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

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Postby MmeBahorel » Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:26 am

Yeah, so this is sort of bringing up a dead thread, and not even about Jehan anymore, but I was looking for something else and found this:

Hôpital Militaire de Val-de-Grace, rue due Faubourg St Jacques. - This building was formerly a convent which during the revolution was converted into a military hospital. It contains one thousand beds, and is primarily devoted to the itch and similar diseases.

Hôpital Militaire de Picpus, rue Picpus. - This hospital is dependent upon the preceding.


The source is The History of Paris from the earliest period to the present day, vol. 2 (of 3), "the present day" being a publication date of 1825. It's a Galignani publication, obviously intended as an adjunct to their guidebooks to provide tons of history for the sites. (and lets you know which prisons are clean and commodious, WTF?)

It's a military hospital. Now, according to Florent Palluault in his PhD thesis on English and French medical education (the med school article of awesome), military doctors generally went to military medical school - they were mostly men who had chosen a military career and then went into medicine rather than medical men who had joined the military. What sort of connections does Combeferre have? (what with the whole cannon trajectory discussion on the barricade added to this.) Combeferre himself isn't military because he almost certainly wouldn't have a) the chance to be hanging out so frequently with a revolutionary cell and b) an internship at Necker - if in a military medical school, he'd be doing work in a military hospital. So what are the connections there?

Or did Hugo just remember, "hey, there's a hospital there, I'll throw that in?" Which I'm not entirely certain I'd put past him, if it weren't for the way things can be put together.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

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

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:12 am

Joining the discussion.

Wow, I am blown away. I never imagined Jehan to be the harder, more dangerous character with simmering convictions and tastes. But it makes perfect sense.

Jehan as a bohemian...well we all keep joking he might have watched Hernani, that he dresses badly...perhaps his bohemian romanticism is a mask for the more acerbic parts of him. And I imagine him as fancying himself as a knight-errant of sorts in his day and age, perceiving himself as a minor Don Quixote with ideals in contrast to the social realities around him.
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Re: Permit, dear readers, a digression... on Jehan.

Postby Frédérique » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:42 am

New tidbit theory: if 'prouvaire' is old French for 'presbyter', does that associate Jean Prouvaire with John the Presbyter? It seems really unlikely, except in that
Eusebius identifies John the Presbyter as the author of the Book of Revelation.



ETA: Also, furthering the Gérard de Nerval parallel is that Nerval was, as far as I can gather, the only one of Hugo's circle who was habitually referred to by either his full name or his first name alone (and even signed a number of early works 'Gérard').

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Re:

Postby silverwhistle » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:49 pm

Col.Despard wrote:These days, Masonry does accept Catholics, although membership of secret societies is specifically prohibited by the RCs and so is technically out of bounds.

Freemasonry always has included people of Catholic background (Mozart, a huge no. of French and central/southern European revolutionaries); it also admitted Jews on an equal basis. However, the Catholic Church set itself against Freemasonry because of its involvement in many of the reform and revolution movements in late 18-19C, especially in predominantly Catholic countries, as liberal generally = anticlerical. It's one of the numerous subjects against which Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors rants ("IV. SOCIALISM, COMMUNISM, SECRET SOCIETIES, BIBLICAL SOCIETIES, CLERICO-LIBERAL SOCIETIES"). The famous flag which contributed to the execution of Mariana de Pineda Muñoz in 1831 included Masonic symbols.

Another point re: Dante:
In De vulgari eloquentia, he championed vernacular poetry, and praised the Occitan trobadors, referring to Arnaut Daniel as "il miglior fabbro" ("the better makar", to use the Scots equivalent). A Southerner may well be well-disposed towards him, then, if he loves the poetry of his own country.
Last edited by silverwhistle on Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
- Entends-tu? je t'aime! cria-t-il encore.
- Quel amour! dit la malheureuse en frémissant.
Il reprit: - L'amour d'un damné.

Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris

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Re:

Postby silverwhistle » Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:04 pm

Marianne wrote: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.

