Victor, when you write from experience of men taking advantage of women, it makes a female reader wonder why you didn't CUT THAT SHIT OUT. You're writing here of how it happens and that there are consequences – but you also don't care.
I did, however, have to LOL about the whole “and they definitely didn't have sex” part. “Not that they respected it; they were ignorant of it.” He sort of throws a spanner in there, to me, with “Marius felt a barrier – Cosette's chastity”, but all the rest of it is pure Marius. Courfeyrac would be appalled that he turned away rather than take in the sight of Cosette's boobs.
Unfortunately, I find this section so incredibly boring. Their conversations are of nothing. No matter what Cosette babbles here, about Marius being wiser than she is and not stupid in the least, I just have this overwhelming feeling that she'll learn better soon enough. Hugo writes the narrative beautifully, but the conversations are awful. You could give half of these fragments, at least, to Padme and Anakin and they'd be no better than the crap George Lucas came up with in Episode 3.
I also feel that Hugo is undermining himself here. If, indeed, Cosette was making all sorts of true and accurate observations in her chatter, why are none quoted? Not helping Cosette sound like anything other than a twit, Victor. “I've been loving you a little more every minute since this morning” and “You're not allowed to cough, because if you're unwell, that would make me unhappy” is all you can do here? Really?
Missing from the FMA translation (and possibly from others), there's a parenthesis basically saying that at some point, love led them spontaneously to begin addressing each other in the familiar. Though they flip in and out – Cosette likes to order him around in the formal and end in the familiar to show it's all a joke.
Aww, her description of Valjean! “he was poor, and he deprived himself of everything while he deprived her of nothing.”
“He was so dazzled that his brain was wiped clean.” I shouldn't laugh, but I have to.
“With eyes closed is the best way to look at the soul.” This is true, and something Marius should probably remember other than with Cosette.
Is Valjean really that clueless? I don't mean about Cosette – I mean about the security breach. It's a large garden, yes, and Valjean is at the back of it, and the house may be in between, and Marius doesn't really walk around in there all that much while Cosette does enough to cover any footprints that he might have left, but the whole thing seems a bit far-fetched. Can Marius really move a rusty piece of iron so silently?
Marius talking politics? Is that code for Marius talking about Napoleon? Or is he starting to pick some things up from Courfeyrac and using them as something to ramble on about? (What do you want to be Courfeyrac would not mind talking about clothes with Cosette in the least? Of course, he also would be taking every opportunity to look at her boobs.)
I <3 Courfeyrac
Poor Éponine. Every time she meets up with Marius after a long absence, he addresses her in the formal and she gets all upset. She seems to be getting her hopes up way too high each time, and of course Marius will fall short because he's not paying any attention to her.
I can't figure out the Lisette reference – there are several characters in very different classic French comedies that it could come from. It's a common name for the clever servant character, used by both Marivaux and Molière, and probably others I'm not finding with a quick wiki search.
The comment about Éponine giving up slang is interesting, since Parnasse also tends not to use it if he can help it. It may be since meeting Marius, but it's another link with Parnasse.
Bad translation, FMA! Thenardier calls her a bitch (chienne
, female form of chien
, dog), which is why she replies, “I'm not the daughter of a dog, I'm the daughter of a wolf”.
What the hell, these guys are hanging around this close to a street lamp, with Toussaint awake in the upper floors? Marius and Cosette are running a hell of a risk being in the garden with her awake as it is; now the gang is actually going on like this near a street lamp they haven't taken care of?
What does Babet mean, “The old man must be a jew”? I'm not finding the usual, or even the period, markers in “he lives in the backyard and leaves the women the house”. Is it just that eccentricity is a Jewish trait? Or is he “guarding” something in the backyard, in Babet's mind?
LOL, Brujon robbing the police station for the hell of it.
Eww. Marius had been taking possession of Cosette and no reciprocation? Only at the very end of the long paragraph of description of his possession do we even get a hint of reciprocation, that she also possesses something of him. He does not feel any part of himself lost, which I rather think he ought to do.
Faublas – I only find a Libertine novel involving transvestism
(wiki in French only). Busiris
– Greek mythological king (in Egypt; related to Osiris) who massacres all his visitors
When Marius asks Cosette coldly, “Will you go?” [to England], he is addressing her in the formal. And she asks, rather as Éponine does, “Why are you calling me 'vous'?”
Courfeyrac is a damned good friend if Marius owes him 200 francs. Though at least when he gets agitated, he forgets he's been addressing her as “vous” and drops into the familiar again.
She had been weeping for two hours while Marius had been thinking, up against the tree like an emo statue of Despair? Good god, just as I was thinking Cosette was a rocket scientist compared to Marius, they're both driving me mad. And really, can you get more emo than “I give you my sacred word of honour, that I've never given anyone else, that I'll die if you leave me”? It sounds like he's going to go home and cut himself. “Don't expect me tomorrow” sounds way too much like “I'm going to kill myself tonight”, so thank you for clarifying that you'll be back the day after, Marius.
I do give Cosette some credit here just in general – it has to suck being a girl and never trusted out alone.
Will catch up on the last chapter later tonight.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard