3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

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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3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby Charlette-Ollie » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:56 am

Volume 3: Marius, book 8: The Bad Pauper

Chapters:

1. Marius, cherchant une fille en chapeau, rencontre un homme en casquette/Marius looks for a girl in a hat and meets a man in a cap
2. Trouvaille/A find
3. Quadrifrons ("four-faced")
4. Une rose dans la misère/A rose in misery
5. Le judas de la providence/The Judas of providence
6. L'homme fauve au gîte/Feral man in his lair
7. Stratégie et tactique/Strategies and tactics
8. Le rayon dans le bouge/A ray of light in the rathole
9. Jondrette pleure presque/Jondrette very nearly weeps
10. Tarif des cabriolets de régie: deux francs l'heure/Rates for cabs: two francs an hour
11. Offres de service de la misère à la douleur/Misery offers pain its services
12. Emploi de la pièce de cinq francs de M. Leblanc/Use of Monsieur Leblanc's five-franc piece
13. Solus cum solo, in loco remoto, non cogitabuntur orare pater noster ("All alone, it does not occur to him to say the Our Father")
14. Où un agent de police donne deux coups de poing à un avocat/Where a police officer gives a lawyer a couple of punches
15. Jondrette fait son emplette/Jondrette does his shopping
16. Où l'on retrouvera la chanson sur un air anglais à la mode en 1832/Where you will find the words of an English tune fashionable in 1832
17. Emploi de la pièce de cinq francs de Marius/Marius' five-franc piece put to use
18. Les deux chaises de Marius se font vis-à-vis/The face-off of Marius' two chairs
19. Se préoccuper des fonds obscurs/Dealing with the darkest depths
20. Le guet-apens/The ambush
21. On devrait toujours commencer par arrêter les victimes/You should always arrest the victims first
22. Le petit qui criait au tome deux/The little boy who cried out in part three

This book tells of Marius' adventures during his time living in the Gorbeau tenement. I don't think that there is much else I need to say, except that Valjean and Javert both put in some stunning performances.

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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby Ulkis » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:16 pm

I don't have much to say about this book yet except to say I really like Norman Denny's translation of it: "The Noxious Poor". I think it gets across not only "the evil poor" meaning of the title but the disgust and recoiling feeling that one is supposed to get from the Thenardiers is well. That even if Thenardier was a good guy you'd still feel that recoiling that Marius feels.

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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:54 am

Also, "The Noxious Poor" maintains the ambiguity: it could be one man or the entire class. I always assumed it was the entire class of humanity that makes the title, particularly since we do see some of Patron-Minette as well as the Thénardiers.

Notes!

Livre 8

Chapitre 1
1 (Chaumière): Bal public du boulevard de Montparnasse.
Dance hall in the boulevard de Montparnasse.

2 (bal de Sceaux/Sceaux dance hall): Le 20 janvier 1821, Hugo écrit à Adèle (éd. J. Massin, t. I, p. 1158) : << […] le 16 juillet dernier, je te rencontrai au bal de Sceaux. J'avais à plusieurs reprises opiniâtrement refusé d'y aller ; enfin je cédais à l'importunité ou plutôt au conseil de mon bon ange qui me conduisit ainsi à mon insu vers celle que je cherchais partout. Tu parus contrariée de me voir, et moi, j'eux toute la soirée le cruel bonheur de te voir danser avec d'autres. […] Nous partîmes du bal avant toi. J'étais bien fatigué, cependant je voulus revenir à pied, espérant que la voiture où tu reviendrais nous atteindrait ; en effet, une demi-heure après, je vis passer un fiacre où je crus te reconnaître, croyance qui me dédommagea de la poussière et de la fatigue de la route. >>
20 January 1821, Hugo wrote to Adèle (ed. J. Massin, vol. I, p. 1158): “Last 16 July, I ran into you at the bal de Sceaux. I had several times stubbornly refused to go there; finally I gave in to the importunity or perhaps to the counsel of my good angel who directed me thus without me knowing it toward the one I had looked for everywhere. You appeared annoyed to see me, and I had all evening the cruel happiness to see you dance with others. . . . We left the hall before you. I was very tired, yet I wanted to return on foot, hoping that the carriage you would take back would reach us; in effect, a half hour after, I saw pass by a fiacre where I believed I recognised you, belief that compensated me for the dust and fatigue of the road.”