This is one of the things I love about some of Hugo's characters: he's not afraid to make some of them "hardcore erudite" – which, to me, is pure catnip, quite devastatingly attractive! I would want to spend time with these people!
Compare what he writes about another intense and soft-spoken young man, Claude in NDdP:
Thus, at sixteen years of age, the young clerk might have held his own, in mystical theology, against a father of the church; in canonical theology, against a father of the councils; in scholastic theology, against a doctor of Sorbonne.
Theology conquered, he had plunged into decretals.… Decretals digested, he flung himself upon medicine, on the liberal arts… He also passed through all the degrees of licentiate, master, and doctor of arts. He studied the languages, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, a triple sanctuary then very little frequented. His was a veritable fever for acquiring and hoarding, in the matter of science. At the age of eighteen, he had made his way through the four faculties; it seemed to the young man that life had but one sole object: learning.
- Entends-tu? je t'aime! cria-t-il encore.
- Quel amour! dit la malheureuse en frémissant.
Il reprit: - L'amour d'un damné.

Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris

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

Postby silverwhistle » Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:33 pm

Frédérique wrote:New tidbit theory: if 'prouvaire' is old French for 'presbyter', does that associate Jean Prouvaire with John the Presbyter? It seems really unlikely, except in that
Eusebius identifies John the Presbyter as the author of the Book of Revelation.


pruveire, pruvere; provaire, proveire, provere, provoire; pruaire, prueire is Old French (Langue d'Oïl) for "priest" (which is derived from "presbyter").
(It makes me wonder if Victor's making a nod to both the Frollo brothers: Jehan Prouvaire has the cuteness and first name of Jehan, but the intellect and intensity of Claude.)

Meanwhile, the verb provar, in Occitan, means "to put to the test".
- Entends-tu? je t'aime! cria-t-il encore.
- Quel amour! dit la malheureuse en frémissant.
Il reprit: - L'amour d'un damné.

Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris

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

Postby MmeJavert » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:50 am

Another thing, too, that may have endeared Jehan (further) to Dante is that Dante was fervently opposed to any sort of oppression by governments and often spoke out against it -- part of the reason behind his exile (although yes I'm aware that the largest and main reason for his exile was due to being on the opposite side of the fence when another political party took power). Granted, this isn't something you would know about Dante going in, but if you were the sort of scholar I expect Prouvaire to have been, it's something that would make you even more appreciative of the man behind the works, and perhaps even read some of it in a new light.

(I still wonder how much of Dante's oeuvre Jehan really had access to. I have a hard time finding de Monarchia and de Vulgari Eloquentia in English, and indeed currently only own them in French. And I know Hugo said that in poetry he preferred the grand, the sublime, and Paradiso is without doubt perhaps the most grand and sublime poetry there can exist. But I am of the mind that once Jehan learnt Italian and read and loved the Commedia, he would've progressed on to Vita Nuova and the other poetry and the political writings; it just depends on how much he could've gotten his hands on. Presumably there wouldn't be a reason to censor any of it, but merely a question of access.)

why yes I have been reading more and more about Dante the man lately. *g* The above first paragraph came from a part in one of the books I've read the last few days where the author of the book (or perhaps editor) retold some anecdotes about Dante's adult political life in Florence, and the fierce champion against oppression really took hold there. But this isn't something you'd know about Dante until you actually read him and learnt about him.


I adore Dante because of Jehan, and because of Dante I adore Jehan even more. I really need to go look up something I thought up re: Aeschylus and see whether it holds up, because today I was questioning why Jehan would have Aeschylus over Sophocles or Euripides or the other ancient Greeks. There must be something in Aeschylus that sets him apart and above all the others, and I thought of an idea that I will have to check out. I don't own all the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and the other major Greek playwrights. I mean I have some, but not all, however this is easily remedied with a bit of Google and wikisource.

Juvenal I'm saving for when I can sit down and actually read the Latin, ha. But right now I really need to look up some more of Aeschylus' works before I can expand on this glimmer of an idea.
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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Re: Permit, dear readers, a digression... on Jehan.

Postby Roses for Ophelia » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:09 am

Well, as far as Aeschylus goes, he's very raw. It's all very stripped down, no frills, no fancy stuff just straight up drama. He doesn't play with comedy or melodrama like Euripides does. He's the most 'traditional' of the tragedians as well--no playing with the conventions of theater ( or, you could say, he invented the conventions, so...)

He's also the most political and the most overt about it. Almost all greek theater had subtle political messages, but Aeschylus would just hit you over the head with them. All his plays seem to end with how great Athens is. In fact ' the Persians' is one long play about how great Athens is, and aren't we awesome for kicking Persian ass?

