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
). 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!")