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.

Moderators: Charlette-Ollie, Ulkis, Frédérique

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

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

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:34 am

June 22, 2013

Detalis Concerning the Cheese-Dairies of Pontalier

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/18/

In which the Bishop converses a great deal...omitting of course Jean Valjean's circumstances.

Mademoiselle Baptistine's observations here is telling. Instead of being the 'pastor', the Bishop chooses to be human, and to treat Valjean as any other guest, not as someone simply 'on charity'. Rather rare for the day.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

User avatar
Gervais
Posts: 5975
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:10 pm
Location: Smelling your soul within your handkerchief

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

Postby Gervais » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:07 pm

Aurelia Combeferre wrote:In which the Bishop converses a great deal...omitting of course Jean Valjean's circumstances.


In which the Bishop channels Hugo? :wink:

I wonder if the Bishop chose not to preach because he felt that a better lesson (like the candlesticks) was bound to happen? It wouldn't really surprise me if he did.
Image

"The peas, Woyzeck. The PEAS."

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

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

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:14 pm

The Bishop with precognition? :) Or maybe just wisdom of the world.

His thinking was rather forward for that millieu, I swear.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

User avatar
Gervais
Posts: 5975
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:10 pm
Location: Smelling your soul within your handkerchief

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

Postby Gervais » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:19 pm

Maybe a mixture of both. I mean, the guy is a bit too trusting, but he would have to be really dense for at least the possibility of Valjean stealing his loose things to not cross his mind.

Well, he is a bit of a model person, after all.
Image

"The peas, Woyzeck. The PEAS."

User avatar
YoungStudentMarius
Posts: 8158
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:43 am
Location: In the library

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

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:31 pm

I like that idea, Gervais, but I think it was a bit of both. Maybe he thought not teaching was the lesson. If you get what I'm trying to say? But so far, a man like Jean Valjean would assume that anyone who helped him wanted something out of him, demanded something in return. I think the Bishop figured there was no better way to demonstrate God's love than to give freely, and not ask for something in return. He could have figured the Candlesticks might happen, too, but I almost feel as if that was a continuation of the lesson rather than the lesson itself. Does that makes any sense; I'm terribly dense with explaining it, I already see.
Our chimeras are the things which most resemble us. Each of us dreams of the unknown and the impossible in accordance with his nature.

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

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

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:36 pm

It makes sense, Marius. It's more than giving a cloak to the man who has none.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

User avatar
Gervais
Posts: 5975
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:10 pm
Location: Smelling your soul within your handkerchief

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

Postby Gervais » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:01 pm

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And Valjean wasn't really listening to anything being said at that point, so even if he did want to preach, he couldn't, at least not if he wanted it to be told. So, what you said; just giving the love was the best way he could teach, and goes with what he's done for other people, too; he's more of the doing type than the speaking type. (Sorry that the last part's basically what you said, just typing as I think again.)
Image

"The peas, Woyzeck. The PEAS."

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

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

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:59 am

June 23, 2013

Tranquility

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/19/

A segue of sorts; in which it may seem that M. Myriel is rather trusting of a man who may as well be an assassin.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

User avatar
Gervais
Posts: 5975
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:10 pm
Location: Smelling your soul within your handkerchief

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

Postby Gervais » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:17 am

Sort of relating to the old discussion: I love how he makes a point to call Valjean a man. A common, if scraggly, human man. And where he uses that almost contrasts him with the Bishop and his contemplations, and does it so, so well, at least for me:
The Bishop knelt before this curtain as he passed and said a brief prayer. A moment later he was in his garden, walking, meditating, conteplating, his heart and soul wholly absorbed in those grand and mysterious things which God shows at night to the eyes which remain open.

As for the man,he was actually so fatigued that he did not even profit by the nice white sheets. Snuffing out his candle with his nostrils after the manner of convicts, he dropped, all dressed as he was, upon the bed, where he immediately fell into a profound sleep.

(Italics mine) That is really the highlight of entire chapter for me.
Image

"The peas, Woyzeck. The PEAS."

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

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

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:00 am

June 24, 2013

Jean Valjean

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/20/

The story of a pruner from Faverolles.

In a way this is an archetype, of the transformation of a seemingly simple every man into a denizen of the internal shadow.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

humanracer
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:02 pm

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

Postby humanracer » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:00 am

From the outset Hugo paints the picture of Valjean as a decent man wronged by society and the justice system. The young Valjean has the same qualities as the Valjean we see later in the book. He cared for his siblings and on occasion even helped them escape harsh punishment. He was always a man of mercy. So the story of Valjean is not really one of redemption but rather the real Valjean finding himself again after being turned into a monster by society.

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

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

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:40 am

An interesting thought. I think that his innate goodness (this sounds a lot like Rousseau) is somewhat better actualized later. It's less intuitive and comes more from a strong sense of conviction born from his experiences with the Bishop, Cosette, and everything else in between.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

User avatar
Gervais
Posts: 5975
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:10 pm
Location: Smelling your soul within your handkerchief

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

Postby Gervais » Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:58 pm

humanracer wrote:From the outset Hugo paints the picture of Valjean as a decent man wronged by society and the justice system. The young Valjean has the same qualities as the Valjean we see later in the book. He cared for his siblings and on occasion even helped them escape harsh punishment. He was always a man of mercy. So the story of Valjean is not really one of redemption but rather the real Valjean finding himself again after being turned into a monster by society.

This is true, though I still think he betters himself. He finds himself, yes, but finds himself and then tries to make himself better. And like Aurelia said, it's not really him in his own doing the finding; it's from him and his experiences with everyone else.

(Since I can't be the only one who doesn't know what a milk fever is [or am I? :oops: ], it's usually used to refer to mastitis. Here's a Mayo Clinic article, though I'll warn you that it uses pictures, and they ain't pretty. )
Image

"The peas, Woyzeck. The PEAS."

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

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

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:27 pm

Could be mastitis or puerperal fever. But I'd go with mastitis.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

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

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:22 pm

June 25, 2013

The Interior of Despair

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/21/

Valjean's formation and 'education'...in Toulon. Rather frightening.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."


Return to “Read-Through”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron