3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

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.

Moderators: Charlette-Ollie, Ulkis, Frédérique

User avatar
Frédérique
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:28 am
Location: outre-Rhin
Contact:

3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby Frédérique » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:19 am

Volume 3: Marius, book 4: Les amis de l'ABC/The friends of the ABC

Chapters:

1. Un groupe qui a failli devenir historique/A group that barely missed becoming historic
2. Oraison funèbre de Blondeau, par Bossuet/Funeral oration on Blondeau, by Bossuet
3. Les étonnements de Marius/Marius' astonishments
4. L'arrière-salle du café Musain/The back room of the Café Musain
5. Élargissement de l'horizon/Enlargement of horizon
6. Res angusta

You can find the French text of this book here and the Hapgood English translation here.

In which Marius and the reader are confronted with a group of young republicans. Upheaval of circumstances in every sphere of his life ensues as they attempt to share both their friendship and their politics with him.

User avatar
MmeBahorel
Posts: 1773
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:12 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:37 pm

How many people's open to a page in this section? Mine can't decide between "Joly, get yourself some leather pants" and "Marius, you're an idiot", so the pages between just sort of stick up in the air :)

Notes!

Chapitre 1
1 (Bonapartist liberalism): << Royaliste voltairien >> correspond aux opinions de la mère de V. Hugo et le << libéralisme bonapartiste >> aux idées de Hugo lui-même de 1827 environ à 1830.

“Voltairean royalist” corresponds to Hugo's mother's opinions and “Bonapartist liberalism” to Hugo's own ideas from 1827 to around 1830.

2 (the German tugendbund): Association patriotique allemande dirigée d'abord contre Napoléon Ier. Dissoute en 1813 et ramifiée en sociétés secrètes, une de ses branches était d'orientation républicaine.

German patriotic association [wiki in French] directed first against Napoleon I. Dissolved in 1813 and split into secret societies, one of its branches was of republican orientation.

3 (was formed in Aix): La << courge >>, en provençal. Société secrète, peu nombreuse, de la Monarchie de Juillet.

The “squash”, in Provençal. Secret society, with few members, during the July Monarchy.

4 (Castratus ad castra): << Le châtré, à la caserne ! >> : l'eunuque Narsès, général romain de Byzance au VIe siècle. << Les Barbares et les Barberini >> : la famille romaine qui avait, au XVIIe siècle, construit son palais avec le matériaux des monuments antiques, plus destructrice donc que les Barbares. << Franchises et foyers >> : devise des libéraux espagnols. << Tu es Pierre et su cette pierre (je bâtirai mon Église) >> (déjà cité en I, 3, voir note 51). Sur le mode dérisoire, Tholomyès avait fait la théorie du calembour ; elle aboutissait à un comportement opposé : l'abstention (voir I, 3, 7).
“The gelding, to the barracks!”: the eunuch Narses, Byzantine Roman general of the 6th century. “The Barbarians and the Barberini”: The Roman family who had, in the 17th century, constructed their palace with the material of of ancient monuments, more destructive, therefore, than the Barbarians. “Charter and Hearth” : motto of the Spanish liberals. “You are Peter and on this stone (I will build my Church)” (already cited in I, 3, see note 51). On the derisory sort, Tholomyès had made the theory of the pun: it leads to an opposing behaviour: abstention (see I, 3, 7).

5 (the little rue des Grès): Actuellement, rue Cujas.
Actually, the rue Cujas.

6 (Harmodius): Harmodius et Aristogiton, deux jeunes nobles athéniens, assassinèrent en 514 avant J.-C. Hipparque, fils du tyran Pisistrate, au cours de la procession des Panathénées, parce que Hipparque avait séduit la soeur d'Harmodius. Leurs poignards étaient dissimulés sous les rameaux de myrthe portés pour la procession.
Harmodius and Aristogeiton, two young Athenian nobles, assassinated in 514 BC Hipparchus, son of the tyrant Peisistratus, during the Panathenaean procession, because Hipparchus had seduced Harmodius' sister. Their daggers were hidden under the garlands of myrtle carried by the procession.

7 (cherubim of Ezekiel): Ange – comme son nom l'indique : Enj-olras – à la fois par sa beauté, qui l'apparente au personnage enjôleur du Mariage de Figaro, et par sa pureté, qui l'assimile aux anges soldats porteurs de l'épée punitive annoncé par les prophétie d'Ézéchiel.
Angel – as his name indicates: Enj-olras – at the same time for his beauty, which resembles the charming character of the Marriage of Figaro, and for his purity, which links him to the soldier angels, carriers of the punishing sword announced by Ezekiel's prophecies.

[Combeferre deserves no footnotes? I am distraught!]

8 (He called himself Jehan): Prouvaire, comme la rue des Prouvaires – dont le nom était attaché à un complot républicain de la monarchie de Juillet – et Jehan comme Jehan Frollo de Notre-Dame de Paris et peut-être comme Jehan Duseigneur, sculpteur, ami de Hugo et hernaniste de choc.
Prouvaire, as in the rue des Prouvaires – from which the name was attached to a Republican cell of the July Monarchy [which has me confused because Louis Blanc's History of Ten Years has a Legitimist, not Republican, plot coming out of there] – and Jehan as in Jehan Frollo from Notre-Dame of Paris and perhaps as in Jehan Duseigneur, sculptor, friend of Hugo, and shocking Hernanist.

9 (Feuilly): Il est, avec Champmathieu, le seul ouvrier des Misérables comme Fantine en est la seule ouvrière. Son modèle est un << ouvrier-poète >> (le mot et la chose sont spécifique de la monarchie de Juillet et de la Seconde République), Alphonse Petit, évantailliste admirateur de Hugo, dont Adèle avait fait le portrait pour L'Événement – journal des fils Hugo – en décembre 1850 (Victor Hugo raconté …, ouv. Cit., p, 655-666). Son idéal internationaliste est bien de 1848 et non de 1830.
He is, with Champmathieu, the sole workingman in Les Misérables as Fantine is the sole working woman. His model is a “worker-poet” (the word and the thing are specific to the July Monarchy and the Second Republic), Alphonse Petit, fanmaker, admirer of Hugo, of whom Adèle made a portrait for the Event – newspaper of the Hugo sons – in December 1850 (Victor Hugo Recounted . . ., op. Cit., p. 655-666). His internationalist ideal is very much of 1848 and not of 1830.

10 (1772): Date du partage de la Pologne entre la Prusse, l'Autriche et la Russie. C'est aussi la date de naissance de Sophie Hugo.
Date of the Partition of Poland [the first one – there were three before the poor country was swallowed completely] between Prussia, Austria, and Russia. It's also the birth date of Sophie Hugo.

11 (quasi cursores): << Comme les coureurs (se transmettent les flambeaux) >> - dans les course de relais des jeux grecs – (Lucrèce, De natura rerum, II, 79).
“Like the runners (pass the torches)” - in the relay race of the Greek games – (Lucretius, De natura rerum, II, 79).

12 (June 1822): C'est le 5 juin 1820 – et non 1822, mais la date du 5 juin 1832 appelle cette confusion – que plusieurs milliers de Parisiens manifestèrent à l'enterrement de Lallemand, étudiant tué le 2 juin lors des troubles qui suscita la loi dite << du double vote >>.
It's 5 June 1820 – and not 1822, but the date of 5 June 1832 calls out this confusion – that several thousand Parisians demonstrated at the burial of Lallemand, student killed 2 June during the troubles that succeeded the law call “of the double vote”.

[The “double vote” was a re-ordering of both voting rights and the composition of the Chamber of Deputies. Initially, the country was divided into geographical districts by population and all the men in a district who paid a certain amount of tax were eligible to elect a representative for their district. This diluted the conservative electorate too much, so the law of the double vote was passed. Voting now took place in two rounds. The first was the same as before. But then, about a week later, another set of candidate was eligible from each Department, elected on a Department-wide basis, but only the very richest men in the Department were eligible to vote in this round. Thus, the richest men, who were believed to be most conservative, got to vote for two deputies while everyone else only got to vote for one. This worked out well for the King in 1824, not so well in 1827, and very badly in 1830, as the wealthy turned centrist and began voting for liberal candidates.]

13 (Bahorel): Ce personnage concentre bien des traits des jeunes romantiques. Son nom évoque Pétrus Borel, et ses gilets (mais non ses opinions) Théophile Gautier. Cet << étudiant de onzième année >> rappelle aussi beaucoup Jehan Frollo de Notre-Dame de Paris.
This character concentrates many of the traits of the young Romantics. His name evokes Petrus Borel, and his vests (but not his opinions), [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%A9ophile_Gautier[Théophile Gautier[/url]. This “student of the eleventh year” very much also recalls Jehan Frollo of Notre-Dame of Paris.

[Ok, nothing for Lesgle or Joly, either, which also disappoints me.]

14 (Grantaire): Le nom de Grantaire, ou Grand R, résulte d'un changement de lettre, Hugo l'ayant d'abord nommé Grangé, - nom qui était celui du remplaçant de Charles au service militaire.
The name of Grantaire, or Big R, results from a change of letter, Hugo having first named him Grangé – name that was that of Charles' replacement in military service.
[And apparently the name of a popular actor and songwriter in the cheap theatres of the period.]

15 (Mother Saguet's): Voire III, 1, 10 et note 22.
See III, 1, 10 and note 22. [And I can totally hook you up with a recipe for poulets à la crapaudine.]

16 (Long Live Henry IV): La chanson est de Collé, chansonnier dramaturge (1709-1783) qui, outre La Partie de chasse de Henri IV ici cité, est également l'auteur de Alphonse l'impuissant, de L'Amant poussif, etc. (voir, lors du carnaval – V, 5, 1 - , le trio Collé, Panard et Piron). J. Massin signale que les ultras de la Restauration avaient << récupéré >> l'air << Vive Henri IV >>.
The song is by Collé, songwriter and playwright (1709-1783) who, other than The Hunting Party of Henry IV [wiki in French] here cited, is equally the author of Alphonse the Helpless, The Short-Winded Lover, etc. (see, during the carnival – V, 5, 1 – the trio Collé, Panard, and Piron). J. Massin points out that the Ultras of the Restoration had “salvaged” the song “Long Live Henry IV”. [Which does better explain just what Grantaire is doing – damned annoying, but at least annoying from the correct political orientation.]

Chapitre 2
17 (You know Blondeau): Après avoir été professeur de Tholomyès (voir I, 3, 3 et note 40), il était, depuis 1830, doyen de la faculté de Droit.
After having been Tholomyès' professor, (see I, 3, 3 and note 40), he was, since 1830, dean of the Law School.

