Lines I like

Any discussion related to Victor's Hugo's Les Misérables, in any language.
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CC21106
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Re: Lines I like

Postby CC21106 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:43 pm

That's a really tough question. If non-violence will do it, then non-violence is the best choice. Some people like violence for its own sake; I hope nobody here!

It's hard to avoid thoughts of violence when violence has been committed against you or your group. Revenge, that is. I think one message of the book is that the desire for revenge can be overcome.

The two cases you cite are not parallel in my view. The revolution was not JVJ's fight. He was not a revolutionary. He was getting shot at incidentally because he was there. The others were in what you might call a formal relationship with their opponents. Like a duel is a formal relationship. It was their duty (as Enjolras saw it anyway) to shoot the members of the opposing force.

IRL as well as in the book their revolt failed. Was it worth it? Would it have been worth it if it had succeeded? What about other revolutions? You raised a good question here which I see I haven't directly addressed. The classic example is WWII. Yes, that violence was necessary to prevent still more.
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Re: Lines I like

Postby CC21106 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:59 pm

I said:
CC21106 wrote: The others were in what you might call a formal relationship with their opponents. Like a duel is a formal relationship. It was their duty (as Enjolras saw it anyway) to shoot the members of the opposing force.

Now I'm adding, is this relationship normal or perverted? It goes way back. All the way to hunter-gatherer tribes ritually fighting each other. It has occurred to me that this is something men do because they can't give birth. I know that's a freaky theory but think about it--they can't give life, but they can sure take it, which seems equally impressive though it's not really. Would be more so when your only weapon is a spear and you have to get within reach.
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Re: Lines I like

Postby Ursula_F » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:03 pm

I don't have the book in front of me, so I won't be able to quote it. But my all-time favorite moment in the book is when Valjean is trying to get to the trial of Champmathieu, and the wagon wheel breaks, and he's asking if he can get it fixed, or get a replacement wagon, and there's nothing anyone can do, and they tell him there is absolutely NO WAY he's getting to that town by nightfall...and the next line is something like "Jean Valjean was overcome with joy."

On first reading it, I was puzzled at that line, because he was trying so hard to get there...but THEN it goes on and shows Jean Valjean thinking something like, "Oh, well! I tried my best. Guess I can't go to the trial and confess after all! Too bad. Guess I'll just have to go back and keep being mayor and NOT go to prison!"

And then the old lady says "Hey, did you say you need a wagon? I have one you can use," and Valjean is like, "Oh, crap!"

Not in those words, obviously. :) But I just LOVE that moment, because who among us HASN'T felt that way? You're worried about the big test in school, but then you hear the teacher is absent so it got postponed and you're so relieved, but then nope! It's still on! Or you're supposed to help someone move or drive them to the airport, and you really don't want to, but then they say "Something came up, we'll have to postpone it," so you're off the hook, but then nope! You still have to do it. Obviously nothing as dire as being faced with going to PRISON, obviously! But I just love that moment of Valjean's reactions because it's just SO real and SO human.

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Re: Lines I like

Postby Morbidmuch_ » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:03 pm

One of my favourite places in the brick is when Fauchelevent gets stuck under the cart and they all discuss how to get him out, the difficulties and such and Javert is just like "I knew a man once who could do that". Talk about being unhelpful :lol: :lol:
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Re: Lines I like

Postby 23623 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:15 am

Ursula_F wrote:I don't have the book in front of me, so I won't be able to quote it. But my all-time favorite moment in the book is when Valjean is trying to get to the trial of Champmathieu, and the wagon wheel breaks, and he's asking if he can get it fixed, or get a replacement wagon, and there's nothing anyone can do, and they tell him there is absolutely NO WAY he's getting to that town by nightfall...and the next line is something like "Jean Valjean was overcome with joy."