Chapitre 2
3 (Mathieu Laensberg): Astrologue, peut-être chanoine de Liège au début du XVIIe siècle, père supposé du premier << Almanach liégeois >> (1635) : prophéties et météorologie.
Astrologer, perhaps canon of Liège at the beginning of the 17th century, alleged father of the first “Liège Almanac” (1635): prophecies and meterology.

4 (The bear goes back to his cave): Jean Maurel a proposé de reconnaître dans plusieurs éléments du roman des traces de la mythologie populaire de l'ours que les enfants Hugo avaient découverte dans le conte de Jean l'ours, aux Feuillantines, à la veille de la condamnation de Lahorie – voir Victor Hugo raconté..., ouv. Cit., p. 143.
Le monologue prononcé quelques lignes plus loin << Qu'est-ce qui est bon marché à présent ? […] >>, avait été noté mot pour mot, sans doute après avoir été entendu dans la rue, dans les carnets de 1848. (éd. J. Massin, t. VII, p. 1155.)

Jean Maurel proposed that in several elements of the novel are traces of the popular mythology of the bear that the Hugo children had discovered in the tale of John [of] the Bear, at the Feuillantines, the eve of Lahorie's condemnation – see Victor Hugo Recounted . . ., op. Cit., p. 143.
The monologue spoken several lines further on “What is cheap at the moment?”, had been noted word for word, without doubt after having been heard in the street, in the notebooks of 1848 (ed. J. Massin, vol. VII, p. 1155.)

Chapitre 3
5 (Quadrifrons): << Qui a quatre visages >>, comme le dieu latin Janus.
“Who has four faces”, like the Latin god Janus.

6 (frightful odor of tobacco): On sait que Hugo détestait le tabac. Ces trois premières lettres reproduisent à peu près textuellement des lettres de quémandeurs reçu par Hugo ou sa femme ; la première était signée << Alban José, Capitaine español de caballeir >>, la seconde, datée du 11 février 1847, << femme Thévenot >>, la troisième << Desclergue >>.
We know that Hugo detested tobacco. These first three letters reproduce closely the text of the begging letters received by Hugo or his wife; the first was signed “Alban José, Spanish captain of caballeros”, the second, dated 11 February 1847, “Thévenot woman”, the third “Desclergue”.

Chapitre 4
7 (she dug through what was in the corners): Souvenir de Léopoldine :
Elle entrait […]
Prenait ma plume, ouvrait mes livres, s'asseyait
Sur mon lit, dérangeait mes papiers, et riait
Puis soudain s'en allait comme un oiseau qui passe.
(Les Contemplations, IV, 5.)

Memory of Léopoldine:
She entered . . .
Took my pen, opened my books, sat down
On my bed, messed up my papers, and laughed
Then suddenly left like a passing bird.
(Contemplations, IV, 5.)

Chapitre 6
8 (by Ducray-Duminil, 1814): L'ouvrage, dont le vrai titre est L'Hermitage Saint-Jacques ou Dieu, le Roi et la Patrie, publié en 1815, appartient au fonds de lecture commun à Mme Thénardier et à Hugo enfant – voir I, 4, 2 et note 7.
The opening, of which the real title is “Saint James' Hermitage or God, King, and Country”, published in 1815, belongs in fact to the common reading of Mme Thénardier and Hugo as a child – see I, 4, 2 and note 7.

9 (everything's rubbish): Parodie de l'Ecclésiaste (I, 2) : << Vanité des vanités et tout est vanité. >>
Parody of [url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ecclesiastes%201:2&version=KJV=Ecclesiastes 1:2[/url]: “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

Chapitre 7
10 (440): On peut y lire, répété, le jour de la mort de Léopoldine (4 septembre).
One can read here, repeated, the day of Léopoldine's death (4 September).

Chapitre 13
11 (Orare Pater Noster): << Seul à seul dans un lieu écarté, n'allons pas croire qu'ils disent leur Notre-Père. >> Hugo utilise souvent cette formule avec cette variation : << Solus cum sola... >> : << Seul à seule... >>.
“Alone together in an isolated place, we won't believe that they are saying their Our Father.” Hugo often uses this formula with this variation: “Solus cum sola . . .”: “A lone man and a lone woman . . .” [This is interesting: it looks like John Dowland, 16th c. English composer, used the latter phrasing in the title of a piece, derived from an old proverb, and Hugo keeps using it (it's in Notre Dame de Paris as well).]

Chapitre 14
12 (all these beings?): Le lecteur lui, comme Javert, a identifié Montparnasse, Gueulemer, Babet et Claquesous.
The reader, like Javert, has identified Montparnasse, Gueulemer, Babet and Claquesous.

Chapitre 19
13 (la Bourbe): Nom donné à l'Hôpital de la Maternité, rue de la Bourbe, aujourd'hui hôpital Baudelocque.
Name given to the Maternity Hospital, rue de la Bourbe, today the Baudelocque Hospital.

14 (I'm not a bousingot): On appela << bousingots >> après 1830 les jeunes romantiques républicains. Réputés tapageurs, ils portaient le gilet à la Marat et le chapeau en cuir bouilli des marins, appelé << bousingot >>. Ce nom fut vite synonyme d'anarchiste et de démagogue. Pétrus Borel en était. Bahorel aurait pu en être. L'autre branche, moins extrémiste politiquement, formait les << jeune France >>, souvent confondus avec les Bousingots.
One called “bousingots” after 1830 the young Romantic republicans. Celebrated rowdies, they wore Marat waistcoats and the sailor's hat of boiled leather, called “bousingot”. This name was quickly a synonym for anarchist and demagogue. Petrus Borel was one. Bahorel could have been one. The other branch, less political extremist, formed “Young France”, often confused with the Bousingots.
[I cannot find what a “Marat waistcoat” is. It must be the collar style, as Borel had a coat with a “col à la Marat”, but I've no idea what that means, either.]

Chapitre 20
15 (Sakoski): Bottier chic du Palais-Royal, à nouveau cité dans Mille Francs de récompense.
Fashionable bootmaker in the Palais-Royal, cited again in A Thousand Francs of Recompense. [He appears in Heine's letters and looks like he died in 1840. Some interesting info here.]

16 (one will remember): C'était en I, 4, 1.
It was in I, 4, 1.

Chapitre 22
17 (The Little Boy Who Cried in Volume II): Dans l'édition originale : << Le petit qui criait au tome III >> ; l'édition comprenant deux volumes par partie, le tome III était le premier de la seconde partie. C'est en II, 3, 1 que l'on entend << le cri d'un très jeune enfant >> au fond de l'auberge Thénardier. Mais on perd quelque chose à changer le numéro du tome : Gavroche est le troisième enfant du couple Thénardier, Victor Hugo aussi était le << tome III >> de Sophie et Léopold.
In the original edition: “The little boy who cried in volume III”; the edition comprising two volumes per part, volume III was the first of the second part. Its in II, 3, 1 that one hears “the cry of a very young child” deep in the Thénardier inn. But we lost something in changing the number of the volume: Gavroche is the third child of the Thénardier couple; Victor Hugo also was the “volume III” of Sophie and Léopold.”

18 (a HUGE dog!): << Chose vue >> par V. Hugo le 17 décembre 1846 : << 5 h du soir. Tout à l'heure, je venais par la rue du Palais-Royal. Une vieille courbée fouillait dans un tas d'ordures à la lueur d'un réverbère. Un gamin passe et se heurte à la vieille.
<< - Tiens, moi qui avais pris ça pour un énorme, un énorme chien ! (Il renfle sa voix sur le second énorme.)
- Sacré moutard ! Si j'avais pas été penchée, je t'aurais joliment foutu mon pied au cul !
- Csss ! Csss ! Après ça, je ne me suis peut-être pas trompé. >> (Chose vues, ouv. Cit., 1830-1846, p. 465.)

“Thing seen” by V. Hugo 17 December 1846: “5 o'clock in the evening. A short while ago, I came by the rue du Palais-Royal. A bent old woman dug through a heap of rubbish in the pale light of a streetlamp. A gamin passes and collides with the old woman.
“'Hey, I had taken that for a huge, a huge dog!' (He accentuated the second 'huge'.)
'Damned brat! If I hadn't been bent over, I would have nicely shoved my foot up your ass!'
'Hsssss! Hssss! After that, I might not have been fooled.'”
(Things Seen, op. Cit., 1830-1846, p. 465)
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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby Charlette-Ollie » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:22 pm

Re: the title. Wilbour uses 'The Noxious Poor' as well, and I couldn't remember whether I've been using Rose or Wilbour so I just had to decide on one to use. It's odd because they're so different. With the Thénardiers in mind, 'noxious' is a chillingly fitting word.

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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby Ulkis » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:49 pm

Oh, I hope you don't think I was criticizing your use. If I was using the Rose I would have gone with the Bad Pauper as well to be consistent. Sometimes I've groaned at the chapter titles Denny uses but I put them up anyway in the name of consistency. :)

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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:13 pm

Oh, nothing about your use of it! The discussion is of the translation itself, which I wouldn't have seen if you hadn't used it, so it was actually a good thing. (see my complaints about goblins in the discussion for the previous book - people with different editions, or with only one edition, won't see the differences or at least the same differences as we've collectively noted thus far, and it's interesting to see how translators view the material and how their view thus affects our view as readers of their work.)
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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby Col.Despard » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:59 pm

14 (I'm not a bousingot): On appela << bousingots >> après 1830 les jeunes romantiques républicains. Réputés tapageurs, ils portaient le gilet à la Marat et le chapeau en cuir bouilli des marins, appelé << bousingot >>. Ce nom fut vite synonyme d'anarchiste et de démagogue. Pétrus Borel en était. Bahorel aurait pu en être. L'autre branche, moins extrémiste politiquement, formait les << jeune France >>, souvent confondus avec les Bousingots.
One called “bousingots” after 1830 the young Romantic republicans. Celebrated rowdies, they wore Marat waistcoats and the sailor's hat of boiled leather, called “bousingot”. This name was quickly a synonym for anarchist and demagogue. Petrus Borel was one. Bahorel could have been one. The other branch, less political extremist, formed “Young France”, often confused with the Bousingots.
[I cannot find what a “Marat waistcoat” is. It must be the collar style, as Borel had a coat with a “col à la Marat”, but I've no idea what that means, either.]

Don't know if I'd agree with all the annotations on this point. While the origins of the term (like the spelling) are shady, the "bousingot = hat" explanation doesn't seem to have much academic weight any more...it's more likely the term relates to their noisiness. And there's so much overlap between Jeune France and the Bousingots that I don't think we can make this clear a distinction - Borel's biographer, if I recall correctly, has the Bousingot clique more transitioning into Jeune France rather than being an entirely different group, depending on what particular ideas were dominant in the circle at a particular time...I'll look up the passage and transcribe it later, as if accurate it's helpful in terms of getting the time line of what these characters (including Borel) were at any given moment.