18 (of which Boileau speaks): Boileau (Art poétique, II, 182) dit : << Le Français, né malin... >>
Boileau (Poetic Art, II, 182) says: “The Frenchman, born clever/crafty . . .”

19 (Erudimini qui judicatis terram): << Instruisez-vous, arbitres du monde >> est cité en tête de l'Oraison funèbre de Henriette de France. De Bossuet, sur qui ses maîtres avaient fait le jeu de mots << Bos suetus aratro >> (<< boeuf accoutumé à la charrue >> ), Laigle, dit Bossuet, glisse à << Bos disciplinae >>.
“Teach yourselves, arbiters of the world” is cited at the top of the Funeral Oration of Henriette of France. From Bossuet, on whom his masters had made the play on words “Bos suetus aratro” (“ox accustomed to the plow”), Laigle, called Bossuet, slides to “Bos disciplinae”.

Chapitre 3
20 (Jean-Jacques pushed them out): Thénardier fera à son tour allusion (en IV, 6, 1) à cet abandon des enfants de J.-J. Rousseau et de Thérèse. De là peut-être ce goût de Gavroche, << enfantrouvé >> par ses parents, pour le refrain << C'est la faute à Rousseau >>.
Thenardier will in his turn make allusion (in IV, 6, 1) to this abandonment of children by J-J Rousseau and Thérèse. From there perhaps this taste of Gavroche's, “pushed out” by his parents, for the refrain “It's Rousseau's fault”. [The French goes “Thérèse les enfantait, Jean-Jacques les enfantrouvait”. “Enfantrouver” is not a verb, it is Courfeyrac making a rather facepalmy pun. “Enfant trouvé” - orphan. “Enfanter” - to give birth. So “Thérèse pushed children out into the world, then Jean-Jacques pushed them out into the streets” is about the best I can do in English.]

21 (Initium sapientae): << (La crainte du Seigneur est) le début de la sagesse >>, dit la Bible (Proverbes, I, 7).
“(The fear of the Lord is) the beginning of wisdom”, says the Bible (Proverbs 1:7).

Chapitre 4
22 (that the tun of Heidelberg): Célèbre tonneau du château d'Heidelberg qui peut, paraît-il, contenir 283 000 litres de vin. Hugo affectionne ce monstre.
Famous tun of Heidelberg Castle which could, it appears, hold 283,000 liters of wine. [Wiki knocks that down to 220,000, as if that makes it any better.] Hugo was fond of this monster.

23 (Incitatus): << Lancé au galop >> était en effet le nom du cheval de Caligula.
“Giddyup!” was in effect the name of Caligula's horse.

24 (blue krait): Serpent venimeux que l'on trouve au Bengale et à Java.
Venimous snake found in Bengal and Java.

25 (Si volet usus): << Si l'usage le veut >> (Horace, Art poétique, 71).
“If the usage allows” (Horace, Poetic Art, 71).

26 (Staub): Staub : tailleur chic, chez qui s'habille, par exemple, Lucien de Rubempré dans Illusions perdues.
Staub: chic tailor, whose establishment dressed Lucien Rubempré in Lost Illusions, for example.

27 (the famous Touquet Charter): Touquet, ancien officier de la Garde devenu éditeur, fit acte d'opposition en imprimant sous quantité de formes le texte de la Charte octroyée que leurs auteurs auraient préféré voir oubliée. Voir déjà en I, 3, 1, note 4.
Touquet, former Guard officer turned editor, acted in opposition by printing under many forms the text of the granted Charter that their authors would have preferred to see forgotten. See above in I, 3, 1, note 4.

28 (in flames): Jeu de mots sur le titre d'une fable de La Fontaine, La Chatte métamorphosée en femme. Scribe, en 1827, avait fait jouer sous ce titre une pièce dont la musique, par Mélesville, comportait une mélodie, intitulée Air de Beethoven, sur laquelle Hugo composa Patria (voir Châtiments, Poésie II, annexe).
Play on words on the title of a La Fontaine fable, The Cat Metamorphosed into a Woman [English translation in link]. Scribe, in 1827, had put on a play under this title of which the music, by Mélesville, included a melody, title Air on Beethoven, on which Hugo composed Patria (see Châtiments, Poetry II, annex) [English translation].

Chapitre 5
29 (Quia nominor leo): << Parce que je m'appelle lion >> (Phèdre, Fables, I).
“Because I am named lion” (Phaedrus, Fables, I).

30 (said Combeferre): A toute cette conversation fait écho le dialogue entre Lahorie et trois autres généraux, aux Feuillantines devant Victor enfant, raconté dans Le Droit et la Loi (Actes et Paroles I, Avant l'exil, voir vol. Politique) et qui se termine par << Avant tout, la liberté ! >>
This whole conversation echoes the dialogue between Lahorie and three other generals, at the Feuillantines in front of Victor as a child, recounted in The Right and the Law (Acts and Words I, Before Exile, see vol. Political) and which ends with “Above all, liberty!”

31 (I love my mother more): Pastiche du Misanthrope, chanson d'Alceste (I, 2).
Pastiche of The Misanthrope, Alceste's song (Act I, scene 2).
["If the king had given to me*
His great town, his belle Paris,
Would I but leave my sweet, my dear,
My dear I love so well;
I should say to the King Henri,
Take back, take back your belle Paris,
I love my love,
O gay!
I love my love too well."]