On first reading it, I was puzzled at that line, because he was trying so hard to get there...but THEN it goes on and shows Jean Valjean thinking something like, "Oh, well! I tried my best. Guess I can't go to the trial and confess after all! Too bad. Guess I'll just have to go back and keep being mayor and NOT go to prison!"

And then the old lady says "Hey, did you say you need a wagon? I have one you can use," and Valjean is like, "Oh, crap!"


Ooh...I must admit I somehow missed that. Sounds like an interesting anecdote indeed. And dark Valjean is my favorite. 8) I confess, sometimes I feel really annoyed by those TOO NICE musical Valjeans. They're not Valjeans; they are just Bishops with longer stage time. What I love about book-Valjean is that he's not perfect all the time. He's not a saint natural-born, and not one either even after "Bishopping". One of my favorite "dark-ish" Valjean moments is when he discovered about Cosette and Marius. As Hugo put it, Valjean actually felt hatred for the first time in his life (not an exact quote). I'm not old enough to say this but I think the sense of loss Valjean was feeling is probably what many parents feel when their only child is leaving them for marriage, work or whatever reasons. In Valjean's case the loss is even more devastating. 19 years in prison took away the best time of his youth. His successful career was destroyed by the second imprisonment. Then there was Cosette. He raised her, he needed her and she him. The two were living a happy and peaceful life. But oops, suddenly Marius appeared, threatening to take away the most precious being in his life. Poor Valjean, struggling for all his life but got nothing/nobody for him in the end. :( It's really hard to not hate when life's being this cruel.
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Re: Lines I like

Postby Ursula_F » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:59 pm

One of my favourite places in the brick is when Fauchelevent gets stuck under the cart and they all discuss how to get him out, the difficulties and such and Javert is just like "I knew a man once who could do that". Talk about being unhelpful :lol: :lol:


ROFL!!! I love Javert.

What I love about book-Valjean is that he's not perfect all the time. He's not a saint natural-born, and not one either even after "Bishopping". One of my favorite "dark-ish" Valjean moments is when he discovered about Cosette and Marius. As Hugo put it, Valjean actually felt hatred for the first time in his life (not an exact quote). I'm not old enough to say this but I think the sense of loss Valjean was feeling is probably what many parents feel when their only child is leaving them for marriage, work or whatever reasons. In Valjean's case the loss is even more devastating. 19 years in prison took away the best time of his youth. His successful career was destroyed by the second imprisonment. Then there was Cosette. He raised her, he needed her and she him. The two were living a happy and peaceful life. But oops, suddenly Marius appeared, threatening to take away the most precious being in his life. Poor Valjean, struggling for all his life but got nothing/nobody for him in the end. :( It's really hard to not hate when life's being this cruel.


YES! That's why I love Valjean - he's NOT a saint. He's just a very real, human kind of guy, trying his hardest to do the right thing, but it's not easy and not without moments of selfishness. That's what makes it so meaningful.

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Re: Lines I like

Postby CC21106 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:17 am

Ursula_F wrote:I don't have the book in front of me, so I won't be able to quote it. But my all-time favorite moment in the book is when Valjean is trying to get to the trial of Champmathieu, and the wagon wheel breaks, and he's asking if he can get it fixed, or get a replacement wagon, and there's nothing anyone can do, and they tell him there is absolutely NO WAY he's getting to that town by nightfall...and the next line is something like "Jean Valjean was overcome with joy."

Also when he finds the note to Cosette from Marius at the barricade. All he has to do is destroy it and she would never know. He feels happy thinking about that--next thing you know he's in his National Guard uniform heading for the barricade.

And when he has Marius in the sewer and has laid him down for a bit and looks at him with inexpressible hatred. Yes, he's human all right.
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I have actually made bullets like they're doing in my avatar. Then loaded the gun with a ramrod, and shot it. But I'm not feeling real good about guns right now.

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Re: Lines I like

Postby Rachel » Sun May 14, 2017 12:02 am

I apologize if this is from another one of his works or a mistranslation, but I've always thought that “to love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.” was a beautiful line.
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