1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Abaissé re-reads the novel in its entirety! All welcome, no matter whether you're reading in French or some other translation. Discussion topics for each step along the way.

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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby redmiserable » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:38 am

The last time I read this chapter - and it still applies now - I was affected by how much Valjean... cares. Of course he cares about his injustice. I'd like to think we all would if it happened to us. He did have blind hate once. But the fact that he goes so far as to "put himself on trial" and sift through it all in the depth that he does, trying to see what he deserved and what he didn't, is an insight into his character I can't quite describe.

"Can one wait when one is hungry?" That, in the first place, it is very rare for any one to die of hunger, literally...

Yes, Valjean, but as you demonstrated... you don't think clearly when you're that low!

... fortunately or unfortunately, man is so constituted that he can suffer long and much, both morally and physically, without dying;

This is something we've talked about in H&G. The will to live is extremely strong even if we don't think it is.



It's sad. Through that chapter you can just read his heart slowly growing cold.
When the heart is dry, the eye is dry. On his departure from the galleys it had been nineteen years since he had shed a tear.
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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:34 am

June 26, 2013

Billows and Shadows

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/22/

In which Hugo compares a soul to a man overboard a ship. Interesting.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:12 pm

June 27, 2013

New Troubles

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/23/

Life outside the galleys. Poor Valjean. The thing is, this still happens to people.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby redmiserable » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:42 pm

Let us say the word--robbed.


Always clever, Hugo, always clever...
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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:20 pm

June 28, 2013

The Man Aroused

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/24/

Jean Valjean wakes up and makes his way through the Bishop's possessions.
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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Gervais » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:34 pm

*runs in panting and attempts to catch up*

Alright, the linked chapter has these awkward dashes in one paragraph that my Rose doesn't.
Linked:
Those six sets of silver haunted him.--They were there.--A few paces distant.--Just as he was traversing the adjoining room to reach the one in which he then was, the old servant-woman had been in the act of placing them in a little cupboard near the head of the bed.-- He had taken careful note of this cupboard.--On the right, as you entered from the dining-room.--They were solid.--And old silver.-- From the ladle one could get at least two hundred francs.-- Double what he had earned in nineteen years.--It is true that he would have earned more if "the administration had not robbed him."

Are these dashes in other translations and/or the original? They seem really, really clunky, but maybe they're there to help show Valjean's thought process.
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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby humanracer » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:43 am

The F/M doesn't have the dashes. The paragraph flows better too.

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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby humanracer » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:45 am

Aurelia Combeferre wrote:June 27, 2013

New Troubles

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/23/

Life outside the galleys. Poor Valjean. The thing is, this still happens to people.


True. I think the saddest thing about Les Misérables is its relevance. I would hope in 2013 the preface to the book would seem quaint but actually all the social ills described in the book still exist.

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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:15 am

Gervais, I think that was more from a translator; it's different in my F/M edition.

June 29, 2013

What He Does Next

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/25/

Jean Valjean contemplates something terrible....
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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Gervais » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:36 pm

Alright, got it. Why'd Hapgood do it, then... :?

humanracer wrote:
Aurelia Combeferre wrote:June 27, 2013

New Troubles

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/23/

Life outside the galleys. Poor Valjean. The thing is, this still happens to people.


True. I think the saddest thing about Les Misérables is its relevance. I would hope in 2013 the preface to the book would seem quaint but actually all the social ills described in the book still exist.

You would think. :( Also, "The nineteenth century is great, but the twentieth century will be happy."

A reflection of that heaven rested on the Bishop.

It was, at the same time, a luminous transparency, for that heaven was within him. That heaven was his conscience.


Oh my gosh, Hugo, just cram as much symbolism in there as you can, will ya? Now I want to see whenever he refers to moonlight from here on out, just to see if he actually keeps up with what it represents here or not.
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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:50 pm

I cried, Gervais.

I'm not skipping to the end of the book to see if he used the same light reference in the end. I just remember a reference to sunlight. At the barricade.
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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Gervais » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:54 pm

Yeah, I remember the sunlight, sort of. Vaguely.

Also, I've said this on another thread, but I love how the new movie basically sets up one very brief scene to look almost exactly like this chapter.
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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:26 am

June 30, 2013

The Bishop Works

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/26/

""Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul that I buy from you; I withdraw it from black thoughts and the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God."
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Rachel » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:04 am

*runs into readthrough*

My place is here, I read with youuuuuuu!

*squeals*

I love this moment, though. Valjean is completely shocked and bewildered, because he doesn't even remember what kindness feels like. No one will even let him sleep in their stable. And then the Bishop gives him all that silver, and it's more kindness than he ever let himself believe there was. And you can just feel the light flooding in as he realizes that there is light in the world and that he has to let it in. And thus begins the Valjean we all know and love.

I know that this was really lame and inarticulate, but I just have Valjean feels, okay?
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Re: 1.2 La Chute/The Fall, 15/09/10-27/09/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:11 am

Joining in with the Valjean feels! (while listening to the movie recording).

I try to picture him agog and squinting before this ineffable light.

But let me give you M. Myriel feels. This is one of the largest acts of faith in the entire book. He had no way of knowing if Valjean would ever really become an honest man. He was not entirely sure if Valjean still believed in God. And yet he still gave the silver, and the candlesticks as well....believing that somehow good could come out of the situation.
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