Chapitre 6
32 (Res Angusta): Juvénal, Satire, III, 164-165 : << Haud facile emergunt quorum virtutibus obstat res angusta domi >> : << Ils ne réussissent pas facilement ceux dont le train de vie étroit bloque les qualités. >> Notons que Hugo fait se succéder le mot << République >> - fin du chapitre 5 – et << Pauvreté >> - titre du chapitre VI, selon une formule implicite : Res publica, res angusta. On sait par ailleurs que Hugo affectionnait particulièrement la devise, gravée à Hauteville-House, << Ad augusta per angusta >> (<< Aux choses sublimes par les voies étroites >>) qui était le mot de passe des conjurés d'Hernani.
Juvenal, Satire, III, 164-165: “Haud facile emergunt quorum virtutibus obstat res angusta domi”: “They did not succeed easily those of whom the narrow train of life blocks the qualities.” Let us note that Hugo makes it follow the word “Republique” - end of Chapter 5 – and “Poverty” - title of Chapter 6, according to an implicit formula: Res publica, res angusta. We know otherwise that Hugo was particularly fond of the motto, carved on Hautville-House, “Ad augusta per angusta” (“To sublime things by narrow ways”) which was the password of the Hernani conspirators.

Lots of the interesting stuff is not in Rosa's footnotes, but definitely check the Meta threads here because we've covered a lot.

May end up doing a R's Guide to the Classics (and giant winebarrels in Germany) - will post if interested.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

User avatar
hazellwood
Posts: 612
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 4:55 am
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby hazellwood » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:21 pm

MmeBahorel wrote:How many people's open to a page in this section? Mine can't decide between "Joly, get yourself some leather pants" and "Marius, you're an idiot", so the pages between just sort of stick up in the air :)


Mine FELL APART at this section. I had to tape it back together and now the page with Combeferre's opening description is still falling out.

I missed convent shenanigans so I'm going to try to post as much as possible in here. >>;

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:30 pm

Mine is torn between this point and the pages with Enjolras' speech at the barricade.

I absolutely *love* Combeferre's description, mainly because it seems to be contrasting with so many other people's descriptions. It's funny how in Enjolras' reckoning later in the book, he describes Joly as working with 'science', when it seems that this is more apt for Combeferre.

My favorite description though: Feuilly's. There is something so noble and redeeming about him.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

User avatar
Frédérique
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:28 am
Location: outre-Rhin
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby Frédérique » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:17 pm

Prouvaire, as in the rue des Prouvaires – from which the name was attached to a Republican cell of the July Monarchy [which has me confused because Louis Blanc's History of Ten Years has a Legitimist, not Republican, plot coming out of there]


That's the only one I ever heard of, too (... which may just be because it's the only one big enough to make it to Wikipédia, so maybe there was a Republican plot as well? at some point?). But I think it's an intentional reference nonetheless - various Romantics were out and about partying in the quarter on the same night (February 1/2 '32), and Gérard de Nerval was arrested (and released after a few days) in the context.

My paperback falls open almost invariably on Enjolras' introduction :D

Ulkis
Posts: 1342
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:41 am

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby Ulkis » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:17 pm

I missed convent shenanigans so I'm going to try to post as much as possible in here. >>;


hazellwood, if you have any comments on the convent sections you wanna make you can still comment in those threads. I'd love to read anything you had to add to that.

The first time I read this I was quite surprised by the paragraph about the partition of Poland. It was the first time I ever saw it mentioned in a non-Polish historical book. (Unless Anne in "Anne of Green Gables" mentioning she read a poem called "The Downfall of Poland" counts.)

User avatar
Aurelia Combeferre
Posts: 8847
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:57 am
Location: somewhere with the abased
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:13 am

Makes me wonder though...where would have Feuilly gotten all that material on the partition of Poland and other international matters? Were these already newspaper items, or would Feuilly have had to get his news elsewhere?

I think my book is falling open to this chapter for these reasons:
1. The implied comedy with Bossuet *anywhere*--the daughter of five louis incident and even how he first meets Marius. I think this scene is referenced in Rizal's "El Filibusterismo", which also features a sadistic professor calling the roll in the same fashion Blondeau does.
2. Combeferre's "To be free" line. Simple as that.
3. Enjolras' description.
"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

User avatar
Elwen Rhiannon
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:58 pm
Location: Poland
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby Elwen Rhiannon » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:25 pm

Aurelia Combeferre wrote:Makes me wonder though...where would have Feuilly gotten all that material on the partition of Poland


The Great Emigration of 1831, after the fall of the November Uprising of 1830 - and if earlier, maybe former soldiers of Bonaparte (not necessairly officers), not welcomed in homeland and trying to earn their living in Paris. But that's just my guess.
"Believe in the future. Combeferre does."

User avatar
MmeBahorel
Posts: 1773
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:12 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:19 am

Reading rooms (cabinets de lecture) were available in this period - he'd have access to books, and he could have come across any number of things if he's pulling volumes at random, which is what I would expect from someone trying to educate himself. There would be a charge, of course, but that charge was sometimes as little as 10 centimes per volume per day, which is a very do-able cost for a young man with no family to support. Many of the cheap reading rooms were run by petit-bourgeois widows and filled with whatever they had as a family plus whatever random used books they could get cheap.

So there's possibilities for historical background.

One also has to remember that Hugo is actually basing Feuilly on a man he knew in 1848, and that's rather important. Under the July Monarchy, France was the freest of the Continental European countries - much less censorship than elsewhere and political crimes were defined differently (generally, your political prisoners had either defied in the press laws or had taken up arms on barricade, as opposed to said something to someone in a café - the cafés were constantly monitored, but as an ongoing intelligence operation, not looking to arrest people for mere talk, as happened in other parts of Europe). As a result, France was where everyone went if they didn't go to London - because France still had the caché of the Revolution. Even before the exiles of 1848, you had significant revolutionary exile communities living in Paris. The Poles after 1831 are possibly the largest, being found in dire poverty in the slums but also in the ranks of the intelligentsia. Russians, Italians, Germans all ended up in Paris if they could get there because it was the place to go if you wanted to overthrow your native government and needed to hide out from it while experiencing comparative freedom. So Hugo is really trying to describe someone from a period where there were a lot of political exiles in Paris.

I don't think the numbers were so high during the Restoration. However, the newspapers carried foreign news, and during the Greek War of Independence, that was covered extensively. Any of these nationalist movements Hugo mentions have actions during the period that would have ended up in the papers. The newspapers were read in cafés as well as reading rooms, and many of the nationalist groups, if they did not have large exile communities abroad, would at least have several ambassadors for the cause - men charged with getting international buy-in for the movement. So there should be pamphlets being published on all these things, in French, to get the cause talked up frequently enough to influence foreign policy when direct access to the king might be lacking.

There's a lot of written material floating around, and newspapers and pamphlets are café reading. History texts, or outdated travel guides, or whatever else a person can think of might well be found in the reading rooms for quite cheap rates. Feuilly doesn't have bad access, really. I've found the more interesting question to be "How did he develop this interest?" rather than "How did he know anything about it?" Some nationalist movements have self-reinforcing lines with class-based movements (Tom Nairn is the major scholar who posits nationalism as an economic phenomenon, though applying Marxist analysis to nationalism doesn't much work out even in his book where he could manipulate the data), but the vast majority are bourgeois movements that touch the working classes only later. Lithuanian nationalism, for example, was conducted in Polish for generations because Polish was the literary language of the nobility while Lithuanian was the daily language of the serfs. The real expansion of nationalism into the working classes came with the expansion of literacy after mid-century - it's also when more respect for the peasantry as the "authentic" expression came about, in part because of rapid technological changes that made the imposition of the dominant culture easier.

And I just spewed way too much nationalism theory over this thread. Sorry. And no, I actually did not take the nationalism course because of Feuilly :)
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

User avatar
Col.Despard
Posts: 1563
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:26 am
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby Col.Despard » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:43 am

No, no - it's all good! Any discussion of the development of Nationalism through the 19th century is interesting, and the observation that Feuilly seems somewhat anachronistically passionate about these issues.

I hadn't thought much about the timing, as I just vaguely recalled that Paris experienced an upsurge in Polish refugees after the November Uprising...which is too late for Feuilly already being across the issue in 1827. Was there any sort of fundamental Romantic sympathy of the sort that the Greeks inspired in the rest of Europe, and to which Feuilly also subscribes? There is that wonderful article on the Polish situation and implications for French liberty by Gaussuron-Despréaux that Marianne posted here, but again that dates to October 1831: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=1037

So how topical was Poland and the original partition before the November Rising which began in November 1830? I imagine it must have aroused some indignation, at least among intellectuals, even prior to the Rising as they would have been aware of increasing Russian authoritarianism and violations of the Congress of Vienna. Sessions of the Polish parliament were made secret after 1825...could something like that have triggered Feuilly's interest?

I have shamelessly folded down the corner of my page where the Amis are introduced, so the book has no choice but to go straight there!
"The principles of freedom, of humanity, and of justice, will finally triumph over falsehood, tyranny and delusion, and every principle inimical to the interests of the human race" - Edward Despard, 1803
http://coloneldespard.deviantart.com/

User avatar
MmeBahorel
Posts: 1773
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:12 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:31 am

Some knowledge may depend on relations to the Napoleonic Wars. What with Bonaparte being seen as a liberator for Poland, and Poland fielding a battalion, and some survivors of the retreat from Moscow still being in France in 1814 when the final surrender came, a good number of Frenchmen served with Poles and would have picked up that whole background. Those Polish soldiers were supposed to repatriate, with fairly significant penalties if they didn't (at least for those with lands in Russian-held territory, including the Duchy of Warsaw), so my little band of fictional refugees in Corner of the Sky is just that - fictional. There are books, as well - Google Books is showing 196,000 texts between 1800 and 1830 with "Pologne" as a keyword. The fourth one to come up is an 1820 publication on the three "dismemberments".

Because of Bonaparte, the Polish thing actually makes the most sense. It was the mention of Romania that threw me for a loop on subsequent re-readings. It must be a reference to the 1829 Treaty of Adrianople, in which Russia received temporary control over - but not possession of - Moldavia and Wallachia (hostilities in the Crimean War commenced when Russia moved troops over this border). I don't do Romanian history - I'm lucky to have had enough background in random bits and pieces that things are familiar when I wiki it - so I'm dependent on Wikipedia, and Wiki seems to be telling me that even Hugo's references here are 1848.

There was an uprising in Transylvania, Moldavia, and Wallachia in 1848. There was an uprising in Venice in 1848. Hungary - 1848. So I wouldn't put too much emphasis on Poland in 1828, actually - Hugo's definitely using the 1848 perspective on the whole lot, details as well as general subject matter. So Hugo's describing Poland from post-1831, when anything from the Empire that might have been forgotten or not widely disseminated beyond the Russian and Spanish campaigns was revived with the influx of refugees.

For the Restoration, it's sort of a lull between Bonaparte and the 1830 rising, but publications were still happening. It looks like a history of Poland "Before and Under King Jan Sobieski" was published in 1829, a bio of Maria Leszczinska in 1828, prisoners' memoirs and travel writing in the 1820s - it's definitely around, being published, and therefore probably being talked about even if it isn't a major issue until the Warsaw rising. (by contrast, "Romanie"/"Roumanie" only gets maybe 12,000 hits for the same period; "Moldavie" about 40,000. Huge difference in publication rates.)
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

User avatar
MmeBahorel
Posts: 1773
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:12 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:02 am

A few of my own comments on this book, without reference to Wikipedia for once :)

Chapter 1: When Hugo says "People were transformed, from royalists to liberals and from liberals to Republicans", he's talking about himself. But he's also talking about a wider trend, which you can see in the electoral figures. In 1824, with the law of the Double Vote, candidates loyal to the monarchy had something like 80-90% of all seats. In 1827, that dropped to a bare majority - moreover, many of the new "liberal" deputies were not as radical as the liberal deputies who had served previously (in US terms, this was sort of like the 2006 elections that brought in a tranche of Blue Dog Democrats - disaffection with the ruling party moved the centre so that suddenly candidates who weren't really leftist were forced into that orientation). The centre moved away from the monarchy. This trend is what made 1830 possible.

Also, Hugo, did you really have to stick yourself as Enjolras, too? Certain points of the description, namely the fair hair, good complexion, and high forehead, are descriptors of Hugo himself.

Chapter 2: Hugo describes Marius, when Bossuet accosts him, as not being in a pleasant humour. Which begs the question: Is Marius *ever* in a pleasant humour? Other than when he's thinking about Cosette but not being angsty about it, I mean. But really, this chapter is about Courfeyrac being awesome. He hasn't had a chance to overhear any of the conversation other than possibly Bossuet's joke about a rent of 9,000 francs a year, and he steps right up to the plate. Sure, he knows there's a room available where he lodges, but this kid is a total stranger that he just hops into a cab with. It's rather a sign of two things: one, he absolutely trusts Bossuet's judgment, that this guy must be ok because Bossuet is talking to him; and two, he wants to be friends with everybody in the world. He'll do anything for anybody, beyond the call of duty, because he's beyond a nice guy.

Chapter 4: OMG, Grantaire. Tipsy? Really? Hugo, this seems a little more than tipsy, and it terrifies a person to think the man will have another drink in him soon enough. Except that he bails on Marius with everyone else. He does kind of have a point about Russian despots, though this part of his rant also brings to mind Abraham Lincoln's statement about America and Russia: Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all mean are created equal, except negroes. When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read, “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.

I also finally made a count of the redshirts: there are at least 6 unnamed guys hanging around - 7 if we assume that Courfeyrac and Combeferre have someone other than Enjolras listening to their conversation (it seems like the convo. he might be not really involved in but paying attention to) - but more likely 8-10 as Bossuet and Prouvaire are probably talking to groups rather than one-on-one conversations. Which relates more to "oh god, I need a lot more OCs" than to actual book analysis.

Chapter 5 - "Bahorel was just assuming a favourite attitude" - I love the image here. I just have this picture of Bahorel leaning his chair back precariously so he can put his feet up on the table while talking to Bossuet when Marius starts in on Corsica, and he just bangs the front legs of his chair down so he can lean forward and listen because this is gonna be good.

In in a way, here, you have to feel sorry for Marius - he's so confused because he's never heard young people criticise Bonaparte and he's never hear criticism from the left. Because he has no friends. And you have to feel sorry for everyone else because they probably haven't heard Marius string so many words together in however long he has been hanging around Courfeyrac. I'm sure they're at first taken aback because OMG, Marius can talk! But then, what do you say to the crap he is spewing? Because in the end, it's crap. "Hannibal, Caesar, Charlemagne all in one man" - do you realise what you are saying, Marius? Bonaparte had to fail if he's all of these in one. There could be no lasting French empire if you're going to compare Bonaparte to Charlemagne, who split his kingdom into three, a part for each son. Caesar got murdered by Republicans but arguably the whole thing is what caused the Republic to disintegrate into Empire anyway - he failed, and his successors were sort of a mess. Hannibal - remember how the Punic Wars ended? There's no longevity to these men's accomplishments, same with Bonaparte. I'm not seeing the selling point.

Chapter 6 - If Marius owes 70 francs to his landlord, but has spent only 15 of the 30 francs he brought with him, how long has he been staying there? I'm assuming it's either end of month or end of quarter, which is why the keeper is coming to him for money, but 70 a month seems high to me, while there's no way it's been three months if Marius only spent 15 of his own money. I think I'm looking for convincing that Courfeyrac's rent is that high.

To sum up: I <3 boys :)
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

User avatar
Col.Despard
Posts: 1563
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:26 am
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby Col.Despard » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:20 am

And I love you!

I am so hugely amused with Hugo, when he creates an idealised character like Enjolras, decides that a high forehead is a REALLY IMPORTANT THING.

