He composed, in his own mind, with Combeferre’s philosophical and penetrating eloquence, Feuilly’s cosmopolitan enthusiasm, Courfeyrac’s verve, Bahorel’s smile, Jean Prouvaire’s melancholy, Joly’s science, Bossuet’s sarcasms, a sort of electric spark which took fire nearly everywhere at once.- Enjolras and his Lieutenants, 4.1.6
I’ve heard people joke about what a horrible speech that would be, but… that’s The Speech, that’s the Quel Horizon speech. They’re all in there. (I don’t know where he got the Goats of Darkness, but I am inclined to blame the Romantics.) I’ll probably post these separately later with more about the quotes and all (and for now please do click through for the bigger images) but for now, Happy First Barricade Day!
Hopefully pt 1; I’ll see tomorrow.
Anyway, The Speech under the cut!
jesus fuck when enjolras says “everybody keep the faith” and does that smile because he believes so strongly that what is right will prevail and grantaire just looks equal parts angry and heartbroken because he just knows it won’t end well for any of them
I love the way in the movie it makes out like Marius is one of the leaders of the rebellion, when in the book Marius is literally the goofy friend that says something dumb and everyone fondly rolls their eyes and goes ‘classic pontmercy’
Aah I’m so glad you asked!
First I just want to clear up for my fellow translation-dependent readers that “the South” isn’t quite what Hugo says– he says they’re from “the Midi”. It’s a totally understandable translation and gets across a lot of what’s intended, but it’s not quite the same thing– a bit like an American historical reference about “the Deep South” instead of “ The South”, in that there’s some specificity and nuance there. So really, I’m going to be talking about why the Amis are, except Legle, from The Midi.
TL, DR; The Amis being from the Midi is another contextual clue/reminder of how much political turmoil France is going through in canon era far beyond what happens to the characters we follow, and another nod to the Amis in general *not* being naive or ignorant of the danger of what they’re doing **It may also be an attempt to remind Hugo’s contemporary readers that the South, which seems to have fallen into a stereotype of being reactionary or monarchist, was also home to very devotedly republican thinkers and activists.
Like so much about Les Mis, it has its roots in the French Revolution. The Midi was the home of some of the earliest and most passionate revolutionary groups–there’s a reason the theme of the Republic was “ La Marseillaise ”, after all. Volunteers, agitators and organizers from the Midi were some of the most active, involved–and violent– in the early phases of the revolution, on the ground level if not always at the level of elected leaders. ***
And people of the Midi were also some of the most active, involved–and violent– in the counter-revolutionary movement, from the earliest days on.
And “on” very much means into the 1830s.
I’m writing a fic about Javert’s early days as a policeman, and I’m trying to construct a timeline around when he was hired. In the brick, there’s a line introducing Javert in Montreuil-sur-Mer:
Javert owed the post which he occupied to the protection of M. Chabouillet, the secretary of the Minister of State, Comte Anglès, then prefect of police at Paris.
– Les Miserables, Book 5, Chapter 5
was Minister of Police in the provisional government of 1814, which was established during the transitional period after Napoleon’s defeat, so we can safely pin down a date here. Furthermore, Valjean arrives before Javert in Montreuil-sur-Mer in late 1815:
Towards the close of 1815 a man, a stranger, had established himself in the town, and had been inspired with the idea of substituting, in this manufacture, gum-lac for resin, and, for bracelets in particular, slides of sheet-iron simply laid together, for slides of soldered sheet-iron.
– Les Miserables, Book 5, Chapter 1
Thus, it’s safe to say that the “post” referred to in the first passage is NOT the position of inspector in Montreuil-sur-Mer specifically, but Javert’s overall position within the police force. I interpret it as meaning Javert received M. Chabouillet’s patronage in 1814. We also know Javert became an inspector at age 40 (also in Book 5, Chapter 5).
Digging further, in Book 5, Chapter 12, we learn that Fantine is arrested in January 1823. Not long afterward, Javert reports to M. Madeleine in the infamous Punish Me M. le Maire scene:
“Jean Valjean. He was a convict whom I was in the habit of seeing twenty years ago, when I was adjutant-guard of convicts at Toulon.”