He's just very basic, very staid, very narrow. There's an overreaching theme of fate in all his stuff. All this isn't bad, of course. Aeschylus kicks ass. It's kinda funny that fanon's 'bohemian' Jehan likes the most classical of classic playwrites.

Eurpidies is kinda showy, and the least traditional of the Greek playrights. He has plays where the main charecters don't die and seem to live happily ever after for goodness sakes! He strikes me as the Andrew Lloyd Webber of Greek tragedians, if that makes any sense. He broke the rules and conventions, and his stuff is the most 'modern.'

Sophocles is the idealist, and is somewhere in between these two.
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Re: Permit, dear readers, a digression... on Jehan.

Postby MmeJavert » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:16 am

True. To all of the above, Ophelia. *g* It's just that I have thought of something very specific in regards to something I've recently read about Aeschylus' works and what survived of them, and while I track down the references I seem to recall I just posted about them. I would not call myself widely read in Greek plays (I've read mostly Aristophanes and the Oresteia and other Orestes/House of the Atreides plays), but there seems to me some research to be done for this. I probably wouldn't be so gung-ho about the research if I didn't have half-thought-out fanfiction based up Jehan and what he reads floating about my mind.
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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Re: Permit, dear readers, a digression... on Jehan.

Postby Roses for Ophelia » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:20 am

What's the specifc thing? Maybe i can help? The greeks playwrites are my dudes, i'm always looking for an excuse to research them!
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Re: Permit, dear readers, a digression... on Jehan.

Postby MmeJavert » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:25 am

Oh good! :D I have not been keeping up with my classics as much as I ought to have been, what with my fanaticism for collecting All Things Dante first.

Aeschylus' play The Myrmidons. All I know of it is that it's mostly lost and survives only on quoted fragments. I want to read whatever there is of it to see if it holds up against the other plays we have of his -- if it's similar or if there was OTHER stuff he wrote about. But it is Achilles and Patroclos and I only read MAYBE three or four lines of it quoted somewhere, and since I can't remember exactly where I read the quotes, I'm not sure if I'm hallucinating. But the lines I did read didn't seem to be like anything I know of the Oresteia.
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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Re: Permit, dear readers, a digression... on Jehan.

Postby MmeBahorel » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:54 am

But then, one could argue that breaking the rules is just creating new rules. If Aeschylus created classical theatre, then he is the pinnacle and everyone after him is the copycat. Therefore, anyone adhering to these "rules" is doing it because they cannot be as innovative as Aeschylus. Euripides got ignored a lot through the nineteenth century - it's probably imaginable that there was no easy access to his stuff and what was accessible had already been tarred as "crap". Which means looking at the Romantic movement through the lens of "the old rules are stale; we must have new rules for new times" rather than "crazy shit, whoa, awesome!"
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Re: Re:

Postby Col.Despard » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:27 am

silverwhistle wrote:
Col.Despard wrote:These days, Masonry does accept Catholics, although membership of secret societies is specifically prohibited by the RCs and so is technically out of bounds.

Freemasonry always has included people of Catholic background (Mozart, a huge no. of French and central/southern European revolutionaries); it also admitted Jews on an equal basis. However, the Catholic Church set itself against Freemasonry because of its involvement in many of the reform and revolution movements in late 18-19C, especially in predominantly Catholic countries, as liberal generally = anticlerical. It's one of the numerous subjects against which Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors rants ("IV. SOCIALISM, COMMUNISM, SECRET SOCIETIES, BIBLICAL SOCIETIES, CLERICO-LIBERAL SOCIETIES"). The famous flag which contributed to the execution of Mariana de Pineda Muñoz in 1831 included Masonic symbols.


True of some strains of Freemasonry - indeed, if one is to follow the basic tenants of Freemasonry, the only necessity regarding religious faith is the affirmation of belief in a "Supreme Architect" - so any form of monotheism would certainly be acceptable, including Roman Catholicism. The (perceived or actual) anticlericalism is certainly a major reason for the RC's opposition to Freemasonry - on a theological basis, it is in opposition to the organisation's deism.

In practice, however, particularly in an Irish-Catholic context (which is where most of my experience is - one reason why I'm so interested in how the French experience differs), Freemasonry has been linked with an Anglo-Protestant or Scots-Protestant establishment and has frequently been hostile to Catholicism. It is no coincidence that the Peep-'o-Day boys and their succesors, the Orangemen, were organised along the Masonic lodge system (this is a simplification, I recognise - for example, there are some suggestions that at least some early Orangement objected to the Sectarian violence of the Peep-O'-Day boys).

This continued in Australia, with ramifications that have been felt in my own family and with friends. I know from an uncle who served in the New South Wales policeforce of the equivalent of a glass ceiling for those who were not Mason and Protestant. According to him, the greatest career mistake one could make upon joining the Police in NSW was to reveal that one was a.) a Catholic and b.) not a Freemason. My own grandmother, daughter of a prominent Freemason, was only able to marry an Irish Catholic after her father (a prominent Swedish Mason) had passed away. The attitude persisted until fairly recently - my best friend had the maiden name "Kelly". When she was introduced to the father of the man she later married, one of his first questions was "what is your surname?"

Her boyfriend (and later husband) intimated that this was because his Anglo-Protestant, Masonic father wanted to ascertain her ethno-religious background. "Kelly", as far as he was concerned, was a dead giveaway, and he objected to the relationship on the basis of her (supposed) Irish-Catholicism.

The irony is, she was neither Irish nor Catholic. The name came from her father who was predominantly of Aboriginal descent...like many ex-slaves in the US who adopted the names of their former owners on obtaining freedom, one of his ancestors had adopted the name of the station owner on whose property he worked.

The Roman Catholic church is generally uneasy with secret societies - it is interesting that some devout RCs, even within the Irish revolutionary tradition, have been uneasy with organisations such as the Irish Republican Brotherhood for that reason.
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Re: Permit, dear readers, a digression... on Jehan.

Postby silverwhistle » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:38 am

MmeJavert wrote:(I still wonder how much of Dante's oeuvre Jehan really had access to. I have a hard time finding de Monarchia and de Vulgari Eloquentia in English, and indeed currently only own them in French. And I know Hugo said that in poetry he preferred the grand, the sublime, and Paradiso is without doubt perhaps the most grand and sublime poetry there can exist. But I am of the mind that once Jehan learnt Italian and read and loved the Commedia, he would've progressed on to Vita Nuova and the other poetry and the political writings; it just depends on how much he could've gotten his hands on. Presumably there wouldn't be a reason to censor any of it, but merely a question of access.)

Dante wrote quite a lot in Latin (De Vulgari Eloquentia, for example), so that would be no problem for Jehan.
- Entends-tu? je t'aime! cria-t-il encore.
- Quel amour! dit la malheureuse en frémissant.
Il reprit: - L'amour d'un damné.

Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris

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Re: Freemasonry

Postby silverwhistle » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:51 am

Col.Despard wrote:True of some strains of Freemasonry - indeed, if one is to follow the basic tenants of Freemasonry, the only necessity regarding religious faith is the affirmation of belief in a "Supreme Architect" - so any form of monotheism would certainly be acceptable, including Roman Catholicism. The (perceived or actual) anticlericalism is certainly a major reason for the RC's opposition to Freemasonry - on a theological basis, it is in opposition to the organisation's deism.

My paternal family, here in Scotland, had a long history of involvement in Freemasonry (they were stonemasons and sculptors, too), and not hostile to anyone. (It may interest you that my great-great-grandfather went to Australia and NZ in the 1850s gold-rush, but went home to Bute to take over the family business when his father died.) Sectarianism is a localised issue in certain parts of the country, notably where there was immigration of both flavours of Irish, who recreated their old communities with the old fault-lines (moving to Glasgow from Fife surprised me). Unfortunately, it now means the Scottish government is too cowardly to tackle things like state-funded religious schools, which are part of the problem in reinforcing divisions (RC bishops start jumping and squeaking at the very idea that their schools should merge with the non-denominational schools to which nearly everyone else goes – Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and all Protestant flavours and those of no religion whatsoever). I would dearly love to see laicité embraced here: certainly a lot of us do.
- Entends-tu? je t'aime! cria-t-il encore.
- Quel amour! dit la malheureuse en frémissant.
Il reprit: - L'amour d'un damné.

Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris


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