2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

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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Marianne
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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Marianne » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:20 am

Ulkis wrote:
but Hugo transplanted it to a fictional neighborhood at the last minute on the advice of his editor, who wanted to avoid direct offense towards religious communities and the potential unpleasant consequences.


That's odd, considering that the convent is portrayed as Valjean's most favorite place ever. But I guess the editor figured better safe than sorry.

Two mistresses from these convent schools? They obviously were not doing their job quite right. :)


I suspect this is another thing, like the Bishop, where the subversive message can sail right over the head of a modern reader. In this case it might be eyebrow-raising that some random dude knows all about this convent (especially when he goes into so much detail about their security precautions so that no profane eyes can get in), it's probably hackle-raising that he dwells on the severity of their order and uses them as a springboard for Hugo's Thoughts On Everything in a not-always-fully-respectful way, and it's definitely reason for offense that he wraps up that section with a Parenthesis condeming monasticism.

Excellent, thanks! (Since I nerded up this thread like whoa anyway *facepalm*)

From what I can dig up:

The Dictionnaire historique de Paris has an entry for the Bénédictines de l'adoration du saint-sacrement. The original convent began in 1653 in the rue Férou, then moved in 1669 to the rue Cassette. It was destroyed in the Revolution but was re-established in the rue Neuve-Sainte-Geneviève (doesn't say what year).

There's also a brief listing for a "dames de l'adoration perpétuelle du saint-sacrement", established after 1814 at no. 80, rue du Temple.

Does that help at all?


Okay, I dug up my Paris au temps des Misérables which wasn't actually at school, just hiding behind bigger books on the shelf. Here's what it has to say:

- The name "Petit-Picpus" is a reference to the rue de Picpus which had lots of convents on it, including one called the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary of the Perpetual Adoration, right next to the cemetery, at #35 rue de Picpus.

- Hugo's anecdotes mostly come from the original location, the convent of the Benedictines of the Blessed Sacrament in the rue Tournefort/rue Neuve-Ste-Geneviève. Léonie Biard, whom he was sleeping with from 1844 to 1849, hadn't been a student there, but a relative of hers (Hyacinthe d'Orémieulx) had been, and passed along the stories. Biard also visited the other location of the same order in the rue du Temple while looking for a place to have her daughter educated.

- From 1816 to 1821 (five years, like Cosette), Juliette Drouet was a student at the Dames de Sainte-Madeleine, who apparently shared a garden with the Dames de Saint-Michel, in the rue Saint-Jacques. She also supplied some of the anecdotes, and the names of the nuns are an extended series of puns and references to Juliette and Léonie.
[Dieu] entend ta voix, ô fille des hommes! aussi bien que celle des constellations; car rien n'est petit pour celui devant lequel rien n'est grand.
- George Sand, Les sept cordes de la lyre

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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Marianne » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:21 am

Double-post, because I finally got off my butt to post my photos of the chase route.

Here they are.
[Dieu] entend ta voix, ô fille des hommes! aussi bien que celle des constellations; car rien n'est petit pour celui devant lequel rien n'est grand.

- George Sand, Les sept cordes de la lyre

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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Patria » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:55 am

MmeBahorel wrote:But this final chapter really adds to the portrait of Javert (and argues directly against musical-driven fanon). For this hunter, "today's wolf banishes the memory of yesterday's". Of course, now that Valjean has been found again, he becomes today's wolf until the moment he is recaptured. But Javert spend so much time talking himself out of it. We have his first encounter with Thénardier, in which Javert, as the honest man, gets totally played. "In case of doubt, Javert, a scrupulous man, never collared any man." I suspect this plays itself out in the Patron-Minette/Valjean scheme - it's not just for certainty of his capture of Valjean that Javert sets the trap, but to eliminate all doubt about just what is the offense for which the rest are arrested. This is a statement of his soul as the avatar of public authority.


