Yet Another Period Drama Blog: Les Miserables Part Two
They belong, in a certain measure, to history: Enjolras, Combeferre, Jean Prouvaire, Feuilly, Courfeyrac, Bahorel, Lesgle or Laigle, Joly, Grantaire. These young. Gavroche is a character from the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. Gavroche's relationship to Éponine is not mentioned, however he is seen with the Courfeyrac retrieves Gavroche's body, and Valjean lays him in the wine shop. into the woods lyrics. i loved the relationship between courfeyrac and gavroche in the movie. it was like they were brothers.
A sign which was revolutionary to the highest degree. The second thoughts of power meet the second thoughts of the populace in the mine. The incubation of insurrections gives the retort to the premeditation of coups d'etat.
There did not, as yet, exist in France any of those vast underlying organizations, like the German tugendbund and Italian Carbonarism; but here and there there were dark underminings, which were in process of throwing off shoots. The Cougourde was being outlined at Aix; there existed at Paris, among other affiliations of that nature, the society of the Friends of the A B C.
What were these Friends of the A B C? A society which had for its object apparently the education of children, in reality the elevation of man. They declared themselves the Friends of the A B C,--the Abaisse,-- the debased,--that is to say, the people.
They wished to elevate the people. It was a pun which we should do wrong to smile at. Puns are sometimes serious factors in politics; witness the Castratus ad castra, which made a general of the army of Narses; witness: Barbari et Barberini; witness: Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram, etc.
The Friends of the A B C were not numerous, it was a secret society in the state of embryo, we might almost say a coterie, if coteries ended in heroes. They assembled in Paris in two localities, near the fish-market, in a wine-shop called Corinthe, of which more will be heard later on, and near the Pantheon in a little cafe in the Rue Saint-Michel called the Cafe Musain, now torn down; the first of these meeting-places was close to the workingman, the second to the students.
This hall, which was tolerably remote from the cafe, with which it was connected by an extremely long corridor, had two windows and an exit with a private stairway on the little Rue des Gres. There they smoked and drank, and gambled and laughed. There they conversed in very loud tones about everything, and in whispers of other things. An old map of France under the Republic was nailed to the wall,-- a sign quite sufficient to excite the suspicion of a police agent.
The greater part of the Friends of the A B C were students, who were on cordial terms with the working classes. Here are the names of the principal ones. They belong, in a certain measure, to history: These young men formed a sort of family, through the bond of friendship. All, with the exception of Laigle, were from the South. This was a remarkable group. It vanished in the invisible depths which lie behind us.
At the point of this drama which we have now reached, it will not perhaps be superfluous to throw a ray of light upon these youthful heads, before the reader beholds them plunging into the shadow of a tragic adventure. Enjolras, whose name we have mentioned first of all,--the reader shall see why later on,--was an only son and wealthy.
Enjolras was a charming young man, who was capable of being terrible. He was angelically handsome. He was a savage Antinous. One would have said, to see the pensive thoughtfulness of his glance, that he had already, in some previous state of existence, traversed the revolutionary apocalypse. He possessed the tradition of it as though he had been a witness. He was acquainted with all the minute details of the great affair.
A pontifical and warlike nature, a singular thing in a youth. He was an officiating priest and a man of war; from the immediate point of view, a soldier of the democracy; above the contemporary movement, the priest of the ideal.
His eyes were deep, his lids a little red, his lower lip was thick and easily became disdainful, his brow was lofty. A great deal of brow in a face is like a great deal of horizon in a view.
Like certain young men at the beginning of this century and the end of the last, who became illustrious at an early age, he was endowed with excessive youth, and was as rosy as a young girl, although subject to hours of pallor. Already a man, he still seemed a child.
His two and twenty years appeared to be but seventeen; he was serious, it did not seem as though he were aware there was on earth a thing called woman. He had but one passion--the right; but one thought--to overthrow the obstacle. He hardly saw the roses, he ignored spring, he did not hear the carolling of the birds; the bare throat of Evadne would have moved him no more than it would have moved Aristogeiton; he, like Harmodius, thought flowers good for nothing except to conceal the sword.
He was severe in his enjoyments. He chastely dropped his eyes before everything which was not the Republic. He was the marble lover of liberty. His speech was harshly inspired, and had the thrill of a hymn. He was subject to unexpected outbursts of soul. Woe to the love-affair which should have risked itself beside him! If any grisette of the Place Cambrai or the Rue Saint-Jean-de-Beauvais, seeing that face of a youth escaped from college, that page's mien, those long, golden lashes, those blue eyes, that hair billowing in the wind, those rosy cheeks, those fresh lips, those exquisite teeth, had conceived an appetite for that complete aurora, and had tried her beauty on Enjolras, an astounding and terrible glance would have promptly shown her the abyss, and would have taught her not to confound the mighty cherub of Ezekiel with the gallant Cherubino of Beaumarchais.
By the side of Enjolras, who represented the logic of the Revolution, Combeferre represented its philosophy. Between the logic of the Revolution and its philosophy there exists this difference--that its logic may end in war, whereas its philosophy can end only in peace. Combeferre complemented and rectified Enjolras. He was less lofty, but broader. He desired to pour into all minds the extensive principles of general ideas: The Revolution was more adapted for breathing with Combeferre than with Enjolras.
Enjolras expressed its divine right, and Combeferre its natural right. The first attached himself to Robespierre; the second confined himself to Condorcet.
Combeferre lived the life of all the rest of the world more than did Enjolras. If it had been granted to these two young men to attain to history, the one would have been the just, the other the wise man.
