Permit, dear readers, a digression... on Jehan.

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Permit, dear readers, a digression... on Jehan.

Postby MmeJavert » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:26 pm

...because I think we're forgetting something. :lol:

In all seriousness. Upon this forum we have exhaustive discussions on how Enjolras might choose to partake in sexual relations. We have all sorts of deep character studies on Combeferre and Courfeyrac and Enjolras. We have fangirls of Joly and Feuilly and Grantaire. Where's the love for Prouvaire?

I mean it. Where?

Hugo gives us some astonishing insight into the boy's character. Admit it: how many of you think he's a total pansy because he plays the flute and grows flowers and weeps over women and blushes easily? However, a lot of us forget this:

Jehan knew four languages, besides French: Latin, Greek, Italian, and Hebrew. Jehan, says Hugo, learnt Latin solely in order to read Juvenal, learnt Greek solely in order to read Aeschylus, learnt Italian solely in order to read Dante, and Hebrew solely in order to read Isaiah. He also mentions that Jehan's three favoured poets in French, in ascending order, are Corneille, Agrippa d'Aubigné, and Racine.

While I have my doubts that Jehan "only" learnt Latin to read Juvenal -- being a rich only son, it'd be pretty strange if he didn't have a complete young man's classical education, so it stands to reason that he would have had a strong grounding in Latin and the classics anyway -- the others are interesting enough. Greek, okay, it seems to me that Greek and Latin are common enough languages for a classically-educated young man to be fluent in. Then... Italian. Most of us should remember that Italy still was at this time a collection of city-state kingdoms, not a unified country. He would have had to learn Florentine Italian if he were focused purely on Dante. And Hebrew. This is the astonishing one. I imagine it was probably pretty difficult to find a Hebrew tutor -- as it would have had to have been a Jew. Laying aside my ignorance on the subject of Jews in Restoration France... you have to admit that this is pretty astounding in itself.

This doesn't even touch the reading material.
- Aeschylus is full of GAY. It's, okay, it's subtext, but any of you who have read the Oresteia will notice it on about the second page. Even laying aside our fandom's Orestes and Pylades connotations, it's amazing. I adore the Oresteia
- Juvenal. Oh, Juvenal's satires are things of beauty. :D I won't expound on them here, but I do recommend you go grab a translation if you can't read Latin, because ... yesssss. *
- Dante. Do you really need me to discuss Dante any further? If you know me, you know Dante's my homeboy, so to speak. And let's not forget that La Commedia was Dante's final and crowning work -- up until his exile he wrote all sorts of things. Beautiful, beautiful love poetry, essays on politics -- De Monarchia especially, and there are others -- and then there's Il Convivio and La Vita Nuova. Y'all, Dante was pretty fabulous. Jehan is a Dante fanboy and that should really tell you all something.
- and Isaiah. I've lost my Bible years ago so someone else has to confirm, but isn't Isaiah the prophet who foresees the end of days?


I believe MmeBahorel knows more about Jehan's taste in French poets, because I've only ever been able to read snatches of Racine in translation, but... the above should be enough.

Enough to tell you that not only is Jehan not a pansy -- but he's a badass. (Not a GQMF, though :lol:) Holy crap, kid. I've been fond of this boy for years, because seriously? you want to have a fangirl/fanboy discussion with him. Yeah, you go fight with Enjolras and march with Combeferre, I'll be back here fangirling with Jehan. :D

Now, I want to ask a question: of all Jehan's reading material above, and of the classics in general -- how easy was it to obtain these books? Whether in a French translation or the original text? I've had this nebulous plotbunny in my head for ages now and, um, I sort of want to share it in story form one of these days. :D I just don't want to have him and Enjolras arguing over the merits of De Monarchia if one couldn't get a copy of it in 1827 in France (or, y'know, circa that time.)


* I also want to say: I think Jehan would have had to have read Roman poets other than Juvenal, if only Virgil, Ovid, and Catullus, but there are so many possibilities here... Still, Juvenal being his favourite says a lot.
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and to this day, she's glided on
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nothing said, what a waste

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Postby Marianne » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:15 am

My impression is that Hebrew wouldn't have been astounding and subversive, more... hardcore erudite and utterly geeky. Something that wasn't part of the standard education, but not unusual for serious scholars to have studied--almost the normal progression from Latin and Greek in terms of a classical education.