When you say it argues against musical fanon, do you mean it points out that Javert is not as relentlessly single-minded in catching Valjean as the musical makes him out to be? Because that is certainly a fair point. It's funny the things they oversimplify... of course, a musical containing every little Hugo-ish detail would take weeks to perform :D
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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby MmeBahorel » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:03 pm

Yes, exactly - it's fine for the musical, because so much condensing has to be done, but it so often gets pulled into fic that is otherwise book-based. I'm guilty of it, too. The description was a little surprising because I'm so accustomed to thinking in musical terms and not looking back at the little details of the novel rather than the broader scenes. The chase, but not the exact chain of circumstances that lead to it, in this case. The chase, the later scene in the Gorbeau House with Thénardier, these fit in to the expected remembered pattern of Javert out to arrest Valjean; Javert trying to talk himself out of it because the guy's totally dead, and only coming across him by accident at all, does not fit into that pattern. I certainly didn't remember that he went out to Montfermeil and investigated and believed Thénardier's story. Because it doesn't fit the pattern expected with reference to the musical.

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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Patria » Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:38 am

Talk about exasperating. I feel like at a certain point Javert just wanted to stick his fingers in his ears and say "LA LA LA LA LA I SEE NO JEAN VALJEAN OMG GO AWAY I AM SO SICK OF YOU SRSLY I THOUGHT THIS CASE WAS CLOSED LAST TIME" but of course... Duty calls. It is a bit of a shame how many of Javert's nuances are lost in the musical... I've seen a lot of first time viewers come out of it completely missing the point and just seeing Javert as sort of a supervillain. My dear mother is a perfect example-- "but he dogged Valjean relentlessly for twenty years!" I need to get her her own Brick for her birthday. :D
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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Swamp Adder » Wed May 18, 2011 1:45 am

MmeBahorel wrote:the corpse (of what we will later learn is a deceased sister)


Is that still figure that Valjean sees actually the dead nun? I had always assumed that it was just one of the nuns performing the reparation, as described in the previous book. The words of the prioress later on seem to imply that the nun died in the presence of others, not lying alone on the convent floor... but if that really is her, then wow. That makes that scene even creepier than it was before...

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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby MmeBahorel » Wed May 18, 2011 2:00 am

I misread it when taking notes - but I do think they are intended to be linked to give the creepy feel to the scene, and to the idea of the convent in general. In a sense, all the nuns are dead, so that you have a corpse, unseen, and a corpse perceived that is only technically alive.
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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby cordeliersclub » Wed May 18, 2011 6:53 am

I'm lagging shamefully, but wanted to say: you are heroes for this thread.
les Amis de l'ABC do not laugh at puns.

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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:58 pm

September 21, 2013

Twists and Turns

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/109/

Navigating a labyrinth. I personally find this part very interesting
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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby LauraLeZunzu » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:38 pm

Aurelia Combeferre wrote:September 21, 2013

Twists and Turns

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/109/

Navigating a labyrinth. I personally find this part very interesting

I loved that one. It actually gets you into Valjean's mind and fears. He doesn't know if he's Javert, and it seems that all he sees is ghosts; the soldier on the corner... but it makes you nervous reading it. "He didn't know even if he was Javert...". And it even gets better when (I think in other chapter) tells you Javert's point of view, that it was all true. It shows you the survival instinct and abilities of Valjean, and his intelligence. And as you have been enough time with Valjean (half of the book, almost?) you feel his anguish. He CAN'T go back to who he was, and he NEEDS to save Cosette.
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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:41 pm

I find it intriguing to have the 'criminal' persona blend with his father persona here. It's a development I only noticed now.
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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:52 am

September 22, 2013

The Pont d'Austerlitz

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/110/

How to cross a bridge.
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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:54 pm

September 23, 2013

The Gropings of Flight

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/112/

Unpleasant surprises in an escape. This is such a thriller.
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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:07 pm

September 24, 2013

Which Would Be Impossible With Gas Lanterns

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/113/

How a matter of illumination can be life saving, in a sense.
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Re: 2.5 À chasse noire, meute muette 19/12/10-28/12/10

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:03 pm

September 25, 2013

The Beginning of an Enigma

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/114/

An entrance into a strange compound
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."


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