1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

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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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby Gervais » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:58 am

YoungStudentMarius wrote:Ooh, yes, it is, especially when you consider Valjean and Mabeuf as old men and mentors, of a sense, (if Valjean's kind of taken over the Bishop's role), and how they respond on the barricades, each offering a very different type of sacrifice, that, in a sense, comprises all of their being. And it's especially interesting if you think about Valjean as Cosette's surrogate father, and Mabeuf as Marius' surrogate father, and...well, it's just interesting, sorry, we're not there yet, I know. :oops:

The Wise Old Man must have the markings to show it. :wink: Though I really like the "purity" connotation.


For Fantine to see what Cosette was really like, in the environment of the inn especially...I think it would have killed her, literally, or metaphorically if her well-timed illness wasn't happening. :( Though if Valjean had brought her, he would have cleaned her up, put her in nice clothes, and she probably wouldn't want to talk about the Thernardiers, so that wouldn't hurt Fantine, though maybe the fact that she's almost a total stranger to Cosette would. Fantine does acknowledge Cosette probably wouldn't remember her, at least, so that probably wouldn't be too terrible.
Or worse, Cosette would have been scared of her, because she wouldn't have known the extremely sickly woman who won't stop reaching for her.
...None of these are looking to good. :( Though, thinking some more, I think anything except seeing Cosette as a beaten scrap or Cosette being scared of her would make Fantine happy, because she just wants to see her so badly.
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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:21 am

Examining this from the psych POV....it can't end well. Cosette wouldn't know what to do in terms of greeting Fantine. It would break Fantine's heart.
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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby Gervais » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:31 am

Though, would Fantine acknowledging and saying "she will not recognize me. She must have forgotten me by this time, poor darling! Children have no memories. They are like birds. A child sees one thing to-day and another thing to-morrow, and thinks of nothing any longer" make it at least a little better? Well, easier.
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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:45 am

August 11, 2013

Javert Satisfied

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/68/

What brings an inspector to a sick woman's bedside.

I gotta admire his being through.
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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:01 am

August 12, 2013

Authority Reasserts Its Rights

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/69/

"You have murdered that woman".
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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby meow139 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:27 am

Argh, no, Fantine!

I always felt so sorry for Fantine here- she died knowing that all the hope that she had clung to- of seeing Cosette again, of Madeleine saaving them both- were gone. The first time I read this, I cried.
I change barricade boyfriends by the day.

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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:38 am

I think I would have hit a wall if I hadn't been 'primed' for it with the Confrontation in the musical. This is a very nasty, messy way to go.
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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby humanracer » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:58 am

I think the novel is far more dramatic here than the musical. Valjean seems to have been pushed even further over the edge by Fantine's death. He doesn't quite threaten to kill Javert but you know he is going to use "any means nescessary" to get to Cosette. In the chapters leading up to this Valjean seems to accept his fate that he will return to prison. Now that is no longer an option to him.

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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:15 pm

August 13, 2013

A Suitable Tomb

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/70/

In which a reputation is set aside, a lie may have to be told, and someone is buried.
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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby meow139 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:52 pm

And thus we are finished with Volume One, and good god this was a depressing one, folks. To recap: Fantine's dead, Valjean's may as well be since he's now on the run and we all know how that's going to turn out, Cosette is undergoing severe childhood trauma and Javert is in agonies over tracking down Valjean. The town of Montreuil-sur-Mer has turned on its sainted mayor, so good on those folks, and pretty much no one is happy.

Coming up next: Waterloo! The absolute funnest and most interesting part of the book! :D (Just joking, no offense to Waterloo.)

Honestly, in all of Les Mis, one of the most poignant moments for me has to be when Sister Simplice lied just to save Valjean. it was just so- so heartening to see that there are generally good people during a time in the book when everything is falling to hell.

Something sort of interesting between Sister Simplice and Javert- both of them are extremely dedicated to their professions and believe strongly in what they are doing. But the difference very evident here is that Sister Simplice, unlike Javert, has that moral line- the ability to discern from what is right in the eyes of God (the law) and what is the morally correct thing to do. Javert does not have that and never will have that.
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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:07 am

Thanks for this, meow!

And yes, Sister Simplice vs. Javert. I love the parallelism.

Maybe it's my weird moment this morning, but I remembered the line from Julius Caesar: "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones." So applicable to "M. Madeleine". and Fantine.
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Re: 1.8 Contre-Coup/Counter-Blow 06/11/10-10/11/10

Postby Gervais » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:21 pm

*applauds recap and raises saber* To Waterloo!

Backtracking a bit, but Simplace says this back in chapter one:
"If she does not see Monsieur le Maire before then, she won't know Monsieur le Maire is back; it will be easy to make her be patient and when the child arrives she will naturally think Monsieur le Maire has arrived with the child. We won't have to tell any lies."

Alright, they don't have to tell lies, but to me at least, this is a form of lying. So she's sort of slowly building herself up to it, so when the time comes that she doeshave to actually tell a lie, it's not like Javert and Mercy; she recognizes its value and is ready for it. Though there probably is some struggle on the inside that would probably have been an interesting read if Hugo had gone into her head more.
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