Nerval. Prouvaire confounding God and Progress? Nerval again; Hugo even lays that one out in the text! Bahorel's peasant background and ludicrously supportive family? Borel again.

Now I doubt this all would have been anything the average reader would have picked up on-- the names are changed to protect...well, probably someone, after all, and however much of a scene the Cenacle/ Bouzingot gang may have been making in the 1820s-mid 1830s, that was an entire generation gone by the time Les Mis hit the stands. But I'm also pretty sure that it was one of those "If you know, you'll know" things-- Jehan's whole speech about gods and a lot of Bahorel's general everything echo very specific anecdotes from Gautier's memoirs, so clearly Hugo wasn't the only one remembering them, and there were a solid number of the old crew still kicking about-- all of them, in fact, except Nerval and Borel, the first to die (in 1855 and 1859, respectively).

...and then get fictionalized to be the first to die AGAIN, Because Hugo.

So yeah, there's connection! And like I said: I AM HAPPY TO EXPLAIN IN EXCRUCIATING DETAIL.XD Hang on, I'll post my Brick!club (over)analysis of their intros in 3.4.1 :P

(much thanks to Tumblr users Hernaniste, EdwardDespard, Barricadeur, TenLittleBullets, Darthfar, etc, who oh so kindly showed me the entrance to this rabbit hole I've since fallen down, DO YOU LOT KNOW HOW MUCH TIME I'VE SPENT READING ABOUT THESE DORKS OF AGES PAST AT THIS POINT, IT'S DREADFUL . Also, dear Dreamwidth spellchecker: FRENCH NAMES ARE HAPPENING NOW, GET USED TO IT.
thjazi: Sketch of goofy smiling Enjolras (Default)
[personal profile] thjazi
Wow it's really quiet around here.




(it's either that or I start trying to talk about Communion Meal parallels between dinner at the Bishop's and breakfast at the Corinth which is admittedly my current focus but I'm not sure how to even launch into that)

(if this were Tumblr I could tagnatter as I flee but it's not so BALL'S IN YOUR COURT GEN)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
I have been unexpectedly finding myself spending a lot of brain-cycles on Montparnasse lately (possibly I have found my inner homicidal teenager at last) and I keep getting stuck on the Montparnasse/Eponine relationship.

A lot of the recent meta I've seen, and to some extent Hugo as well, implies that it's at least somewhat transactional, that Thenardier has essentially sold his daughter to Patron-Minette in exchange for favor - the "unofficial son-in-law" bit and so on - but the problem is, I can't figure out what Montparnasse would be getting out of it, in that case.

Thenardier is shown as being at best incompetent as a criminal and mostly peripheral to Patron-Minette, who are the premier criminals of Paris, and Montparnasse clearly doesn't give two shakes about Thenardier's criminal career, given he skips out on the kidnapping to canoodle with Eponine, so it's not about having Thenardier attached to the gang. Is he really so desperate to have a place to dip his wick that he's willing to be saddled with Thenardier deciding he's a son-in-law? He's the dandy of the sepulchre and she's canonically described as unattractive at that point; surely he can find someone to tumble who doesn't have an annoying father tagging along after.

So this leaves me with a couple thoughts on what the basis of their relationship might actually be, that line up more or less as:

1. Montparnasse is a lot of things, but he's also a teenage boy, and makes stupid decisions when it comes to sex: he really is just that desperate to dip his wick.
2. Hugo has no clue what he's talking about re: the relative power structures between Thenardier and Patron-Minette and we should look closer at what *happens* in those scenes rather than what Hugo tells us to figure out how they work.
3. Hugo has no clue and Eponine is actually objectively beautiful and a total catch by the standards of the underworld, fuck you and your equating virtue with beauty, Hugo.
4. Montparnasse wants Eponine for her own sake, for some reason or another, and M. Thenardier is only relevant to it to the extent that Montparnasse is willing to put up with him in order to get access to his daughter.
5. Montparnasse isn't actually interested in girls at all but needs to appear so because of Things, so having an arrangement with Thenardier via his daughter is a low-effort way to keep up appearances.

