: a Germanic people living in what is now the Netherlands. This is yet another pointer to Hugo. (I facepalm so hard over this. It's all so very “I was damned attractive in my younger days, and as I was awesome, my character will be understood as awesome”. Except Marius is not awesome. He is pretty, but he is lazy and scared to death of girls, something no one could ever have accused Hugo of *g*.)
fled like a Parthian: The Parthian Empire
originated in what is now Iran. The phrase must come from the Roman-Parthian Wars, probably from the Parthian archers
, who would feign retreat at a gallop - and then turn around and shoot you while you pursued them if you were dumb enough to think you were routing them from the field. Thus, Courfeyrac fled rapidly, but left behind a parting shot of wit.
But found the girl rather depressing: This is interesting, as M. Leblanc is the possibly rather sad sight. He does not return a look, focuses only on the granddaughter, and if he is the retired soldier Marius suspects, he was in his prime at the same time as Colonel Pontmercy. It's no wonder that Marius likes him, as he is probably ascribing certain aspects of his father's friends to the unknown gentleman. But the girl chatters gaily, so his issue must be that she looks around with “an unpleasant assurance”. Or that she shows no signs of growing up to be in the least attractive. So the problem is either that the girl, so young and otherwise unprepossessing, has the confidence in herself and/or the world that he lacks, or that such confidence in an ugly girl will lead to no good. I just find the juxtaposition curious, that she chatters gaily and Marius finds her depressing.
Also, I <3 Courfeyrac
Marius does too, otherwise he wouldn't quit avoiding Courfeyrac after a week. I think Courfeyrac has decided that corrupting Marius ought to be his mission in life, something to fill the time between errands for the freedom of man. He keeps giving Marius very good advice – and making bad jokes – and not getting annoyed that Marius doesn't take said advice. Marius must keep coming back for more because Courfeyrac is just so damned charming about being completely annoying. (well, he can't be completely annoying; we only get the highlights.)
Raphael: A nice Madonna here
and not a bad one here
: It looks like his famous Venus and Cupid is a bas-relief currently in the Hermitage in St Petersburg, pictured here
. Don't see the big deal about her neck.
Does Victor speak about this “virgin glancing like a woman” from lots and lots of experience? I'm sort of getting creeped out about him taking advantage of the maids and not quite certain if he ought to blame them or not.
I am, however, cracking up at Marius' sudden realisation that he had the “slovenly indecency, and unheard-of stupidity” to go walking in the Luxembourg dressed like crap. I'm going to assume that this is why I have a bookmark at this page. (I have no idea why I have a bookmark in this section. I would blame it on writing Cosette femslash, except the notecard marking the place is from the Richard III paper I wrote first semester, junior year of high school, pre-dating the appearance of any slash in the fandom. It may have been moved from elsewhere in the book, but the whole thing is just odd. Other bookmarked pages have obvious reasons; this one has to be related to Marius' clothes. Maybe I'll blame it on the following chapter, which begins on the same page, and is Courfeyrac being Courfeyrac.)
I <3 Courfeyrac
Yes, I felt a need to underline “I just met Marius' new hat and coat, with Marius in them.”
As for the “he was probably on his way to an exam”, Courfeyrac is both plausible and not paying attention. Marius already got his law degree, but the plausibility is that exams were conducted in July for students who finished their year's studies in that month, rather than at the beginning of the next term, which was how it usually went, except there would be an advantage to these students because the next term starts after a two-month summer vacation.
Yes, Marius deserves to be called stupid behind his back for totally ignoring Courfeyrac. But Courfeyrac is good-humoured about calling him stupid.
The bourgeois is a really fascinating little detail – it brings in the political situation in an almost subconscious manner. July 1831 was not a calm month: legislative elections on the 5th did not live up to Louis-Philippe's expectations, there were riots on the 14th (Bastille Day) that had to be dispersed by undercover police officers after an attempt to plant a liberty tree in the place de la Bastille was suppressed, and of course, at the end of the month is the first anniversary of the July Monarchy. The bourgeois is almost certainly an Orleanist, and my guess is that we are post-14 July, and coming up on the 27th, so that we have the riots of the 14th to point to as anarchy and the celebration of triumph against despotism on the 27th.
Why is Marius contemplating the Manuel du Baccalauréat? He would have sat his bac five years ago, so why does he have it on the brain? And I suspect the opinion comes from hanging around Courfeyrac's friends – Combeferre obviously has a particular respect for Molière if he bothers adapting that playwright as a smackdown, and you've got him and Bahorel earlier arguing about the need for classical French tragedy. Not that Marius was necessarily incapable of having these thoughts on his own, but they do fit in with things Combeferre has said.
“He had a sharp ringing in his ear.” Oh god, I know this feeling. It's like the ringing of silence as if you're suddenly in this bubble of hormones and you can barely hear yourself talk, which is awful because you're desperately trying not to say anything stupid, and your head also sort of swims as if you're drunk. (Thank you, particular actor who is the reason I know this feeling all too well. Since I didn't manage to get over it in more than five years, it's probably best you've left the business because I'm likely never getting over it.)
Marcos Obregon de la Ronda: Picaresque novel by Vicente Espinel
. You can read the whole thing, in English, here
. All about Gil Blas
, which used aspects of Espinel's novel. The Spanish again links Marius with Hugo, as well as the literary bragging rights. Which seem sort of out of character for Marius, since Marius works as little as possible. But then, that may well be the point, that he suddenly has someone worth bragging to. And it's worth bragging about, considering François de Neufchâteau
is dead. The hazard of Hugo pulling autobiographical details? If Marius wrote that foreword, he did it at the age of 10 (that edition of Gil Blas was published in 1820, when Hugo was Marius' age). We're up to two zombies in Marius' life now!
And yes, I am laughing at him again for tripping because he thought she might be looking at him. It's actually quite cute, since we aren't to stalkerrifc territory yet. And for thinking that surely she must not be insensible to his nice coat and trousers.
Yes, Marius, the sparrows are mocking you for being a pansy
I do kind of get where Marius is coming from here. He's gotten caught, he's trying not to get caught, he doesn't want to look eager, and then all he can think about is the major flaw he can see, so of course she must have seen it, too.Audry de Puyraveau
(wiki in French only) was a deputy of the extreme left, first elected in 1822. I can find no sign of an awesome speech in 1831, but Hugo has his details considerably off in this book, trying to bridge his life with the period in which he has set this story.
As in, Frédérick Lemaître
did not appear in L'Auberges des Adrets at the Porte-Saint-Martin until February 1832. There was a previous production in May 1830. At the beginning of August, the Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin had up a play about Napoleon (the listing for 3 August is “Napoléon, Encore le préjugé”; the Opera that night had “Le Philtre, Manon Lescaut”). I think Lemaître gets the shout-out because a) he's famous and b) he originated the title role in Hugo's Ruy Blas. It's also a segue into the next book, as the lead character in L'Auberge des Adrets is the bandit Robert Macaire
. These details (Lemaître and Robert Macaire) would be readily known to a contemporary reader.
I will cut Marius some slack – Courfeyrac's “collection” merely “almost horrified him”. And he's behaving fairly close to a normal human being for once.
And just as I'm cutting Marius some slack, Hugo is creeping me out again. I swear, these were not so bad when I didn't know he slept with every woman in sight and kept a diary about it. “Disfigured by shame or transfigured by love” - vagina dentata or wife. Ew, Victor.
Oh, Cosette. I fear this is merely the first of many times you will have that “what are you on?” expression when looking at Marius.
Ursule is probably Marius' best bet. Other options, according to an 1858 “Noms de baptême et prénoms”, are Ulrique and Uranie. Still – he's an idiot.
: bucolic poet. The robes of Isis come from Plutarch
(paragraph 77). Bartholo is Rosine's guardian in The Barber of Seville, appearing also in the Marriage of Figaro – Cherubino makes love to women; Bartholo first makes an impediment to marriage, then forces a marriage in revenge. (also fun comparison: in the opera of Figaro, Cherubino is a trouser role, while Bartholo is a bass – as wide a vocal difference as one can get.)
Second time for the “What are you on?” look.
Marius, you are damned lucky Valjean is in hiding, otherwise I think you would have gotten your ass kicked, and deservedly so. Courfeyrac would probably agree with me, sort of, after teasing you for being too much of a pansy to talk to her. Because this would be a lot less creepy if you talked to her!
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard