1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

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: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:51 pm

That makes a lot of sense, Gervais. And I think that's true. It was probably easier, too, not having someone tell her those things than it would have been if they had and she'd ignored it, because then she'd have ignorance to blame instead of naivety. But I think you're right; it does look like pretty much just naivety.

humanracer wrote:In one sense it makes the person seem "pure" and "virtuous" but it can also be a fatal flaw.

I do understand and like this idea, because the more I read, and really, just see of life, the more I'm convinced that every strength is the opposite side of a weakness, and vice versa. I guess, then, the question would be as to what Favourite, Dahlia, and Zephine's strengths/weaknesses are, and as a contrast to Fantine, I'd have to guess insincerity, which shields them from being hurt, and yet, makes them the kind of ridiculous people they are. I wonder if perhaps that could have been intended as a slight comment/jab somewhere on Hugo's side.
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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby Gervais » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:59 pm

A character study makes sense, humanracer.
YoungStudentMarius wrote:
humanracer wrote:In one sense it makes the person seem "pure" and "virtuous" but it can also be a fatal flaw.

I do understand and like this idea, because the more I read, and really, just see of life, the more I'm convinced that every strength is the opposite side of a weakness, and vice versa. I guess, then, the question would be as to what Favourite, Dahlia, and Zephine's strengths/weaknesses are, and as a contrast to Fantine, I'd have to guess insincerity, which shields them from being hurt, and yet, makes them the kind of ridiculous people they are. I wonder if perhaps that could have been intended as a slight comment/jab somewhere on Hugo's side.

I'd say insincerity for them, too. Maybe it wasn't so much of a jab as a contrast that makes Fantine so much more pitiful later on; the girls that are calloused and insincere and more world-weary and in some cases in their relationship for money aren't the ones being forced into prostitution, the innocent one who is in her relationship for love is.
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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby humanracer » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:09 pm

I like Hugo's small observations about trends in society. For instance the fact that the guys are called Felix rather than Arthur because there wasn't a big English influence in France yet. I think perhaps Hugo was feeling a little nostalgic for the time period in which this chapter takes place. He seems to remember the smallest of details from that time. It is perhaps comparable to an author today writing a novel about the 1960's.

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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:34 pm

Well said!

July 4, 2013

Four and Four

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/30/

An outing of 8 Parisians.
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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby humanracer » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:12 pm

I think nostalgia plays a big role in this section of the book. Hugo is nostalgic about the Paris he grew up in (he was 15 in 1817). He description of Fantine sounds like someone talking about a long lost lover. Perhaps Hugo was thinking about childhood romances and the innocence associated with it? Just some ideas.

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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:50 pm

Perhaps that's so. Though of course we know that Hugo's love life was more accurately depicted as Marius' love life.
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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:30 pm

June 5, 2013

Tholomyes is so Merry that He Sings A Spanish Ditty

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/31/

The idyll continues/
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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby humanracer » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:34 pm

Some may groan at this suggestion but the cliffnotes pages for the book are really good:
http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/l/les-miserables

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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:32 am

Nice link!

July 6, 2013

At Bombardas

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/32/

Where they choose to sup
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:00 am

July 7, 2013

A Chapter In Which They Adore Each Other

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/33/

On false compliments and more.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby humanracer » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:51 pm

Aurelia Combeferre wrote:Nice link!

July 6, 2013

At Bombardas

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/32/

Where they choose to sup


Another digression by Hugo. Rose has 19 notes for this chapter so worth checking out if you have her translation. Bombardas was a real restaurant.

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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:45 am

Is Bombardas still standing?

June 8, 2013

The Wisdom of Tholomyes

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/34/

Tholomyes' ramble and his views on certain topics.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby humanracer » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:25 pm

Bombardas is closed now though I do not know when it happened.

This chapter makes Tholomyes seem really shallow. If Hugo is presenting the girls as superficial then the Tholomyes seems even more so. You can contrast his views about "moderation" with his personality as a "man of pleasure". Reading this chapter now, the reveal later seems obvious but I didn't see it coming at the time.

If there is anyone else reading this for the first time I would suggest reading MmeBahorel's excellent notes for her French copy. Much better than the ones in the English translations.

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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:45 pm

humanracer wrote:Bombardas is closed now though I do not know when it happened.

This chapter makes Tholomyes seem really shallow. If Hugo is presenting the girls as superficial then the Tholomyes seems even more so. You can contrast his views about "moderation" with his personality as a "man of pleasure". Reading this chapter now, the reveal later seems obvious but I didn't see it coming at the time.

If there is anyone else reading this for the first time I would suggest reading MmeBahorel's excellent notes for her French copy. Much better than the ones in the English translations.


Definitely so. And the indictment here is that Tholomyes' thinking was not unique to this character alone.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 1.3 En l'année 1817/In the Year 1817 28/09/10-6/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:47 am

July 9, 2013

The Death of a Horse

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/35/

This, and a surprise being set in motion
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