Cracktastique! Blame the Jetlag

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Mamselle Miss
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Postby Mamselle Miss » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:00 am

Oh these are lovely. They look so good together. And, given their similar personalities, I can certainly see them getting along very well.
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a_marguerite
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Postby a_marguerite » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:03 am

Ah, Symposium! I love this fandom so much.

And, eeeeee it's Saint-Just! I was reading The Twelve Who Ruled today and indulging in some shameless revolutionary fangirlism and am very pleased to see such a beautiful rendition of him here. <3

You are made of the win.

Also, the combined prettiness of Saint-Just and Enjolras would have caused a united French Republic, if you know what I'm sayin'. United in shameless fangirling.[/i]

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Col.Despard
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Postby Col.Despard » Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:55 am

Thank you, Pie, Mamselle Miss and a_marguerite...lolz at the united Republic! It could be a situation like this (it's been posted here before, but it bears repeating:

A Sexy Revolution

I want the second-to-last panel as a t-shirt.

Frédérique, I've had the idea of an Enjolras as reincarnated Cimourdain/Gauvain rattling through my head all day...they ascend together to the heavens and somehow...um...merge? Giving Enjolras troubling visions from both perspectives? I'm not enthusiastic about popular reincarnation ideas (not talking about older religions that believe in the concept) as I've spent too much time in my field dealing with individuals who believe they are the reincarnees of some (semi) famous people I research (usually there are multiple versions of the popular ones)...but an open ended explanation might work. Something he doesn't remember reading in all his research surfacing in subconscious memories? Some other psychic experience? Or perhaps he literally did once already transverse the Revolutionary Apocalypse?

Seeing a scene in there where he remembers encountering a young man with sad eyes who seems to be wearing the coat of a conventionale...
"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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Frédérique
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Postby Frédérique » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:11 pm

...they ascend together to the heavens and somehow...um...merge? Giving Enjolras troubling visions from both perspectives?

Precisely! Precisely what I was thinking (in fact, it's almost literally what I first jotted down when coming up with it, right down to the young man, 'the sight of a young man - no older than himself - clad en petit uniforme, eyes fixed à l'avenir ...'.)
(EDIT: Oh, wait. Sad eyes? In the uniform of a ... oh. I've had the wrong young man! Now that was colossally slow even for my standards.)
I know virtually nothing about popular and/or ancient theories of reincarnation, but the thought offers itself quite easily considering the 'already traversed ...' line (and that line at the end of "93", the shadow of the one soul merging with the light of the other), and it's such an interesting, plausible-and-well-founded-once-one-looks-beyond-the-initial-crackiness thought, since the elements so improbably and yet appearantly painlessly conciled in Enjolras are divided in two characters with those, and (while they love each other deeply and all that) they are in explicit conflict throughout so much of their story. (Which, to take it to an abstractish level, quite nicely illustrates the clash between justice's and grace/mercy's respective claims to absolute reign and their inability to compromise/coexist doing anything other than fight to the death, which, apart from turning up somewhere in Camus' "Regicides" essay, is also a topic rather in tune with "Les Misérables", so what looks like dimestore mysticism has a serious philosophical dimension ... er, possibly.)
But troubling dreams and déjà-vus (with or without reasonable explanation) aside it seems to me there's virtually nowhere one could go with the concept, not much in canon that could be interestingly and credibly influenced by this altered background unless it itself were to be altered substantially in the process. It'd just be an uncommonly creative way of supplying Enjolras with Doubts, and that's not the most desirable result, is it? (Though it would be interesting to explore just how he does reconcile the two. Which is an eternal question anyway - perhaps it is more smoothly answered if the unrealistically matched elements thus take on names and faces?)
It would account better than realism can for his vast knowledge of revolutionary history and for his excellent skills in the organisation and conduct of battles, but that's a one-liner revelation. Hm-hm-hm ...
Last edited by Frédérique on Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Col.Despard
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Postby Col.Despard » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:48 pm

Oh, I'd love to see you write it! It's so tantalisingly near and neatly explainative and then...ugh...the angst angle is introduced. Whereas Enjolras would probably blink once when he worked out what was going on, say thoughtfully "ahhh...so that's why I've been dreaming of the Counter Revolution in Brittany since I was two years old." Then in the next breath he'd resume business as usual.

Perhaps Cimourdain handles the Revolutionary justice and Gauvain the strategic angles? Although every now and then Gauvain clearly gets the upper hand...Cimourdain, I suspect, would not have been willing to exchange Javert for Jehan. He'd almost make a point of sacrificing his friend rather than compromise.

Might it work as a young Enjolras pre l'ABC working his way through these ideas and unexplained impulses and visions? I can see him being regarded as an unnatural child who occasionally comes up with Disturbing Questions to ask adults and, in early childhood, having vivid nightmares of fire and trapped children before these fade away. And then one day he trips across the story of these two, it all makes sense, and he recognises the duality that is so much a part of his makeup...the apparently irreconcilable reconciled?

As long as he doesn't develop a fear of sharp objects near his neck (seriously - I've known would-be current life Anne Boleyns who cite a fear of sharp blades as evidence for their status as a reincarnated Anne).
"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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Frédérique
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Postby Frédérique » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:43 pm

Might it work as a young Enjolras pre l'ABC working his way through these ideas and unexplained impulses and visions?


That could be pulled off (and what's more, if it was done with meticulous care the character thus developed should, by and between '28 and '32, be downright indistinguishable from the one that is in the book) ... but it would be a very theory-heavy, stream-of-consciousness sort of thing, very little room for action and dialogue (everyday backdrop - or possible sub-/side plots - aside) other than in flashback. The whole thing would be Enjolras dreaming, Enjolras contemplating, Enjolras researching, Enjolras contemplating, Enjolras concluding, Enjolras resuming ... well, he could take a break to buy fresh coffee once in a while (or take a ride in the woods to clear his head :D). It doesn't seem likely that he'd take anyone into confidence on an issue that is resolved between Enjolras and Enjolras. (Well, to assume that he would even want to talk through either his suspicions or his conclusions with anyone would be too much angst already, even if he were shown to be sure enough of the matter not to fear being thought mad if he speaks about it. Still, Enjolras' head is not the cosiest place to spend too much time without interruption from the outside.)
... We-ell, it would be possible to either invent a kooky old librarian/chronicler/whatever, who introduces him to their story and is generally more willing to speak of the years of the revolution in depth and multicolour than family and acquaintances (oh, and a side plot could be showing what became of the Fléchard children), or supply him with an understanding Combeferre, who makes it his life goal to keep watch over him and prevent the Cimourdain side from taking over (instantly credible - and it would serve to explain how the otherwise undeterrable Enjolras can yet be softened by Combeferre, if he is The One Who Knows The Secret Of His Soul - but tacky beyond redemption), but ... mrrgh, how clichéd! How can so good an idea be so inevitably awful in practice? (Eternal questions, pt. XLII.)

Although every now and then Gauvain clearly gets the upper hand...Cimourdain, I suspect, would not have been willing to exchange Javert for Jehan. He'd almost make a point of sacrificing his friend rather than compromise.


Yes, definitely. (I wonder about the young artillery sergeant. Far too easy to say 'Cimourdain would have contributed the shot, Gauvain the tear.'!) The mixture is more seventy-five/twenty-five than fifty/fifty; the single-straight-line devotion to his cause and (unregretting, untempted) abstinence from earthly indulgences are the only things he's inherited from Cimourdain (notably missing is his exceptional - though not quite exception-making - affection for one single human being - which is easily explained away in that they are, after all, united now, but could also be part of the key to the way the justice/kindness balance is struck: that small capacity for love, in being merged with its object, has expanded to include all people, and not merely in the abstract, but in doing so lost its intensity or at least its immediacy; in this regard it's interesting anyway how Gauvain, while more benevolent towards all people - all individuals, les gens as opposed to le peuple - does not reciprocate Cimourdain's obsessive adoration; this, again, he shares with E. as part of the role each occupies in his novel in the context of its respective entire cast: not incapable of loving or averse to the idea of 'love' - to whom belongs the future, and so on - but too occupied to be actively affectionate, but nonetheless an object of universal and particular affection), all the rest is Gauvain.
What troubles me is that line about Enjolras' incompletion. If he is incomplete as the result of putting together Cimourdain and Gauvain, and if he is incomplete for having too much of Saint-Just about him, hardly seeing the roses, etc. (re-reading Enjolras' introductory paragraph only makes the theory sound more logical and obvious - 'a pontifical and warlike nature', 'an officiating priest and a man of war' ...), and what Cimourdain criticises in Gauvain is (not literally) that Gauvain does not have enough of Saint-Just ... that should mean that Gauvain was more complete as a human being. (Put differently: he's slightly more real, -istic to the reader.) From Gauvain to Enjolras there would then have been a reduction rather than an addition (thus, Cimourdain would be a negative value ... which does make sense, considering his soul is described as the shadowy one; now, if they had merged evenly, the result would have been a dimmed light, a foggy nothing - but as it is, it's a light that is all the more striking for the darkness that hails it and sets it off: voilà, the dawn) (... that was far-fetched), even though the result is an absolute ... right, never a good idea to mix metaphysics and mathematics.

It might also be worth considering on the side (but it's another thing that's neigh-impossible to do seriously) which (if any) 'higher power' might have cooked up the plan of letting that merged soul stew for thirteen years and then flinging it back out there just in time to command and perish at the barricade of the Rue de la Chanvrerie. While it's essentially lovely and fitting to think of Enjolras as a favourite of the Republic's/Patria's/Liberty's, the fact that he doesn't succeed renders the thought that he was hand-picked to help fulfill any charming allegory's purposes illogical - or at the very least, it's a case of chance co-existing with but defeating providence. "It just happened, no reason; the fact itself is the reason for Enjolras' development - not the other way around!" seems the explanation most likely to hold up (and can be written without danger of descending into pseudo-mythological cartoonery, not that that wouldn't make some nice light entertainment in its own right as an exploration of similar questions - blind Iustitia competing with some personified Love or other for the attentions of the young man, a variation on the Judgment of Paris ...), but Things Happening For No Reason Whatsoever doesn't ring altogether true in a universe based on one (formerly two) created by Hugo.


As long as he doesn't develop a fear of sharp objects near his neck (seriously - I've known would-be current life Anne Boleyns who cite a fear of sharp blades as evidence for their status as a reincarnated Anne).


...
... but ... that leaves a pretty wide selection of possible past identities, doesn't it?


Oh, I'd love to see you write it!


Ha, so would I! Unfortunately my forays into writing tend to follow a pattern along the lines of 'Writing: five seconds. Looking up a detail 96,86% of people would never have bothered pointing out as wrong*: five minutes. Encountering a myriad other delicious details along the way and dreaming up epically educational digressions that would make it possible to mention them**: five hours. Fretting about the fact that neither research nor plotting are going anywhere fast: five days.' (And all that is before I suffer a general crisis of conscience [I do maintain that fanfiction, while possibly revolutionary, is inherently countervirtuous. Plato may disagree.], realise I subconsciously stole from Ian Fleming, or drop a dictionary in a bowl of punch.)

*'Would a cabriolet going from A to B in YYYY at any point have passed a statue of Henri IV?'
**Somewhere in my files lie three pages of trivia dumping and laboriously terrible jokes set off by the simple fact that on January 26, 1828, the daughter of Jacques Laffitte was married to a son of Michel Ney. The day I can work out a context in which the information might actually be relevant will be glorious indeed. (It's comforting to pretend Hugo worked in a similar way. "Damn it, one of these days I simply have to come up with a novel in which I can use that fifty-page essay on the Parisian sewer system!")

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Col.Despard
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Re: Cracktastique! Blame the Jetlag

Postby Col.Despard » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:26 am

So, I soaked up the atmosphere in Paris. Purchased books I can use as source material for images. Took photographs for inspiration. Discussed ideas for illustrations with everyone else.

And came back to do...this:

Among the many long meta discussions over there, I was on my usual grumble about fanfic writers who invest Enjolras - the least neurotic character imaginable - with angsty self-doubt. You know - the "we're all going to fail!" "Why am I doing this?" "OMG...what if I get everyone killed??!!??!111"

Often because they want him to fall into Grantaire's Manly Arms for comfort.

Marianne brought up a comment I once made along the lines of a Blackadderism: "Enjolras wouldn't know an Angsty Self Doubt if it put on a nice frock and danced a can can around him while waving a sign in his face saying "I'm an Angsty Self Doubt".

It was then suggested I draw said flamboyant Angsty Self Doubt.

You can blame the jet lag.

Image
Bigger version available on my DeviantArt account, as usual.
"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

http://coloneldespard.deviantart.com/

collectingbees
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Re: Cracktastique! Now with Saint-Just!

Postby collectingbees » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:30 am

You have NO idea how hard I laughed. My face hurt from laughing. You guys are geniuses.

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Marianne
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Re: Cracktastique! Blame the Jetlag

Postby Marianne » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:49 am

OMG *dissolves into giggles*

OMG this is fantastic.
[Dieu] entend ta voix, ô fille des hommes! aussi bien que celle des constellations; car rien n'est petit pour celui devant lequel rien n'est grand.
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Frédérique
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Re: Cracktastique! Blame the Jetlag

Postby Frédérique » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:51 am

I am shaken with laughter, though also with concern - if an Angsty Self-Doubt showed up looking like that, there is a frightful risk it would end up attracting rather a lot of attention from Courfeyrac, whose taking it home would be at least as harrowing in consequence as Enjolras' noticing it in the first place.

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Hannah
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Re: Cracktastique! Blame the Jetlag

Postby Hannah » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:14 am

Omg, his FACE. I cannot stop looking at it. It is so, so bewildered. fgskhdfgksfds!!!

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Col.Despard
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Re: Cracktastique! Blame the Jetlag

Postby Col.Despard » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:30 am

Glad you like it, Collectingbees and Marianne! Hannah, it was a lot of fun drawing his expression..."Should I know you? You're not Marianne...are you Justicia? Columbia? Polonia? Combeferre's mother?"

Frédérique - eep! I hadn't considered the possibility of Courfeyrac shacking up with an Angsty Self Doubt...you're right, it's a most disconcerting prospect. Unless the Angsty Self Doubt was transformed into an Exuberant Self Confidence by the experience.
"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

http://coloneldespard.deviantart.com/

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a_marguerite
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Re: Cracktastique! Blame the Jetlag

Postby a_marguerite » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:54 am

Ha, omg this is so hilarious! I also really want the angsty self-doubt's boots. They're absolutely fab! I also do love how Enjolras is looking so politely puzzled (the question marks over his head are my fave).

re: Courfeyrac shacking up with the Angsty Self Doubt. Ha! Well if anyone can turn an Angsty Self Doubt into an Exuberant Self Confidence, it'd be Courfeyrac.

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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: Cracktastique! Blame the Jetlag

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:01 pm

I am not sure what is making me crack up more: Angsty Self Doubt looking as if it was dancing the can-can, or Enjolras' facial expression!

This day just gets better and better!
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: Cracktastique! Blame the Jetlag

Postby Cary » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:11 pm

OMFGAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA. :lol:

Oh, this is priceless! God, I don't know what's funnier: your anthropomorphic personification of "Angsty Self-Doubt" in a can-can skirt (!!!!! nice rendering of the ruffles, btw) and pantaloons, OR Enjolras' confused "Huh whaaaa...?" expression. (Btw, I really like his return to a more fashionable haircut). So very evil, and so very awesome.

Did you colour this digitally? ;)

[accidentally reads Frederique's comment about Courfeyrac. Dissolves into fit of chuckles.]


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