And thanks for that little tribute to Courfeyrac. I don't always feel Courfeyrac gets enough credit (well, he does around here, but not always in the fandom at large). The emphasis is so much on him being a manwhore that the fact he's a pretty bloody decent guy sometimes gets lost. My belief that Marius must have some redeeming qualities is largely based on the fact that Courfeyrac not only takes him under his wing, he maintains the friendship. It has always stung a bit that after their deaths Courfeyrac is lumped in with the other Amis and indistinguishable from them, save for that one short exchange with Gillenormand...but I'd prefer to believe that Marius isn't being callous, it's just that the loss of Courfeyrac is something he really doesn't want to deal with.

That Lincoln quote is one of my favourites, given that it often seems applicable to events around us. And the next person who thinks that Grantaire is just a sweet misunderstood puppy who is to be pitied because Enjolras is harshing his buzz / is just misunderstood / is able to offer a coherant criticism of the Republican circle and their objectives needs to go back and reread his rants. They give the impression that Enjolras is a veritable SAINT for not just throwing him out on his ear. And how come the harrassing women never seems to make fanfic? Bossuet has to come to the rescue of one of his victims! Or the belief that he's irresistable to women? It could be used to demonstrate an overcompensation to cover up a feeling of inadequacy, but just seems to be largely unaddressed.

The Red Shirt thing is always interesting...the lieutenants don't comprise the entirety of the group, embryonic though it is.
"The principles of freedom, of humanity, and of justice, will finally triumph over falsehood, tyranny and delusion, and every principle inimical to the interests of the human race" - Edward Despard, 1803

http://coloneldespard.deviantart.com/

User avatar
MmeBahorel
Posts: 1773
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:12 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:29 pm

Unfortunately, the harrassing women thing is really par for the course in the period - I don't know if there was as much groping in 1820s France as there is in 2011 Cairo, but there's really a similar approach to women who walk around by themselves. As for if fandom at large recognises it, fans in general, across fandoms, tend to align with favoured male characters to the exclusion of women, particularly in slash fic. It's even easier here as there are so few women to marginalise - they are already on the margins. If the focus is on E/R, then the women don't matter, or there isn't an overtly sexual reading of this brief incident because R is gay and Louison has boobs - why would there be anything really sexual? He just sort of grabs her as she goes by. Of course, Louison, as a dishwasher, can probably take care of herself, assuming that R is playing. Water is heavy, after all. And this is all we actually see of him doing anything - we don't know what happened with Irma Boissy for her to render the verdict that R is impossible. His general behaviour can't be far off the norm if he's allowed to go along to the dance hall when Courfeyrac is trying to get Marius laid. I don't think it gets to the level of predatory - Bossuet is really just trying to get him to shut up in general because he can't hear himself think, let alone continue his conversation. Drunkenly groping Louison on her way through the room probably fits in perfectly well with how Bahorel talks about his mistress.

It's a patriarchal, heavily misogynistic society, where over 50% of working class women are sexually available even if not full-time registered prostitutes, so while fandom should recognise it, I'm not sure how much judgment should end up in the fics - if the POV is supposed to be close to the period, it should go uncommented on (but then, I am the person who deliberately throws racist comments into fic when they are period appropriate for the characters, so I know I don't match stylisticly with much of the rest of fandom). It's the period they live in, and the period Hugo lived in, and the way he treated his domestic staff.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

User avatar
MmeBahorel
Posts: 1773
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:12 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: 3.4 Les amis de l'ABC 24/2/11-1/3/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:02 am

And the other bits I felt needed footnotes (because if I have to look something up, other people are going to be lost, too).

Chapter 1
Combeferre
Condorcet. So when Combeferre “confined himself to Condorcet”, he's looking at an ideal of progress, civic duty, and faith in the science part of political science.

Puységur. Theorist on animal magnetism and early hypnotherapist.

Deleuze, naturalist (wiki in French only). Deleuze, like Puységur, was a theorist on animal magnetism. He was also the librarian for the Museum of Natural History.

Washington v. Danton: This one I can't quite parse, actually, in part because of the competing interpretations of Danton and of Washington. Would really love some help.

Courfeyrac
“time of la Minèrve”: La Minèrve was a liberal but chartist publication – Benjamin Constant was one of its editors. It only lasted a couple of years and didn't have wide circulation.

in general
Feuillants: constitutional monarchists during the Revolution

Doctrinaires: Constitutional monarchists under the Restoration – the centre that got pushed aside when Charles X came in and made a centre impossible.

Grantaire
Robespierre jeune, Loizerolles: Robespierre's younger brother was all “kill me too” and then sorta tried to escape but ended up executed anyway (the whole “jumped out a window” thing kind of undermines the sacrifice); Loizerolles was an actual sacrifice, the son surviving. (and how awesome is a blog called “Executed Today.com”? I think I found a new timesuck.)

savate: French kickboxing. Very much not boxing in the English sense.

chausson: Grantaire does NOT play tennis – I have no idea where that idea came from in English translations. From wikipedia: en sport, le terme chausson est également employé comme synonyme de savate. “in sport, the term chausson is equally employed as a synonym for savate”. The savate article describes chausson as the southern style – so R does both, it seems. How in the hell do you get “tennis” from “Marseille-style kickboxing”?

Bâton: And then there's bâton. These three taken together are elements of savate later in the century, but in this period were separate but with practitioners often doing at least two of the three if I'm understanding the savate article correctly. (The English-language savate article is actually pretty good in terms of historical detail – I'm impressed.)

Chapter 4

Grantaire
un jockey est un sportsman: Yes, the nouns are in English. I feel like Grantaire shouldn't really have connections with the upper rank of anglophiles who were all into horse racing and that element (lots of young nobles, not just the founders of the Jockey Club), but it definitely has to be R who manages to pick up their terminology, as I can see him running into the fringes much more easily than I can anyone else except Courfeyrac.

Pupils of Gros: Antoine-Jean, Baron Gros, well known neoclassical artist. He took lots of pupils, including Paul Delaroche, most famous for “The Execution of Lady Jane Gray” or “The Princes in the Tower”, Barye, famous as a sculptor for bronzes of animals being violent, Thomas Couture, probably more famous then than he is now, as salon painters of the 1840s don't get much look-in in art history overviews. Grantaire probably knew none of the famous guys, falling in age roughly between the Delaroche/Barye cohort and the Couture cohort. He's probably more in line with minor artists like Féron, Alexandre Hesse, Paul Huet, Raffet, and Signol. You've never heard of these guys for a reason: generally classicists in a Romantic age, unappreciated by modern art history, not exactly exemplars of their craft though they all exhibited well and had major paintings acquired by the Louvre or held by the French Academy in Rome (many were winners of the Prix de Rome), which is how I pulled their names from a list of artists in an 1894 Baedeker.

“rapin est le mâle de rapine”: this phrase is missing from the FMA translation. Rapin: young pupil in a painter's workshop or painter without talent. Rapine: same in French as in English, “the seizure of property by force; pillage”

Diogenes with the holes in his cloak.

Strongylion the sculptor actually existed – one never knows with references to antiquity

Brutus and statue: This is fascinating as a reference because it's yet another reference to possible gay related to Grantaire. He comes up with this out of nowhere, and one has to wonder if he's trying to annoy Enjolras with this takedown of Brutus. Not that Enjolras is bothering to listen, and it isn't directly solely at him, but after the mega list of gay, a reader tends to make connections.

Battle of Pydna: last battle in the collapse of Alexander the Great's empire, the battle that brought Roman authority to the region. Thus in context, Bonaparte's victory at Marengo, giving him control over Northern Italy, is Rome at Pydna.

Tolbach (Tolbiac): the Franks under Clovis established control over the Germanic tribes of the Rhine, thus the comparison to Bonaparte's victory at Austerlitz.

Phocion: athenian statesman at the time of the Macedonian invasions. He was basically condemned for treason because he acquiesced in the Macedonian takeover of Athens and ruin of Athens' traditional rights.

Coligny: I assume this is the correct Coligny, a Huguenot leader who was the victim of an assassination attempt that led to the St Bartholmew's Day Massacre as the Catholic government sought to pre-empt Protestant retaliation after their leader was nearly killed. This time they made sure he was dead rather than just shot in the arm. The Colignys were a major Protestant dynasty, however, and all the Colignys seem to have been rumoured to have been murdered by the government.

Anacephoras: Google only gives me LM as a reference – Hugo either got a name very wrong or R is making shit up (I put it past neither of them, really)

Pisistratus: tyrant who schemed himself into power by staging an attempt on his own life. Turned out to be a decent ruler, actually. His sons were the victims of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, unfortunately.

Philetas: He was a poet. He was thin and frail. Grantaire seems to have no point here other than being an ass.

Silanion: portraitist. His known works appear to comprise: Theseus, Jocasta, Plato, Sappho, Achilles, Corinna, three Olympic boxing victors, a trainer of athletes, and Apollodorus.

Episthates: Like Anacephoras, does not exist outside LM, and see above re: Silanion's works Hugo would have known about. The French wiki on Silanion names the athletes: the only wrestler is Damaretos of Messina, a pentathlon champion.

Trabucaires, Mt. Jaxa: Trabucayres appear to be bandits specialising in diligence robberies in the area around Perpignan in the mid-nineteenth century, though earlier groups were deserters from the armies of Spanish king Charles II in the early 18th century. Catalan-speaking areas. The problem is JAXA is the Japanese Aerospace Agency, so I'm not quite getting to the bottom of the reference.

Comanche, Doubtful Pass: Hugo's making an anachronistic reference here. There were Apache attacks in the Doubtful Pass (also Doubtful Canyon and Stein's Pass), which is in modern New Mexico, in spring 1861. Nothing else reasonable comes up.

Queen Isabella's dirty chemise: seems to come from this story: Isabella refused to wash her linen until Granada was captured. Or possibly Isabella of Austria and the siege of Ostend.

Dauphin's commode (“chaise percée”): Probably refers to Louis XIV's eldest son who liked people chatting with him when he was using the toilet.

Hippocrates refusing bric-a-brac from Artaxerxes: Hippocrates was said to have refused an invitation, complete with all honours he might ever want, from Artaxerxes during an epidemic in Persia.

Prouvaire
Vignemale: mountain in the Pyrenees on the Spanish border, notable for its multiple summits.

Cybele: earth mother, Mother of the Gods.

Io: One of many women ravished by Zeus. He hid her in clouds when it looked like he was about to get busted by Hera.

Pissevache: waterfall in Switzerland.

Courfeyrac
Desmarets: controller-general of finances under Louis XIV.

Article 14: Is the one that states the supremacy of the king in all aspects of government.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard


Return to “Read-Through”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron