1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

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: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:53 am

July 20, 2013

Father Fauchelevent Becomes a Gardener In Paris

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/46/

Valjean does a good turn that proves more than providential
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Gervais » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:30 pm

It's not much to say, but I love how Valjean's and Fantine's story lines just flow together so perfectly in this chapter.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:36 pm

It's a great bridge/segue. And a good spot of breathing room before the next tragedy.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:08 am

July 21, 2013

Madame Victurnien Expends Thirty Francs on Morality

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/47/

The result of envy and too much intrigue in a factory. Also known as Victor Hugo's indictment of gossips.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Gervais » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:42 pm

I wonder if the woman who went to see Cosette actually saw her, or one of the Thernardiers? I would hope that if she saw her being treated like a slave she would have more to say than "I saw the child," but a) I don't remember if she was treated extremely horribly before Fantine stopped paying, and b) this chapter is more about the effects of gossips, so doing anything outside of that is beside the point.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:59 pm

My imagination has this horrible old bat seeing Cosette, and being fed a pack of lies by the Thenardiers.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:05 am

July 22, 2013

Madame Victurnien's Success

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/48/

The consequences of gossip.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:51 am

July 23, 2013

Result of the Success

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/49/

A study in destitution.

I find it hard to read this chapter; it rings a little close to home.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Gervais » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:44 pm

Rose translation wrote:Fantine learned how you go completely without heat in the winter, how you get rid of a bird who eats a farthing's worth of millet every other day...

Okay, my new headcanon for Fantine includes her having a pet bird. Which makes absolutely no sense, since she was just barely keeping up with expenses even before she lost her job, but just the wording in the Hapgood translation ("how to give up a bird which eats a half a farthing's worth of millet every two days”) just keeps putting that image there.
Edit: Well, maybe not entirely no sense; she may not have thought too much of a couple of farthings every other day when she had her job. But anyway, the bird is now part of my headcanon, at any rate.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:09 pm

What sort of pet bird would it be? I imagine it as a sparrow or robin that lives in a nearby tree, but she feeds every day.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Gervais » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:20 pm

Sort of like what you said. Something that she doesn't neccesarily take care of, but still sustains. Marius and I were talking awhile ago about how beautifully and sadly ironic it would be if it were a lark, too.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:29 pm

A lark?

Oh darn, Gervais. Now I have to go to school with the feels. What does one feed a lark anyway?
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Gervais » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:37 pm

Apparently millet, if she's been feeding it a farthing's worth every other day. Sorry 'bout that.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:08 am

No worries about that. It was just ironic in a sad way.

I am curious about the military fever though.
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Re: 1.5 La Descente/The Descent, 10/10/10-22/10/10

Postby between4walls » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:58 am

A late-nineteenth century French medical dictionary lists it as a synonym for typhus, and typhus killed a large number of French soldiers during the retreat from Russia.
Here day embraces night, and says: I will die with you and you will be reborn with me. From the heavy embrace of all desolations springs faith.

The real name of devotion is disinterestedness.


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