Republicanism probably wasn't the most notable feature of the Bousingots either, although some of their antics were in response to the post-1830 zeitgeist of disappointment and disillusionment (although Borel at this time was apparently one of the more Republican of the group, and was - again, according to his biographer - reputed to have been restrained by his father from taking to the streets in July to overthrow Charles X). They were more concerned with artistic than political revolution, although the two were entangled.

Marat waistcoat? Hrm? Nailing down the appearance of a Robespierre waistcoat is difficult enough! I assume it means just the bold colouration with supposedly political connotations. Gautier's, as worn at the premiere of Hernani, was not intended a politically inflammatory red as is sometimes described - it was more rose colured, and he himself disavowed any idea of it being a political statement (it was a sartorial/artistic statement). Borel DID wear red waistcoats, and may have done so with more politically provocative intent than Gautier, but I haven't come across any description of them relating to either Marat or Robespierre.
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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:19 am

I was definitely thinking that whole thing sounded weird, but I'm just typing/translating for the moment :) (ok, and trying to google "gilet à la Marat") The copyright on this edition is 1985, so interpretations can definitely change in 25 years. But I'll take it that someone other than us is suggesting Bahorel was a bousingo!

Oh, damn you, Google, now I'm getting things! was the accent throwing you off? *headdesk*

Ok, here we go, sort of:

Sand describes one Horace, in describing the character Jean Laravinière, "president of the bousingots": On reconnaissait de loin à son chapeau gris pointu à larges bords, sa barbe de chevre, à ses longs cheveux plats, à sa énorme cravate rouge sur laquelle tranchaient les énormes revers blancs de son gilet à la Marat. Il portait généralement un habit bleu à longues basques et à boutons de métal, un pantalon à larges carreaux gris et noirs, et un lourd bâton de cormier . . . He's also specifically linked politically to 1830 and its disappointments.

There's a picture, this edition published in 1853: Page 17.

There's also a quick reference in a book called "Paris Anecdotes" that gives no sort of description of the waistcoat but is differentiating between the continued medievalism of Jeune France against the jump to Revolutionary fashion by the bousingots.

Anyway, the waistcoat part of it is again huge lapels. So I have no idea the difference between a Marat waistcoat and a Robespierre waistcoat, and perhaps the terminology was interchangeable? (Blackwood's Magazine tells me the "gilet à la Robespierre" was also known as the "gilet à la guillotine".) The terminology for the Robespierre waistcoat comes up more with 1848, while Marat is strictly a phenomenon of 1830 - perhaps it's the same style, with a name-shift?
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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:09 am

I'm a little slow today, but I couldn't help but wonder...what does Valjean mean to accomplish by sustaining a wound on his arm (with the chisel) in the ambuscade scene?

The character who stands out for me the most in this segment of the Brick is Éponine. Hugo writes her as one to be pitied, but also slightly corrupt---not above doing some things, even slightly dastardly ones, for her own benefit or her family's benefit. A little unlike the pretty waif we sometimes get in the musical, and certainly someone I'd be cautious to befriend.
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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby Ulkis » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:35 am

Just to show that he couldn't be tortured into anything.

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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby Ulkis » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:46 pm

So, the part where Marius goes to visit Javert, and it says Marius "had begun to notice that this police agent had not yet said "monsieur" to him." In French 'police agent' is translated from 'mouchard'. That's kind of saying 'snitch', right? I'm just wondering if in this part Javert's brusqueness causes some anti-authority part of Marius to emerge and call him 'mouchard'.

(I was going to call it Javert's rudeness, but I kinda can't blame Javert for his attitude. I like Marius, but if I am Javert, experienced police agent, I probably wouldn't have much respect for the delicate looking kid who just walked in either. :) )

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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:15 am

It's class, not authority, I suspect. Marius is offended because this man of the working classes has not yet address him, as a gentleman, as "monsieur", is my reading of the situation.

I'm not sure how slangy "mouchard" is in this period. The definition goes back to the 1694 first edition of the dictionary of the Académie française, but really predates it (Sully uses it in his memoirs). Voltaire gives an etymology for it. Yet the 1932 edition of the dictionary of the Académie française claims this usage is "populaire", common or low. No previous edition makes any note of the sort. Is "mouchard" in this case a slangy reference, like "copper" in English? Or is it a perfectly valid word with an overtone of contempt? (the 1787-8 edition states that at "mouche" is also used and is less contemptuous, but that was a temporary usage in that by 1835, "mouche" for "police agent" is used "familièrement". So "mouche" would be the slangy version?)

Anyway, Javert's a lower-level functionary of the sort pulled from the working classes, like actual police spies (and we see that Javert does act in this capacity as well later on). Marius is ticked off that Javert isn't treating him with due deference. He introduces himself as a lawyer, and we never see him address Javert as "monsieur", either. He's put his status out there, probably as much in response to being addressed with "What do you want?" instead of anything more polite as in need of the commissaire de police (the guy in charge, who usually came from a lower-middle class or military background - you got hired as CP, not promoted up to the position) to take the plot seriously. And that status gets him nothing. Marius has been touchy as anything about being poor; to not be treated as an impoverished gentleman but just as any other poor man, by someone of the class who ought to recognise the signs of their difference, probably annoys him. Everybody poor with whom he is surrounded calls him "monsieur", after all. It may also not help that his grandfather is the other person who treats him with contempt, and he's reading that into Javert's brusqueness. Which may be part of the rude insistence "No more than of you!" when Javert asks if he's afraid of the bandits. But now I'm getting into Marius' subconscious, which could be a very screwed up place I don't want to spend too much time in.

Back to your original comment, to me, "snitch" implies "informant", someone who gets paid per visit to rat on people he actually knows. The mouchard is a fixture, with a regular wage (not enough to live on, usually, but it's a part-time job because part of the point is that you still have a place of work on which to spy as well), who moves from café to café, eavesdropping on everyone. It's more broadbased, and more institutional, from my understanding. If I'm making any sense. Something closer to undercover. Or, a contemporary example, the belief that the FBI has placed agents in mosques to get dirt on observant Muslims. A human listening post. Everyone at that mosque, if such a thing were happening (it isn't), is the target of the hypothetical agent's attention, not just that group of five guys over there who are friends and one of them was downloading Awlaki videos. Undercover would be if he were to make friends with those guys; an informant would be if one of those guys came to the FBI because his friend was downloading videos. (and as disgusting as it is to use that as an example, that is how the security system in France in this period worked. And there was an emphasis at the Ministry of the Interior on political reports: they cared more about political reports than the local murder rate when their local CPs reported back to Paris.)
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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby Ulkis » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:18 am

Very interesting, thank you for the explanations.

But now I'm getting into Marius' subconscious, which could be a very screwed up place I don't want to spend too much time in.


Hee.

I wonder if Marius forgot that he was wearing a particularly crappy outfit? I actually did until you mentioned that Marius was probably offended Javert wasn't addressing him as a gentleman.

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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:44 pm

He probably did. Also, he probably hadn't had a haircut in much too long (for a result of total whiteboy fro), and the major descriptive difference (excluding clothing) between him and Parnasse is that Parnasse is evil. They're both pretty with dark curly hair (Éponine has a type). Parnasse may favour a more fashionable cut of coat than Marius but it ends up in the same threadbare condition. The gang members use a variety of accents and voices, to play a variety of roles, so Marius' manner of speech and physical bearing don't necessarily tell Javert the same story they tell the average man on the street. Javert has to be suspicious of everyone, without seeming to be suspicious. Plus, after what he went through with M. Madeleine, he probably doesn't want to get caught out again. His politeness is probably something earned, not something handed out to anyone except his superiors in the police. The fact that he addressed Marius formally should really be good enough, I bet, in his mind.

I wonder if this sort of thing turns up in his performance evaluations. "Javert, you're a great investigator and all, but we've had some complaints that you treat gentlemen who report crime as if they were the criminals themselves."

"I treat all men who enter this office in the same manner. Is it not better in the end, should one of them turn out to be something other than he says, that the force not have embarrassed itself?"

"Oh, dear, I suppose you make a good point. And between the two sets of nobles, and the pretenders, no, I see your point. Carry on, carry on. Well, no, well - could you at least start with 'Good day' or something pleasantly neutral instead of 'What do you want?' I think that would do no harm."

"I shall take it under advisement."
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

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Re: 3.8 Le mauvais pauvre/The Bad Pauper 21/3/11 - 11/4/11

Postby MmeBahorel » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:14 pm

Briefly: trying to make a coherent timeline out of this is driving me crazy.

Marius returns to the Luxembourg in "summer". Which cannot be any earlier than June. At first, he sees Cosette and pays little attention. Then, "one day", he really notices her. Let's be generous and give Hugo a week. Then he starts coming every day, and "near the end of the second week" of that, Cosette takes matters into her own hands and walks past him. Three weeks all told now. So we're probably near the end of June.

"A whole long month passed in which Marius went to the Luxembourg every day." Let's assume that the two weeks of stalking we noted above are included in that. Puts us mid-July, roughly. Is it then additional time before he finds the handkerchief, and it's merely mid-July when he "grew bolder", the "one day" being sometime after that? Let's, for the sake of argument, assume that he finds the handkerchief in mid-July. Sometime after this, after the "days and days" he starts kissing the handkerchief in her presence, is the whole ankle incident. But no time period is given. We'll call it late July.

"In three or four weeks, Marius had digested this piece of good fortune" - finding the handkerchief. This is when he follows them home. Early-mid August. We don't know how long this managed to go on, but it was multiple times, I think. We'll call it full-on mid-August by the time he asks the concierge. The "next day", they made a short visit. The day after that, they did not come at all. That night, he went and stalked them anyway. the next day, he did the same thing. "He spent a week this way." So if we say it was the 15th he spoke to the concierge, the 16th they made the short visit, the 17th the day he went to their place after they did not come. "He spent a week this way. . . . On the eighth day", there was no light in the windows. 24 August, roughly. The 25th, then, is when Marius gets confirmation that they have moved out.

It is agreed that this timeline cannot be condensed much further, right? It can be expanded, but cannot be condensed. Moreover, I think I've set it too early, in that he would have to be paying the Jondrette rent around the time he finds Cosette's handkerchief (because of when quarterly rents come due by law). My preference is that everything I've typed out here is off by about a month (also because Courfeyrac's comment about "He looked like he was going to take an exam" makes most sense if it happens in July, when exams were held).

So, when Hugo comes back to the story, he tells us, "Summer went by, then autumn". Summer was nearly gone in the best timeline I can come up with! In the timeline that seems most reasonable, however, SUMMER IS ALREADY COMPLETELY GONE WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME VICTOR??!!!

*ahem* This is your timeline rant for the day. If anyone can figure out how to align the details of Book 6 with book 8, it would be much appreciated. He goes along to the Bal de Sceaux in September; I'm perfectly willing to believe he was angsting during those approximately ten days of not really seeing her and thus Courfeyrac makes his first Chaumière offer pretty close to immediately, and Marius takes him up on the bal de Sceaux within a few days. The closer to the time of disappearance, the more hope of him finding her, right?

(I'm also having to ignore some riots, but it's probable that Hugo was ignoring them, too. I'm thinking more from Valjean's perspective than from Marius' perspective, as Marius doesn't care, but there was a Bastille Day riot and ten days of riots in September - 7 to 17 are the dates. Just about in that period is what makes the most sense of the timeline for Valjean to keep Cosette inside. Yes, Valjean's doing it because they're being stalked, but it's something to think about if Marius were a little less Marius and a little more cognisant of the world he lives in.)

Anyway, here is the timeline as of this book.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard


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