– Les Miserables, Book 6, Chapter 2
So working backward, we know Javert was a prison guard in 1803. I’m not sure if that’s when he was hired, but since he’d only be 23 at the time, I’d say it’s a fairly good estimate. Putting all this together, we have the following rough timeline:
1780: Javert is born
~1803 (age 23): Javert becomes a prison guard at Toulon
???: Javert joins the police force
1814 (age 34): Javert receives M. Chabouillet’s patronage
1815: Valjean arrives in Montreuil-sur-Mer
1820 (age 40): Javert is promoted to police inspector
???: Javert arrives in Montreuil-sur-Mer
1823 (age 43): Fantine is arrested
???: Javert is promoted to police inspector first class in Paris
1831: Henri Gisquet becomes prefect of police in Paris
1832 (age 52): Javert commits suicide
I’ll have to change my fic, since I assumed M. Chabouillet secured Javert’s transfer directly from prison guard to policeman, but now it’s more likely that Javert worked as a low-level spy until 1814, when he caught the eye of M. Chabouillet, who helped get him a promotion – probably to Paris, where he underwent instruction as a police inspector. (Current ranks of France’s National Police Force have “lieutenant student” and “lieutenant intern” prior to full lieutenant). Montreuil-sur-Mer was Javert’s first post following the conclusion of his training.
That is a really good question! There were of course simpler hairstyles available, but Hugo is very clear that Cosette IS a fashion plate, which means pretty elaborate hairdos. And there’s a few possible answers I can think of– take your pick, suggest others, or combine any of them:
-Cosette really does do her own hair, in all the complications then in fashion. It takes a lot of time, but practice makes it faster and as a proper bourgeois girl she’s not really allowed to do much else, so that’s one of her hobbies.
-Cosette does her own hair, but simplifies it. Everything under the bonnets that she’s definitely wearing when she heads out is pretty smooth, and she focuses on getting the visible ringlets and curls or swooping braids right. It takes less time.
– Cosette actually gets Toussaint to help, and it’s adorable.
– Cosette actually gets Valjean to help, and it’s SUPER adorable.
– Hugo does not know one single thing about how women in his era handled their fashion regiment, and he’s imagining Cosette with basically magic Style Powers. We all should accept that Cosette is Actually Magic and picture bluebirds and butterflies doing her hair like she was a Disney People’s Elected Representative.
I want to draw this, with both the Valjean helping version, and the Disney version.
yessss please do that:D
Jean Valjean’s eyes had assumed a frightful expression. They were no longer eyes; they were those deep and glassy objects which replace the glance in the case of certain wretched men, which seem unconscious of reality, and in which flames the reflection of terrors and of catastrophes. He was not looking at a spectacle, he was seeing a vision. He tried to rise, to flee, to make his escape; he could not move his feet. Sometimes, the things that you see seize upon you and hold you fast. He remained nailed to the spot, petrified, stupid, asking himself, athwart confused and inexpressible anguish, what this sepulchral persecution signified, and whence had come that pandemonium which was pursuing him.
On Jean Valjean seeing a passing chain gang in Paris. (Hugo, Les Miserables, Book, Volume 4, Book Two, Chapter VIII)
Valjean exhibiting some classic signs of PTSD after being triggered by the sight of a convict transport
i always feel a little iffy about fandom using ‘hard-working’ as Feuilly’s main quality – usually in sortings or ‘les amis as … ‘ posts, ‘cause…
okay, it’s not that he’s not hard-working, because he is! he does so much! and it’s a good quality! but with Feuilly it’s in large part because he has to, because really for him there’s no other choice.
it might work for other characters (no one ever calls Enjolras or Combeferre hardworking when they most definitely are? I wonder why – except no, I know why) saying the main thing about Feuilly is that he’s gounded and hard-working and values hard honest work above everything else, to me, feels like. you take the one guy in the entire group that’s known to be working class, the only one who has to work to survive in a group of privileged students, and the first thing fandom says about this character is like ‘oh boy! he works so much. he loves working to survive, it’s so deeply intrinsic to his personality as to be his main traits. working fullfills him, it makes him happy’. idk. it feels a little like mocking the socioeconomic inequalities that force him to work himself to exhaustion everyday just to survive. especially when you ignore everything else we know about him, his enthusiasm for the outside world, his knowledge, his compassion and his passion for learning, etc. which are, btw, highlighted way more than the hard-working part in the actual text
- jean valjean walked up to a group of people and started lecturing them on the virtue of the nettle plant
- jean valjean goes to every funeral in town
- jean valjean makes corn dolls for babies
- jean valjean breaks into peoples houses to give them money
- these are a few things that this guy has done in the past two pages
- jean valjean lifted a whole cart off a dude and then PAID THAT DUDE $1000 FOR BEING RESCUED BY HIM
- Grantaire knows Irma Boissy well-enough that she’s personally offended by his ugliness.
- Grantaire, at the end of his first big rant, is the one noticing Louison showing up and says “Ah, c’est toi Louison. Bonjour.”
- Grantaire talks about meeting Floréal and disapproving of her new beau.
- Grantaire, albeit in manner that is very displeasing, interacts with Matelote and Gibelote.
- Since Grantaire, Joly and Bossuet are best friends, it’s not a far stretch to say that R knows Musichetta.
R is part of the lady!club and i love it so much.