3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/11

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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3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/11

Postby Charlette-Ollie » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:44 am

Volume 3: Marius, book 1: Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois

Chapters:

1. Quatrevingt-dix ans et trente-deux dents/Ninety years old and all thirty-two teeth
2. Tel maître, tel logis/Like master, like abode
3. Luc-Esprit
4. Aspirant centenaire/As aspiring centenarian
5. Basque et Nicolette/Basque and Nicolette
6. Où l'on entrevoit la Magnon et ses deux petits/In which we catch a glimpse of La Magnon and her two little boys
7. Règle: Ne recevoir personne que le soir/Golden rule: only receive visitors in the evening
8. Les deux ne font pas la paire/Two do not make a pair

Though the last book ended with "Let's see who Monsieur Marius was.", but in typical Hugo style we don't get straight to the point: in this book we are introduced to Monsieur Gillenormand. Here are several chapters on Monsieur Gillenormand's... virile character, his history, his household and his habits. Magnon also enters the mix as a former servant girl with two young sons she claims are his.

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:11 am

I love M. Gillenormand :) He is so very autobiographical in all the fun ways (while Marius is autobiographical in all the angsty ways).

Livre 2

Chapitre 1
1 (M. Gillenormand): Il est né donc en 1740. Ce personnage fait partie de la série que Hugo décide, en 1860, de << compléter >>. Exemple : << Insister sur les immoralités badines et cynique du père Gillenormand. >> (Carnet d'octobre 1860.) Nommé, en 1846, Esprit Charpentier, il devient, en 1860, Luc-Esprit Gillenormand, en souvenir peut-être des ancêtres bretons de Sophie, << Le Normand >>. Notons également, dans les carnets de Hugo, le 12 avril 1856, jour de l'achat de Hauteville-House, ces mots : << Voir la quittance G. Lenormand >> et, le 13 mai 1856, le montant des honoraires pour la tractation signé Jean Le Normand.
He was thus born in 1740. This character is part of a series that Hugo decided, in 1860, to “complete”. Example: “Insist on the jesting and cynical immoralities of old Gillenormand.” (Notebook from October 1860.) Named, in 1846, Esprit Charpentier, he became, in 1860, Luc-Esprit Gillenormand, in memory perhaps Sophie's Breton ancestors, “Le Normand”. Let us equally note, in Hugo's notebooks, 12 April 1856, the day of the purchase of Hauteville House, these words: “See the receipt G. Lenormand” and, 13 May 1856, the total amount of fees for the transaction signed Jean Le Normand.

2 (new Tivoli quarter): Actuel quartier de l'Europe, derrière la gare Saint-Lazare, célèbre, vers 1830, par son parc d'attractions et son bal.
Actual Europe quarter, behind the Saint-Lazare railway station, famous, around 1830, for its amusement park and dance hall. [According to Edward Planta, the Tivoli in the rue St-Lazare shut down in 1827, but the Nouveau Tivoli opened up in the rue de Clichy in the same year to take its place.]

3 (pretty, flirtatious hairdresser): R. Journet signale (Les Misérables, Garnier-Flammarion) que << vers 1845 Hugo a noté des propos assez bizarres de son barbier qui s'appelait Richy. Or, dans la liste des dames qui lui ont accordé à l'époque diverse faveurs, nous trouvons Mme Richy. >> On rencontrera dans le portrait de M. Gillenormand d'autres traits autobiographiques comme la possibilité de se passer de lunettes, ou la dentition intacte.
R. Journet points out (Les Misérables, Garnier-Flammarion edition) that “around 1845 Hugo noted rather bizarre remarks from his barber who was named Richy. But, in the list of women who had accorded him diverse favours at this time, we find Mme Richy.” We will see in the portrait of M. Gillenormand other autobiographical traits like the possibility of managing without glasses or intact dentition.

Chapitre 4
4 (against Venus): La teinture éthérée de perchlorure de fer était utilisée dans le traitement des maladie vénériennes.
Etherated tincture of iron chloride was used in the treatment of venereal disease.

Chapitre 5
5 (Rue Quincampoix): Allusion à l'entreprise de Law qui avait fait de la rue Quincampoix le centre de la spéculation.
Allusion to Law's venture that had made the rue Quincampoix the centre of speculation.

Chapitre 6
6 (Sylvae sint consule dignae!): Mot d'esprit sur un vers de Virgile (Bucoliques, IV) : << Si canimus sylvas, sylvae sint consule dignae >> : << Si nous chantons les bois, que les bois soient dignes d'un consul. >>
Witty turn on a verse by Virgil (Bucolics, IV): “Si canimus sylvas, sylvae sint consule dignae”: “If we sing of the woods, may the woods be upright as a consul.”

Chapitre 8
7 (his grandson): On le retrouve et on le nomme, Marius, dès les chapitres qui suivent. Ils transposent dans celle de Marius l'enfance de Hugo lui-même ; mais Gillenormand cumule des traits venus des deux parents : royalisme voltairien, froideur, opposition au mariage du fils viennent de Sophie ; la maladresse d'une tendresse contrecarrée par l'appartenance politique et tardivement révélée après un long éloignement relèvent de Léopold dont la figure anime aussie l'image du colonel Pontmercy. Mais Hugo savait que son histoire familiale avait été celle de beaucoup d'autres << enfants du siècle >>.
We will find him, and we will name him, Marius, in the following chapters. They transpose into that of Marius the childhood of Hugo himself; but Gillenormand brings together traits of both parents: Voltairian royalism, coldness, opposition to the son's marriage come from Sophie; the awkwardness of a love thwarted by political allegience and belatedly revealed after a long estrangement is taken from Léopold whose figure also animates the image of Colonel Pontmercy. But Hugo knew that his family history had been that of many other “children of the century”.
Last edited by MmeBahorel on Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/11

Postby Ulkis » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:13 am

Hee. I totally forgot Gillenormand's first name was Luc-Esprit.

Even if they didn't clash over political opinions, I can't imagine Marius would have stayed much longer. He didn't seem to like Gillenormand much.

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/11

Postby Charlette-Ollie » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:31 am

Gosh, I love Hugo's character descriptions. I think I'd probably dislike Gillenormand if I were in Marius' shoes, but to read about his habits (no matter how disturbing) makes him fascinating, and I know that, later on in the book especially, the way he expresses his despair as anger and the effect that has on his relationship with Marius just makes my heart break.

And I found it interesting that a line in Wilbour's translation goes:

One of his oaths was: By the big slippers of big slipperdom!

While Rose's translation is:

One of his favorite curses was: "Par la pantoufloche de la pantouflochade!" Something like: "By the hair on my chinny-chin-chin!"

And while I don't mind translators using the original and then adding a sentence to explain it, I don't think it's necessary here, and I am pretty sure "By the hair on my chinny-chin-chin!" doesn't even have the same meaning. Though I am curious about whether pantoufloche is a made up word. Where did it come from?

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:35 am

It looks to be something Hugo completely invented - searching for "pantoufloche" on Google and on Gallica, the only thing that comes up is LM. Searching "pantoufle" on Dictionnaires d'Autrefois gives me nothing helpful, either.

It may be connected with the sense of "raisonner pantoufle": the 1798 dictionary gives this definition.
On dit proverbialement et populairement, Raisonner comme une pantoufle, ou simplement, Raisonner pantoufles, pour dire, Raisonner au hasard, battre la campagne. Il n'a fait que raisonner pantoufles. Il en raisonne comme une pantoufle.
(Previous and subsequent dictionaries use similar phrasing and the definition continues through the 1932-5 edition.)

Which is not something I would ever get from Julie Rose's explanation.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/11

Postby Charlette-Ollie » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:20 pm

Thank you! I knew you'd give me an interesting answer :D

So if pantoufloche is meant to be M. Gillenormand's own special invention (or accidental very bad French?), well that's rather adorable.

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/1

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:06 pm

November 10, 2013

Ninety Years and Thirty Two Teeth

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/160/

A resident of the Marais, who is more than hale and hearty.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/1

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:45 pm

November 11, 2013

Like Master, Like House

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/161/

The temperament carries over into the style of dwelling
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/1

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:56 pm

November 12, 2013

Luc-Esprit

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/162/

The acquisition of a fine name.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/1

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:57 pm

November 13, 2013

A Centenarian Aspirant''

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/163/

How old he is and what he is happy to live through.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/1

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:10 pm

November 14, 2013

Basque and Nicolette

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/164/

Theories and how this man nicknames his servants
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/1

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:20 pm

November 15, 2013

In Which Magnon and Her Two Children are Seen

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/165/

On purported children and some of the women in his life.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/1

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:22 am

November 16, 2013

Rule: Receive No One Except in the Evening

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/166/

Social habits
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Re: 3.2 Le grand bourgeois/The Grand Bourgeois 8/2/11-15/2/1

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:27 am

November 17, 2013

Two do not Make a Pair

http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/167/

On two very different daughters
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."


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