I was shoveling show this afternoon thinking about this, and I found myself intrigued by two directions those thoughts took me:

First, that Thenardier is clearly pretty terrible at the kind of crime Patron-Minette does - the violent kidnapping of Valjean is basically a farce from beginning to end, as is the planned robbery at the Rue Plumet - but that doesn't seem to be his specialty: his specialty, from what we can see, is running low-stakes con jobs, and in particular, writing letters. And suddenly it occurred to me that it makes sense that Thenardier's value to Patron-Minette is literacy: he reads and writes, and this gives him access to stuff that most people in that stratum don't have access to, and it's his reading and writing that he's depending on for his income, when we see him in Paris.

And Eponine reads and writes, too, and we see her being pitifully proud of her ability when she shows it off to Marius. Maybe what Montparnasse sees in Eponine is somebody who will provide him access to the world of literacy (...and as a bonus is also a not-terrible lay.)

But the other thing I was thinking about is that there's really only one character other than himself that Montparnasse shows any respect at all for, and that's Gavroche. It's pretty clear that Montparnasse knows very well that Gavroche is Eponine's sister and Thenardier's son even if Thenardier forgets sometimes, and he seems to have a sort of nostalgic brotherly relationship with him, to the extent that Montparnasse is capable of having an emotional relationship with anything other than his own wardrobe.

Bearing in mind that Montparnasse is within a couple of years of Eponine's age, it seems reasonable within the book's portrayal that Montparnasse has known the Thenardier kids since before he was the Dandy of the Sepulchre, that he first met them when he was a ragged street kid Gavroche's age, and I have visions of baby Montparnasse showing off for the new girls by teaching them the ways of the street and their first words of argot. He's not Thenardier's unofficial son-in-law because of the sexual relationship with Eponine, he's Thenardier's son-in-law because he's been a sort of a sibling to the Thenardier kids since he was small, and he's with Eponine because he and Eponine grew up together and fell into it naturally.

Weirdly, while Montparnasse is unquestionably a terrible, amoral person who is violent and probably sociopathic and exceptionally self-absorbed and certainly not relationship material, he does seem to have a sort of something resembling loyalty toward the people he considers his, even if he doesn't actually respect anyone but Gavroche: and that group seems to include basically just Patron-Minette and the Thenardiers. I feel like that's something I need to figure out before I can figure out Montparnasse as a character.

primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
[personal profile] primeideal
Cosets (After the Letters) (13729 words) by primeideal
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Les Misérables - Victor Hugo, 19th Century CE France RPF, Arts & Sciences RPF
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: Combeferre/Évariste Galois
Characters: Combeferre (Les Misérables), Évariste Galois
Additional Tags: Community: makinghugospin, epistolary in parts, Mathematics, Algebra, Bad Puns, basically as many math puns as I could fit in, As canon-compliant as I could make it

Love, revolution, and abstract algebra: 1830-1832.

kerrypolka: (dissertation)
[personal profile] kerrypolka
Has anyone seen any reviews of the most recent translation by Christine Donougher, which came out this month? It's titled "The Wretched", and here's its page on Penguin.

I've been thinking of attempting a proper readthrough of the brick for the first time since high school, and new translations are exciting! (It's also on Kindle which is a big selling point for me.) However, I haven't seen any reviews or discussions about the new translation at all - has anyone heard anything about it? (Possibly it's just too early, as I think it came out a week or two ago.)
cinaed: I improve on misquotation (Default)
[personal profile] cinaed
Tradition Sanctified (7140 words) by Cinaed
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Les Misérables - Victor Hugo
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Chabouillet/Javert
Characters: Javert (Les Misérables), Chabouillet (Les Misérables), Original Characters
Additional Tags: POV Male Character, Wordcount: 5.000-10.000, Canon Era, Sex Initiation, Hand Jobs, Anal Sex, Mentor/Protégé, Javert's Confused Boner, Chabouillet's Assured Boner

There was a certain tradition among the Parisian police to welcome newcomers to the force, one that was not spoken of in polite company.


“Immorality sanctified by tradition is still immorality.” ― Bernard E. Rollin

lannamichaels: Astronaut Dale Gardner holds up For Sale sign after EVA. (Default)
[personal profile] lannamichaels
Between The Idea And The Reality. (5504 words) by Lanna Michaels
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Les Misérables - Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (2012), Les Misérables - Schönberg/Boublil
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Enjolras/Grantaire, Enjolras & Combeferre
Characters: Enjolras, Grantaire, Combeferre
Additional Tags: Kink Bingo 2013 (Round Six), Trope Bingo: Round Two, Service, Curtain Fic, Alternate Universe - Modern, D/s, Dominant!Enjolras, Submissive!Grantaire, Dominance, Submission, Kink, Curtain Fic About Actual Curtains, Grantaire Will You Do Me A Service, Power Dynamics, Non-sexual Service, Service Submission, Service Kink, Combeferre The (Kinky Sex) Guide, Kink Negotiation, kink discussion
Series: Part 14 of Permets-Tu

The problem is, Enjolras had promised Combeferre two months ago that he would deal with the curtains.

lannamichaels: Astronaut Dale Gardner holds up For Sale sign after EVA. (Default)
[personal profile] lannamichaels
Keep Him Tied Up To A Dream. (3972 words) by Lanna Michaels
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Les Misérables - Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (2012), Les Misérables - Schönberg/Boublil
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Enjolras/Grantaire
Characters: Grantaire, Enjolras
Additional Tags: Kink Bingo 2013 (Round Six), Trope Bingo: Round Two, Ropes / Chains, Food Porn, Alternate Universe - Modern, D/s, Dominant!Enjolras, Submissive!Grantaire, Dominance, Submission, Kink, BDSM Scene, First Anniversary, anniversary sex, Suit Porn, Tied To A Chair, Rope Bondage, Handfeeding, Blindfolds, Dessert Porn, Necktie Blindfolds, Unreliable Narrator, Way Too Much Fun With Unreliable Narrator, Cutting Clothes Off, Dessert, Chocolates, Unrepentant porn, Exciting Underwear, Panty Kink, Not Quite Blow Jobs, Partially Clothed Sex, Kitchen Sex, Food Kink
Series: Part 13 of Permets-Tu

Of dessert and anniversaries and rope.

lannamichaels: Astronaut Dale Gardner holds up For Sale sign after EVA. (Default)
[personal profile] lannamichaels
If At First You Don't Succeed. (3091 words) by Lanna Michaels
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Les Misérables - Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (2012), Les Misérables - Schönberg/Boublil
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Enjolras/Grantaire
Characters: Grantaire, Enjolras
Additional Tags: Kink Bingo 2013 (Round Six), Trope Bingo: Round Two, Bets / Wagers, Held Down, Alternate Universe - Modern, D/s, Dominant!Enjolras, Submissive!Grantaire, Dominance, Submission, Dominant Being Penetrated, Submissive Doing The Penetrating, Kink, Fingerfucking, Bad Sex, Mild Limit Pushing, Kink Negotiation, BDSM Scene, Sex Fail
Series: Part 12 of Permets-Tu

Enjolras is going to learn to enjoy anal or die trying.

genarti: Fountain pen lying on blank paper, nib in close focus. ([misc] ink on the page)
[personal profile] genarti
Okay, I have a question for the Catholics and/or historical scholars around these parts! I am working on a fic, and the one scene that's keeping it from being finished is hung up on the fact that I know nothing about what confession would have been like for a Sister of Charity in France in the 1820s. I don't mean the exact rite -- I can find the Latin, but I can also write around that part; what I need to figure out are the relevant attitudes.

Google is no help, or I am insufficiently good at Google, because all I can find are a) very general modern explanations of confession, or b) equally modern encouragements for Catholics to go to confession more often. And being raised Episcopalian is in this case no use at all. So I turn to fandom at large.

My question is, of course, about Sister Simplice. My story picks up right after she tells her one major lie on Valjean's behalf, and covers some time afterwards, and it necessarily involves her going directly to talk to the curé of the parish about Valjean's money and Fantine and so forth. I don't need to write the confession scene, necessarily, but I need to know if she would have immediately taken confession about her lie, or what.

How does this work if you repent the sin but don't regret the act? What counts as contrition for this purpose? Are there other dimensions to consider in the church structure, with a non-cloistered nun and a parish priest, which would affect the timing or the fact of the confession? HOW DOES THIS WORK I DON'T KNOOOOW. I don't need 100% certainty, but I do need general plausibility, and I don't feel at all secure about what is and isn't plausible. All assistance gratefully welcomed! (All tangents also welcomed, on general principles.)


les_miserables: Cosette with a tricolor background, ie the musical logo (Default)
Let's all be miserable together!

May 2014



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