Also, I am fairly sure original texts were obtainable, because people sure as hell weren't learning "how to say naughty, socially-unacceptable things through classical allusion" from the bowdlerized translations of the time.
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Postby MmeJavert » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:19 am

Marianne wrote:My impression is that Hebrew wouldn't have been astounding and subversive, more... hardcore erudite and utterly geeky. Something that wasn't part of the standard education, but not unusual for serious scholars to have studied--almost the normal progression from Latin and Greek in terms of a classical education.


I meant it in terms of hardcore geeky, not astoundingly subversive. I guess that wasn't clear enough. XD
and to this day, she's glided on
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like a word misplaced
nothing said, what a waste

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Postby MmeBahorel » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:27 am

As far as i can tell:

Italian isn't out of the realm of possibility. It was common to have at least one modern language (though not well taught), Napoleon took the whole peninsula over, his sister was fluent in the Tuscan dialect (which is not the same as the Corsican dialect though it has some similarities), and it's really about as likely as someone having a background in German. Common enough though less common than German or English as a modern language.

Jews have full legal equality thanks to the Revolution and a certain amount of social integration, which was coming about pre-Revolution and thus the push for full legal equality. One would not need a Jew for a Hebrew tutor since Old Testament studies would be conducted in Hebrew and thus a certain number of highly educated priests would do just as well, but it's not as if Jews continued to be ghettoised in this period.

As for the reading material:

Oh dear god, Isaiah is freaky. He is the precursor of Agrippa d'Aubigné. It's all the same stuff only replace "Huguenots" with "Jews".

Agrippa d'Aubigné was an Huguenot poet and his masterpiece, Les Tragiques is all about how those persecuting the Huguenots are going to get fucked up by God for slaughtering his children. It's a horrifically violent revenge on the enemies of Protestantism, they will reap the violence they sow, etc. The entire world is horrid and corrupt and will die for its sins. (and unfortunately, I seem not to have posting anything on LJ at the time, so I've got nothing further on personal recollection.)

I don't have any experience with Corneille, unfortunately - he's one of the great Neo-Classical playwrights, but I've read none and seen none of his work. (am seeing a translation of The Liar later this season, though)

Racine is, well, if you take Shakespeare and put all the death offstage and make everything happen ridiculously in one day and thus be hella simplified, and take away anything that could cause LOLs. It is violent, it is kind of crazy, and it would be way better if it didn't have to observe the unities of time and place and had some fight scenes. I've seen a reading of Britannicus in translation and a production of Phèdre in translation (apologies for the stage door picspam in that link, but I do talk about the play in there). Not my cup of tea and these really made me understand why Shakespeare took France by storm in the Romantic era. Oh, and did I mention he writes in rhymed couplets? (headdesk) Shakespeare breaks all the rules and there are swordfights on stage. Britannicus would have been vastly improved with death on stage. In Phèdre, at least one death was on stage, but it was a death by poisoning, which is totally pansy. It also keeps us from getting awesome deathbed speeches.

But as for plot, both of Racine's major works are about powerful people screwing up less powerful people's love affairs and then people (but not everyone, sadly) ending up dead. Also, the characters are generally fairly flat, particularly the women, who are either raging harpies or pathetic virgins. (Lady Macbeth would have broken his brain.) But basically, these are anti-romantic - romance leaves you broken and your lover dead.

If someone had this stuff under their bed today, they'd get hauled down to the principal's office to make sure they didn't plan to shoot up the school. I'm serious. That is how extreme we are talking about, particularly with d'Aubigné but certainly if you put it all together. Which is why I write my Jehan as the kid who gets bullied (and at best ignored) and turns to violent overthrow of the government as a valid response. Because all those assholes at his high school are totally going to end up in the government and thus must be overthrown so that those at the bottom (and thus he can equate himself with the workers at least in terms of "reviled and spit upon") are able to rule in peace.

Not that there's been much of my Jehan, but that's because he kinda creeps me out if I focus too much on him and I prefer to just use him as a secondary character in scenes.

as for access:

The only one I can see being an issue is a Hebrew-language Old Testament (not Torah, obv.), and then only because it would be expensive and hard to get since it'd be a scholarly work of limited interest. One has to remember that Bible study is more common in Protestant areas, after all, and thus the elements, like Bibles, are generally more widely available in Protestant areas. There was a lot of religious publishing in France in the Restoration, but it was generally about faith and worship, not so much about the meaning of texts.

But with Wikipedia, there is no excuse for not getting yourself a background in Jehan's work. It was one thing back in February 2003 when I was sitting in the uni library reading the introduction/analysis of Les Tragiques - not everyone had access to a uni library and a strong enough grasp of French to do that. But even then, I was looking up Isaiah online and getting freaked out by the first chapter. There is no excuse for fanon Jehan. I'm not saying everyone has to agree with me that he shares character elements with school shooters, but I am saying that he has much harsher character elements than fanon gives him credit for.
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Postby Col.Despard » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:09 pm

Is this what you get for being a shade softer than Combeferre and described as soft spoken (albeit with the capacity to get a manly voice going)? Once again, character elements in isolation. And what is "soft" in this context? Combeferre is wonderful and warm, but he shows up armed to a barricade and has his little snark at Marius.

Love your Potentially Postal Jehan, MmeBahorel! Like I've said before, I wonder if he would have enjoyed John Martin's apocalyptic visionary art?

As an aside, I also wonder if Prouvaire owes something to Jehan du Seignueur, who also medievalised his name (and whether Bahorel has is a nod to Petrus Borel).

Some of his thought processes remind me of Emily Bronte. Not his personality - she was a highly idiosyncratic individual - but in their more visionary/apocalyptic leanings. That's why I threw in an reference to Jehan emerging from a reverie induced by watching trout snap at flies above a stream in one of the SOR chapters...it's a direct reference to one of Bronte's devoirs written during her time in Belgium, Le Papillon, in which she uses this example to illustrate her arguments on the principle of destruction in the universe, and posits an almost Darwinian perspective before Darwin had published his work on evolution.
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Postby MmeJavert » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:19 pm

Ah, but see... I think being soft spoken, a shade softer than Combeferre, and having a tendency to blush and weep is really what sets off his reading material. In the way of, "Oh, how sweet are you! --oh my GOD boy, what are you READING!?" And he smiles his gentle smile to you and proceeds to explain exactly why violently overthrowing the government is a good idea! Really!
and to this day, she's glided on
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like a word misplaced
nothing said, what a waste

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Postby MmeBahorel » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:45 pm

Exactly. The list of favoured reading material is supposed to freak you out because Hugo has just set up that he's sweet and blushes at the drop of a hat and likes flowers, and CAN'T WAIT FOR VIOLENT DIVINE JUDGMENT!!!! I think you're supposed to be taken aback for a moment by the reading material, but the reading material goes a long way toward explaining his presence in the group. (or maybe it's the other way around, but it still sets up a deliberate disconnect for the reader.)

Here's full text of the relevant notes from my French edition:

8. Prouvaire, comme la rue des Prouvaires - dont le nom était attaché à un complot républicain de la monarchie de Juillet - et Jehan comme Jehan Frollo de Notre-Dame de Paris et peut-être comme Jehan Duseigneur, sculpteur, ami de Hugo et hernaniste de choc. (Prouvaire, as in the rue des Prouvaires - the name of which was attached to a republican cell of the July Monarchy - and Jehan as in Jehan Frollo in Notre Dame de Paris and perhaps as in Jehan Duseigneur, sculptor, friend of Hugo, and shocking Hernanist.)

13. Cet personnage concentre bien des traits des jeunes romantiques. Son nom évoque Petrus Borel, et ses gilets (mais non ses opinions) Théophile Gautier. Cet « étudiant de onzième année » rappelle aussi beaucoup Jehan Frollo, de Notre-Dame de Paris. (This character [Bahorel] concentrates many of the traits of the young Romantics. His name evokes Petrus Borel, and his waistcoats (but not his opinions) Théophile Gautier. This "student of the eleventh year" also very much recalls Jehan Frollo, in Notre Dame de Paris.)

I can pull all the notes from this section if you guys want, but they tend to be along these lines or reference random changes or even utterly random connections to Hugo's life (some of these are helpful and thus not random; his mother being born the same year as the partition of Poland, that's random). It's a perfectly good edition, but it does assume you can identify Jehan's reading materials. (and though it identifies some of the classical allusions, it doesn't even touch the massive list of gay.)
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Postby Col.Despard » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:51 pm

Oh, yayyayyay!

Why don't the English books contain notes like this, instead of tedious justifications for the translator's desire to edit Hugo? I didn't even know that Hugo knew du Seignueur! (Erm - perhaps because I don't do enough research?)

Bahorel and Borel ties into your whole Bahorel and poetry thing. Le Lycanthrope is totally Bahorel, with his desire to shock. And now I'm seeing at least two members of the ABC as bousingos. And interesting scenarios in which Prouvaire and Bahorel pull stunts like carting wrapped up mannequins around the streets claiming that they're exhumed corpses. Not sure if I'd go so far as the drinking-out-of-skull rituals, but...

Now I know who to base my Bahorel on:

Image
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Postby MmeBahorel » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:01 pm

Bahorel + Jehan I think is supposed to = Romanticism personified. Which is why my Jehan dresses rather like Gautier and my Bahorel worships at the altar of Byron. I pick and choose the elements to portray, just as Hugo did. (and because I feel someone needs to have a velvet doublet, and who other than Jehan would it be?) I suppose Bahorel ought to be bearded but I can't make up my mind.

Jehan is totally into drinking-out-of-skull rituals! I mean, it's death and booze and ritual - how could he not enjoy that? :)

(I looked up John Martin, and while Jehan enjoys the atmospheric storms and lighting, he wants bigger corpses. His only issue with The Raft of the Medusa, after all, was that there were too many people still alive and not obviously suffering enough. He adores the writhing of the damned in Michelangelo's Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel.)
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Postby cordeliersclub » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:07 am

PROUVAIRE!


I'll totally defer to anyone else's knowledge of d'Aubigné*, because I generally just file him jointly under "guys who wrote stuff that appeared to them in visions" and "guys whose kids hated them", but I don't get such disturbed violence from Prouvaire's reading list, as perhaps I should, or perhaps just as it is possible to read.

Although you do get the impression that he's been keeping that musket well-oiled for quite a while, you'd hardly get morbid maladjustment from someone reading Le Cid, for example. Clearly Prouvaire has a taste for tragedy, and a philosophical affinity with Right, the exaltation of virtue, and justice, though clearly he is not averse to justice of the inevitable, violent, scary and/or Hegelian variety. He is also, as we've all noted, a total Romantic in his search or appreciation for the divinity in all of these things. It also bears mentioning that it looks like a lot of his choices are driven by taste as well as philosophical agreement.

From Racine and d'Aubigné, all I got is that Prouvaire likes him some alexandrines.**

And the Divine Comedy is totally up his alley because Dante gets to hang out with Virgil and wear a Phrygian cap all over the afterlife, which you know is at the very top of Prouvaire's list. MmeJavert...I oversimplify out of affection. Er. In all seriousness, though, the prevalence of the Hat in illustrations of the Commedia is testament to its importance to the romantic movement.

As for Isaiah, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to call it one of the more political parts of the bible; it's a lot about the likelihood that God will enable nations who like him to overtake nations that don't, and about living ethical and moral lives and the kingdom of god on earth, etc. It's also the source of the one bible quote that the UN loves to pieces: "...and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

From all this we can see that he has philosophical principles and ends in mind, and that like all of the Amis he is not just into revolutionary shenanigans for their own sake. Which is not to argue for Pansy Jehan; he's absolutely got that Logic of the Revolution "History will prove our violence necessary and right!" thing going, plus a healthy dose of Romantic Philosophy and attendant silly wardrobe choices.


*Or really anything on this list.
**For which, perhaps, we can fault him.
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Postby MmeJavert » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:17 pm

Mmmmmmnnn. This is not to negate anything you said, Cordy... but here's the reason I originally started thinking of the topic. Because everyone knows of the Comedy, if they don't know it from having read it, they know it exists. But I wonder just where Jehan's interests in Dante lie. Dante wrote a lot of stuff prior to La Commedia, which was written while he was in exile. Not to say there isn't a lot of politics in La Commedia -- because there IS -- but he wrote more politically motivated stuff prior to his exile, and of course there's the requisite love poetry. Hugo tells us only that Jehan read Dante and thus his reasons for learning Italian. Someone might say --ooh, he loves La Commedia, and make their characterisation decision from there. But I'm... questioning that. Simply because if Jehan had learnt Italian to read Dante, there's a lot of Dante to be read. There're definitely really sweet poems in Dante's oeuvre that could tickle the sweet young Romantic's fancy.

The non-French parts of Jehan's reading list point heavily to seriously Romantic, but the French parts make me wonder just what sort of boy he is. *g* I still want to hang out in a corner and fangirl with him.
and to this day, she's glided on
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like a word misplaced
nothing said, what a waste

~pearl jam, "dissident"

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Postby MmeBahorel » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:45 pm

I freely admit that my characterisation comes in large part from getting utterly freaked out by d'Aubigné and the first parts of Isaiah and a lot of my analysis of Racine is just that - my analysis, and of these works in translation and performance, not solely as text. (but also compared to my experience with Shakespeare in performance, not solely as text. I also know Molière in performance, in French as well as in translation, but liking Molière means jack because Molière is awesome now and for all time *g*.)

I'm also a political analyst by training and inclination, so the question to be answered here was "Jehan is standing on a barricade and shooting people - what are the pressures on him that make him do this?" and the biggest clues are of course going to be in his reading material. So we knock out the obvious classics of Corneille and Racine (they are the great classic French writers so it almost doesn't matter what they write), and we're left with d'Aubigné. So of course, we look up d'Aubigné. And OH DEAR GOD.

French wikipedia is better on this for obvious reasons:
Ce vaste poème épique et satirique en sept chants (Misères, Princes, Chambre dorée, Feux, Fers, Vengeances, Jugement) raconte les malheurs de la France pendant les guerres de religion, et en appelle au jugement de Dieu pour trancher entre les Justes et les bourreaux. Il part du spectacle actuel des souffrances et de la dénonciation des responsabilités (livres I, II, III), brosse ensuite deux galeries de tableaux historiques consacrées aux martyrs, témoins de la vérité religieuse, et aux victimes des guerres de religion, avant de célébrer le rétablissement de la justice par le châtiment des persécuteurs (livre VI) et devant le tribunal de la fin des temps (livre VII.

Très ambitieuse, l'oeuvre mobilise tous les genres littéraires, tous les savoirs de son temps. Elle intègre aussi des éléments d'autobiographie, de nombreuses mises en scène du poète destinées à le légitimer (figures de prophète, scènes de palinodie, de conversion religieuse, d'extase).


This vast epic and satiric poem in seven songs (Miseries, Princes, The Gilded Chamber, Fires, Irons, Vengeances, Judgment) recounts the misfortunes [sorrows] of France during the wars of religion and calls down the judgment of God to sharply divide the Just from the torturers [executioners]. He shares the actual spectacle of sufferings and the denunciation of responsibilities (books I, II, and III), after that paints two galleries of historical tableaux consecrated to martyrs, witnesses to religious truth, and victims of the wars of religion, before celebrating the re-establishment of justice by the punishment of the persecuters (book VI) and before the tribunal of the End of Days (book VII).

Highly ambitious, the work mobilises all literary genres, all the knowledge of his era. It integrates as well elements of autobiography, of numerous displays [performances] of the poet destined to legitimise him (figures of the prophet, scenes of palinody [poetic recantation], of religious conversion, of ecstasy).

And once I have this, Isaiah, the Commedia (and additional works if there is access, though I suspect Hugo meant the Commedia), Aeschylus, I start to see Racine through that lens. I have a tendency to look at themes and match them up, why does this go with this and thus why does this individual like these two things, and that will lead to distortions. But every lens is distorting to some degree and one can only select that which makes the most sense to them. Thus, my Jehan characterisation.

But there's certainly something to the way his favourite authors go together that I think was selected beyond "O hai Romantik Embodimentz!" Because they do seem to build on each other and while Racine is a perfectly safe choice as favoured poet, to throw d'Aubigné in above Corneille seems to me a reason to look at Racine through that lens, what he's writing about not just how prettily it's being written.

Jehan wouldn't be much of a French poet if he didn't adore alexandrines :)
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Postby Col.Despard » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:57 pm

Running out of time before I'm late for work again so this will be uncharacteristically brief...but I always thought it interesting that Hugo chose Combeferre and Prouvaire to be the specific bystanders among the leaders of the ABC when Enjolras shoots Le Cabuc...and he specifies their reaction. Combeferre we've already discussed, but Prouvaire...? He totally gets it. I'm not saying he's happy to see a friend hold a gun to a man's head and blow out his brains in a cool and deliberate manner (the holding hands lets us know he's not enjoying this in a psychopathic "teh-hee...blood!" sort of way), but his acceptance of the act - and admiration for it - indicate that even when confronted with the violence of which he reads, he's not running away screaming.

MmeBahorel, you've convinced me that I have to draw Bahorel and Prouvaire drinking from skulls. Not that it took much arm twisting...
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Postby MmeJavert » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:55 pm

More thinkings... if Jehan really WAS into divine retribution, then let me just say that's a damned good reason to start in on Dante. La Commedia was doubtless pretty available and pretty widely studied (er, well, in terms of well-educated rich young men, I suppose, perhaps not all of the populace!), and it seems to me that someone introduced Jehan to a translation, and he became utterly transfixed with Inferno and henceforth set out to learn Italian to read it properly. Or his family hired him a Florentine to teach him Italian, said Florentine made him learn Dante, and things progressed from there. I tend towards the earlier though, simply because 1300s Florentine Italian still differed pretty noticeably from 1800s Florentine Italian even if you were learning from a native -- nowadays, if you're looking for an Italian Dante, you have to make sure you're getting the original Florentine instead of a modernised Florentine. (Like Beowulf -- do you want the old/middle English version or do you want the modern English version. I'm not sure if the differences in modern/mediaeval Florentine/Tuscan are roughly equivalent to the differences between modern/old English but it's the general idea.) I rather think Jehan learnt Italian for Dante after having previously discovered a translation or heard someone going on about him.

Hence reading Inferno. If you want divine retribution, Inferno's got it in spades. All of Dante's enemies show up in there! And even some of his friends. He's really got it in for Pope Celestine, too. :lol: A Jehan really into divine retribution would LOVE La Commedia for that.

But Jehan, being of course a seriously Romantic poet, would doubtless then turn to things like Il Convivio and La Vita Nuova and the love poetry because those are other lovely Dantean works, much earlier Dantean works, and would certainly tickle a poet's fancy.

In short there's a lot there that would interest him and I don't think Jehan read Dante merely for La Commedia, but that La Commedia was the starting point. I should mention that this is how I imagine things going, as Hugo wasn't really very explicit here. *g* Just that he learnt Italian merely to read Dante. And I extrapolate that by saying he's a fanboy of all of the above, and being a fanboy of Dante et. al. means he's not going to be attached to just one work -- I think he'd get his hands on whatever was available. I need to figure out WHAT was available -- if you could get Il Convivio, De Monarchia and De Eloquentia, La Vita Nuova, the love poetry, etc.

And oh yes, Aeschylus. I've meant to get more Aeschylus plays but somehow never got further than the Oresteia. What struck me about the Oresteia when I first read it was how utterly gay it was -- the gayest thing I'd seen in awhile. Considering this was smack in the middle of a college course on ancient Greek Civilisation as viewed through ancient Greek literature, that should tell you what an impression it made. XD I was only slightly surprised to find no mention of Orestes and Pylades rolling about in the hay at all during any of the three plays of the Oresteia. BUT. The overarching theme of the Oresteia? what else but divine retribution. His mom kills his dad, he kills his mom, Athena sends the Furies after him, and he travels all over creation and finally stands in trial before Athena herself to make the damned Furies go away. (Highly oversimplified, yes) More divine retribution, although perhaps divine intervention might suit this one better.

Juvenal is harder to reconcile to that theme. Still, though, Juvenal's pretty awesome. I'll have to read him again, it's been awhile. I just remember going DUDE JUVENAL WAS BADASS when I read them, and because I didn't translate them or anything I don't have a very clear impression that I can, er, share here. :lol: :oops:
and to this day, she's glided on
always home but so far away
like a word misplaced
nothing said, what a waste

~pearl jam, "dissident"

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Marianne
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Postby Marianne » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:01 am

Hmmm... Hugo says Jehan prefers Corneille to Racine (and d'Aubigné to Corneille). Does that mean Racine is his third-favorite French poet, or that every time Racine comes up in conversation Jehan takes it as an excuse to go "Psht, if we're talking classical playwrights Corneille pwns his ass"? I always interpreted it as the latter, but if somebody else has dug up supporting canon that suggests Jehan actually likes Racine I would be happy to hear it.
[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.

- George Sand, Les sept cordes de la lyre


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