1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

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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humanracer
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby humanracer » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:58 am

Ulkis wrote:
Does that not get followed up because it is mere speculation?


That's going to be my best guess. It does seem rather pointless for that trial that Petit and the Bishop have to be brought up at all, but I guess Hugo included just so Jean Valjean would be reminded once again of his former crimes. It does crack me up though, the thought of Javert being petty and sticking the Bishop into his testimony.

Victor, your chapter title pun is obnoxious. I shouldn't be facepalming and sort of giggling at this point. I giggle because you are you.


Is there another meaning to "faveur"? Google translator isn't helping me. :shakes fist:


The Gervais thing is interesting. I certainly did not view the original incident as "stealing". Valjean was in a daze and was standing on the coin which Gervais had dropped. He did not actually forcibly take anything from Gervais. I wonder if there was any kind of "finders keepers" type law in France at this time? Both the Gervais incident and the encounter with the Bishop were life changing events for Valjean. Now they have been turned around to indicate (wrongly) Valjean's descent back into a life of crime.

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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby humanracer » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:08 am

[quote="MmeBahorel"]Of course, I'm still trying to picture this scene with Petit Gervais. The kid runs off and what, finds a gendarme and says "A big guy with a stick stole my forty sous piece!"? And this was taken seriously - a Savoyard chimneysweep arguing over two francs - and recorded with full description so that it could be put together with descriptions of convicts released from Toulon in the past week so that it could be attributed to Valjean? The fact that it keeps coming up in the trial just keeps driving me nuts on this. If Javert was the one to turn them onto this, why does the Bishop only come up in his testimony? That doesn't get covered during the part of the trial we see, only in the record of Javert's testimony read back in his absence. Does that not get followed up because it is mere speculation? It is mere speculation that Valjean had anything to do with Petit Gervais. Were there no other crimes across France to attribute to a large man coming from the south?quote]

The novel is full of events and situations that are completely implausible.

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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Gervais » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:14 pm

There are times I regret my username.

humanracer wrote:The Gervais thing is interesting. I certainly did not view the original incident as "stealing". Valjean was in a daze and was standing on the coin which Gervais had dropped. He did not actually forcibly take anything from Gervais. I wonder if there was any kind of "finders keepers" type law in France at this time? Both the Gervais incident and the encounter with the Bishop were life changing events for Valjean. Now they have been turned around to indicate (wrongly) Valjean's descent back into a life of crime.

That's probably why they make such a big deal out of it, to be honest. It probably has very little basis in French law (though I hardly know anything about it, so) as much as it's using his ascent against him as much as possible. He's still guilty about the Petit Gervais incident, so much that he gives money to every little Savoyard that passes, and maybe not exactly guilty about the candlesticks, but it's still one of the most important events of his life, and using those major moments to accuse someone else makes it harder for him to deny himself, maybe.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:27 am

July 31, 2013

A Tempest In A Skull

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/57/

Jean Valjean and a great dilemma. Great perhaps being a serious understatement.

I know there's already a thread elsewhere about 'what would you have done in his place?' but you can also post your thoughts here. And also as to whether this decision was the wisest one.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:41 am

August 1, 2013

Forms Assumed By Suffering During Sleep

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/58/

Jean Valjean dreams and acts in the morning.

Now this: did he really have a brother? Or is this just a dream figment too?
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby WhoIam » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:07 am

The way it's worded leads me to believe that he had a brother. However, as it says, "the brother of my childish years," and the brother was neither previously mentioned nor well recalled in Jean Valjean's mind, this brother could have died young, or even have been a close childhood friend.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:11 am

I'm more inclined to believe the second; it contradicts less with the earlier description of Valjean's life.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:40 am

August 2, 2013

Hindrances

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/59/

In which events conspire against Jean Valjean's conflicted mind.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:39 am

August 3, 2013

Sister Simplice Put to the Proof

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/60/

In which Sister Simplice must let Fantine's delusions persist a little longer.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:34 am

August 4, 2013

The Traveler on His Arrival Takes Precautions for Departure

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/61/

In which Valjean has to gain entrance to the *correct* case. Interesting brief look into the judiciary's every day proceedings.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Gervais » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:53 am

The thing that I love about this chapter is that is seems almost as if he's forgotten that he's the mayor. It's more of him considering whether or not to go in, but still. He starts to just walk away and " :idea: Oh! I'm a mayor! Yeah!" Which could be showing just how preoccupied he was and/or doubts he still has, but I still find it funny.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:02 am

August 5, 2013

An Entrance By Favor

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/62/

In which M. Madeleine's good reputation becomes useful.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:49 am

August 6, 2013

A Place Where Convictions Are In Process of Formation

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/63/

In which the defense, and the prosecution must necessary paint different cases of the same man.

I love how this looks from Valjean's POV; it's as if he's trying to struggle between what he knows of himself, and what he's hearing.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby Gervais » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:06 am

At the one end of the hall, the one where he was, were judges, with abstracted air, in threadbare robes, who were gnawing their nails or closing their eyelids

They don't seem to even care that what they do is about to affect someone really, really drastically. They're tired, they've had a long day, they just want to get home already and get some sleep (maybe not exactly, but, you know what I mean). They just don't care.

And Bam is one of the jurors. Oh my gosh, Hugo, you really want this guy/Valjean to be screwed. And you really have an axe to grind against the courts and/or justice system, it seems.
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Re: 1.7 L'affaire Champmathieu 26/10/10-5/11/10

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:09 am

Gervais wrote:The thing that I love about this chapter is that is seems almost as if he's forgotten that he's the mayor. It's more of him considering whether or not to go in, but still. He starts to just walk away and " :idea: Oh! I'm a mayor! Yeah!" Which could be showing just how preoccupied he was and/or doubts he still has, but I still find it funny.

I'm really sorry, I know this is late, but I really liked this idea, and I kind of wanted to comment on the fact that then, I love that when how he suddenly remembers he's the mayor, it's almost like he's his old self again, like his current life is almost trivial in the face of his inner being, and the need to choose that inner being is the same need that he faced with the Bishop, and all of that. And I know Hugo makes a huge deal about all of that; I just really loved the sort of reversion, almost as an old man becomes a child again, if you get what I mean.

It is interesting to think about how they don't care during the trial. It makes me think of the case beforehand-- the one with the Limosin woman who killed her child, how Hugo doesn't give any details, but, I mean, if we're getting all the backstory for Valjean, here, that the jurors don't understand, then I guess it just makes me wonder what her backstory is that neither the jurors nor we understand.
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