I kind of like the idea of and AU in which Les Mis is actually written by Marius. Like as he got older he just had an increasing amount of Feelings About Things and started obsessively researching his mysterious heroic father-in-law, as well as everybody else connected to him and Cosette.
So he traveled around the country interviewing people, looking through documents, checking locations etc. and finally wrote down his own interpretation of the events based on the things he found out or remembered. And because he’s Marius he couldn’t help but address various other things he’d become interested in (like sewers, argot, etc.) and some things he used to be interested in (Napoleon, Waterloo). He also became much more republican and much more conscious of social problems later in life so the book became increasingly about those things too.
… So I guess everything in Les Mis would be from an older Marius’s point of view in this universe. Honestly I think it might explain a lot.
“This is the story of How I Met Your Mother…. And how your grandfather stole a loaf of bread…”
Omg thank you for this addition.
The main character of Les Miserables is not Monseignuer Bienvenu or Jean Valjean, or Fantine, or Gavroche, or Marius, or Cosette, but the person who invents them and tells their story, this insolent narrator who keeps cropping up between his creation and the reader.
Mario Vargas Llosa, The Temptation of the Impossible
A Very Astute Observation About Cats, by Victor Hugo
Let’s all remember the time Victor Hugo really wanted to make sure we knew what year it was.
Victor Hugo: Wow, the stars are beautiful tonight.
Date: Yeah, they are.
Victor Hugo: You know who else is beautiful?
Date: *blushes* Who?
Victor Hugo: Enjolras
Louis XVI: puns are the lowest form of wit
Victor Hugo, writing les mis: vive la révolution, bitch
so we all know there’s a bunch of stuff from hugo’s papers and notebooks that never made it into the novel, yes? here are a lot of them (look at them if you haven’t! it’s an adventure) but i’ve made it my mission in life to find more and today at the library i came across this book and in it, there were more. and guys. guys. one of them is my absolute favourite piece of e/R dialogue that never was. please have a look at this:
GRANTAIRE, smoking his pipe and tipsy
People think me situated at the height of philosophy. They are wrong. I am a pig.
– That’s true, said Enjolras.
just picture this exchange. grantaire, smoking a pipe, saying mean stuff about himself, as he does. enjolras, listening, calmly nodding, “yeah….tru….you’re saying it like it is.” combeferre really has some competition in the whole “completely destroy ur opponent using two words or less” department, and grantaire arguably has unlocked a whole new level of putting his own intellect down for fun
(seriously, though, it’s interesting that he wrote this bit in 1861 – so shortly before publication – because around that time, he also made a work note that said “increase enjolras’ harshness toward grantaire. near contempt” so this might have been an idea of how to do that, but he ended up not using it? you can always argue about how intentional the whole e/R dynamic is, but there was a lot of thought put into its details, because that’s the hugo way)
Ooh, I’ve seen this exchange before but without the work note! It’s interesting that he didn’t use it, then! I’ve often thought that the way Enjolras is actually shown treating Grantaire doesn’t really line up with Hugo’s description– except at the barricades, Enjolras never seems to be much besides “reasonably annoyed” about him.
…I gotta say though, that in combination with what we see of Grantaire’s other exchanges, this bit of dialogue does actually read as more familiar and friendly than what we’re given in the book. Grantaire does a lot of Play Insulting and boundary-testing with his friends–including Enjolras– in-book, and is sarcastic and insulting about the whole world in general a lot. This seems to be on that level– which I know is not a comfortable way of expressing closeness for everyone, but we’ve got lots of evidence that it is *for Grantaire*–which to me makes it seem that Enjolras, who’s otherwise pretty serious and direct, is to some extent meeting him halfway on that . I mean, I could see this being part of a series of bantering dialogue between R and Courfeyrac or Bossuet, no problem. (Grantaire of course has much more complicated feelings about Enjolras, but it’s hardly Enjolras’ job to know that when Grantaire himself doesn’t.)
Anyway, it is a great little bit of dialogue! Thank you for bringing it back!
I pun, therefore I am.
My favorite thing about Victor Hugo is that the Notre Dame Cathedral was a huge eyesore on the verge of collapsing and was planned to be demolished but Victor Hugo was like “hey 😦 I like that building” and wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame to save it. and it worked
In the book he described the cathedral in the state it was in but also in comparison to what it looked like in the 15th century before it got all fucked up in the French Revolution. His book got translated into a fuck ton of languages and was distributed all around Europe. Tourists who were fans of him would go to see it while in Paris and were appalled to see just how bad of shape it was in and it started to become stain on paris’ reputation.
So finally the king funded the Hella expensive restoration which I imagine was one really fucking gnarly project, the structure it’s self being the tip of the ice burg because of how many religious artifacts and statutes and junk that had been ruined.
So thanks Vicky that’s one hell of a beautiful tower.