Mal du siècle

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Col.Despard
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Mal du siècle

Postby Col.Despard » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:47 pm

At the risk of woobiefying Enjolras...here's a plot bunny that nagged:

Mal du siècle

Reading Charlotte's descriptions of Emily's and Anne's deaths, you realise there's nothing romantinc about tuberculosis.
"The principles of freedom, of humanity, and of justice, will finally triumph over falsehood, tyranny and delusion, and every principle inimical to the interests of the human race" - Edward Despard, 1803
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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: Mal du siècle

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:43 pm

Wow. A most interesting explanation...and it's so like Enjolras to be so spirited in the face of death from within and without. I feel tears prickling in my eyes as I write this: you have captured this sort of thing so beautifully (and so creatively too, no one's EVER done a fic like this).

Well done!
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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ivrogne transfiguré
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Re: Mal du siècle

Postby ivrogne transfiguré » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:57 pm

I love it. The last half of it had me in tears. It's a surprisingly plausible 'explanation' of the events, and you handled it really sensitively. It was a really nice touch how you managed to tie in so many of the Amis' little traits or actions as well, creating such a web of support for Enjolras.

Just one small thing, " "When I first began working at the Necker," Combeferre found myself explaining, a relief to finally give utterance to these thoughts ". Should that be himself?

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merlin_emrys
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Re: Mal du siècle

Postby merlin_emrys » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:15 pm

That is a lovely story -- to see Combeferre caring so unfailingly for his friend, and the revelation that all the Amis had been, in subtle ways, helping as well, was really touching. It shows so perfectly how strong the bonds between them are -- Combeferre and Enjolras in particular, but the rest of the Amis as well. And Enjolras, facing death with his customary courage, all the while devoting his remaining energy to his cause, was heartbreaking and very real.

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Apollo'sCrown
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Re: Mal du siècle

Postby Apollo'sCrown » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:40 pm

Pure, awesome, amazing. I'm a fail at words right now from exhaustion, but this is amazing. And TB is so... gah. *fails at words*
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9430
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Re: Mal du siècle

Postby 9430 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:28 am

Very touching, especially the moment when Courfeyrac tells Combeferre that the rest of the Amis knew as well. It really shows how strong the brotherly bonds are between them, but it makes it soo sad!
aka Fiwen

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Col.Despard
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Re: Mal du siècle

Postby Col.Despard » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:08 am

Oh, phew! It was one of those things I was really up and down about posting...the idea has nagged at me for a long time, once I started linking moments of pallor/trembling before his speech/the intense reserve/his "frailness"/the physical slenderness. I think I could have emphasised Combeferre's disgruntlement with the romanticisation of the disease during that era and the myths about it being a "good death" more, but I didn't really have anyone to play him off. Prouvaire is already dead by the time Enjolras gives his view from a barricade speech, and Courfeyrac is too much an iconoclast to really buy into the idea of spiritual ecstasies revealed to sufferers of the disease.

So glad you thought it was original, Aurelia...I actually thought it was so obvious that it must have been done before, but couldn't find a previous example. I suppose the sheer ferocity of how Enjolras fights rather counters the idea of TB, so I had to tweak that a bit (and emphaise the "frail" angle more).

ivrogne transfiguré, thank you very much for that correction...I've noticed a few others and will have to do some subbing later. I put it down fairly fast - in one sitting and a revision - because I figured it would never get done or posted otherwise. I'm happy you think the Amis network of support works, and that it's a plausible scenario. I didn't want the message to be Enjolras going out with maximum carnage, but rather concealing his condition because he both wants to spare his friends and also because he doesn't want his illness to impact on any interpretations others would put on his actions and indirectly reflect negatively on their cause. I should have stressed the later component more, but I tend to overwrite so pared a lot of it down.

Merlin, I'm so pleased from your comments that I seem to have come at least somewhere near what I was aiming for! I can see him doing an Emily Bronte...while some more recent biographers have suggested her actions in trying to ignore the disease was some sort of elaborate suicide because she had exhuasted her creativity, I go more with the idea that the illness was a very, very unwelcome interruption and she continued on in the hopes that it would just go away, hardly sparing herself at all. Unlike Enjolras, though, she wouldn't conset to see a doctor until the very last day...Enjolras, I think, would try to eke out his life as long as he had a gun to hold or strength to hold it. Only then would he stand still until death overwhelmed him.

Thank you, Apollo'sCrown! I'm as relieved as I am delighted you liked it!
"The principles of freedom, of humanity, and of justice, will finally triumph over falsehood, tyranny and delusion, and every principle inimical to the interests of the human race" - Edward Despard, 1803

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MmeBahorel
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Re: Mal du siècle

Postby MmeBahorel » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:22 pm

As I finally get through this (and I'm glad I did put it off until I was in a better mental state, I can imagine having wound up a complete mess yesterday), I think the reason it hasn't been done before is that to do it well requires a load of research that much of fandom doesn't really do.

I've played a tiny bit with the TB (most notably Mireille's death in Corner of the Sky), and at the time I was writing that, it was very difficult to get reliable information on the progression of tuberculosis when untreated if you had no idea how to navigate the medical presence on the web.

As I said in my FFN review, I think it makes sense of one of the older fic tropes, the sort of suicidal nature of this particular émeute. Only it actually makes sense, and for Enjolras alone and the fraternity he has built, and solely in his own desire to die on his own terms rather than from this disease. (I also wonder if he ever wondered "Why can't I even manage to get cholera? Lamarque got cholera!" Not so jokey, of course, but in terms of anything at all being a "better" way to die, something quick and blameless and more in keeping with his personal philosophy. Because "consumption" was killing everyone right and left, regardless of class, but it got pegged as the beautiful disease of the rich, of poets and artists, while the millions who struggled and died in the dirt of the slums were ignored by the standard tale. Cholera seems pegged as as much a working people's plague as anything, which is something Enjolras would prefer to be joined with.)

Wow, I'm rambling. Uhm, great fic, and I sort of cried :)
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

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freedomlover
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Re: Mal du siècle

Postby freedomlover » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:50 am

I love it, so real! :) I can now actually see Enjolras as a consumptive... beautiful <3 I nearly teared up...
ImageTime Machine Theory:According to some people, Hugo had a time machine and based Enjolras on this user but made a male version of this user.


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