Enjolras was the more virile, Combeferre the more humane. Homo and vir, that was the exact effect of their different shades. Combeferre was as gentle as Enjolras was severe, through natural whiteness. He loved the word citizen, but he preferred the word man. He would gladly have said: Hombre, like the Spanish. He read everything, went to the theatres, attended the courses of public lecturers, learned the polarization of light from Arago, grew enthusiastic over a lesson in which Geoffrey Sainte-Hilaire explained the double function of the external carotid artery, and the internal, the one which makes the face, and the one which makes the brain; he kept up with what was going on, followed science step by step, compared Saint-Simon with Fourier, deciphered hieroglyphics, broke the pebble which he found and reasoned on geology, drew from memory a silkworm moth, pointed out the faulty French in the Dictionary of the Academy, studied Puysegur and Deleuze, affirmed nothing, not even miracles; denied nothing, not even ghosts; turned over the files of the Moniteur, reflected.
He declared that the future lies in the hand of the schoolmaster, and busied himself with educational questions. He desired that society should labor without relaxation at the elevation of the moral and intellectual level, at coining science, at putting ideas into circulation, at increasing the mind in youthful persons, and he feared lest the present poverty of method, the paltriness from a literary point of view confined to two or three centuries called classic, the tyrannical dogmatism of official pedants, scholastic prejudices and routines should end by converting our colleges into artificial oyster beds.
les misérables quote | Tumblr
He was learned, a purist, exact, a graduate of the Polytechnic, a close student, and at the same time, thoughtful "even to chimaeras," so his friends said. He believed in all dreams, railroads, the suppression of suffering in chirurgical operations, the fixing of images in the dark chamber, the electric telegraph, the steering of balloons. Moreover, he was not much alarmed by the citadels erected against the human mind in every direction, by superstition, despotism, and prejudice.
He was one of those who think that science will eventually turn the position. Enjolras was a chief, Combeferre was a guide. One would have liked to fight under the one and to march behind the other.
It is not that Combeferre was not capable of fighting, he did not refuse a hand-to-hand combat with the obstacle, and to attack it by main force and explosively; but it suited him better to bring the human race into accord with its destiny gradually, by means of education, the inculcation of axioms, the promulgation of positive laws; and, between two lights, his preference was rather for illumination than for conflagration.
A conflagration can create an aurora, no doubt, but why not await the dawn? A volcano illuminates, but daybreak furnishes a still better illumination. Possibly, Combeferre preferred the whiteness of the beautiful to the blaze of the sublime.
A light troubled by smoke, progress purchased at the expense of violence, only half satisfied this tender and serious spirit. The headlong precipitation of a people into the truth, a '93, terrified him; nevertheless, stagnation was still more repulsive to him, in it he detected putrefaction and death; on the whole, he preferred scum to miasma, and he preferred the torrent to the cesspool, and the falls of Niagara to the lake of Montfaucon.
In short, he desired neither halt nor haste. While his tumultuous friends, captivated by the absolute, adored and invoked splendid revolutionary adventures, Combeferre was inclined to let progress, good progress, take its own course; he may have been cold, but he was pure; methodical, but irreproachable; phlegmatic, but imperturbable. Combeferre would have knelt and clasped his hands to enable the future to arrive in all its candor, and that nothing might disturb the immense and virtuous evolution of the races.
The good must be innocent, he repeated incessantly. And in fact, if the grandeur of the Revolution consists in keeping the dazzling ideal fixedly in view, and of soaring thither athwart the lightnings, with fire and blood in its talons, the beauty of progress lies in being spotless; and there exists between Washington, who represents the one, and Danton, who incarnates the other, that difference which separates the swan from the angel with the wings of an eagle.
Jean Prouvaire was a still softer shade than Combeferre. His name was Jehan, owing to that petty momentary freak which mingled with the powerful and profound movement whence sprang the very essential study of the Middle Ages. Jean Prouvaire was in love; he cultivated a pot of flowers, played on the flute, made verses, loved the people, pitied woman, wept over the child, confounded God and the future in the same confidence, and blamed the Revolution for having caused the fall of a royal head, that of Andre Chenier.
His voice was ordinarily delicate, but suddenly grew manly. He was learned even to erudition, and almost an Orientalist. Above all, he was good; and, a very simple thing to those who know how nearly goodness borders on grandeur, in the matter of poetry, he preferred the immense. He knew Italian, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew; and these served him only for the perusal of four poets: Dante, Juvenal, AEschylus, and Isaiah.
He loved to saunter through fields of wild oats and corn-flowers, and busied himself with clouds nearly as much as with events. His mind had two attitudes, one on the side towards man, the other on that towards God; he studied or he contemplated. All day long, he buried himself in social questions, salary, capital, credit, marriage, religion, liberty of thought, education, penal servitude, poverty, association, property, production and sharing, the enigma of this lower world which covers the human ant-hill with darkness; and at night, he gazed upon the planets, those enormous beings.
Like Enjolras, he was wealthy and an only son. He spoke softly, bowed his head, lowered his eyes, smiled with embarrassment, dressed badly, had an awkward air, blushed at a mere nothing, and was very timid. Yet he was intrepid. Feuilly was a workingman, a fan-maker, orphaned both of father and mother, who earned with difficulty three francs a day, and had but one thought, to deliver the world. He had one other preoccupation, to educate himself; he called this also, delivering himself.
He had taught himself to read and write; everything that he knew, he had learned by himself. Feuilly had a generous heart.
- Chapter I. A Group which barely missed becoming Historic
The range of his embrace was immense. This orphan had adopted the peoples. As his mother had failed him, he meditated on his country. He brooded with the profound divination of the man of the people, over what we now call the idea of the nationality, had learned history with the express object of raging with full knowledge of the case. In this club of young Utopians, occupied chiefly with France, he represented the outside world. He uttered these names incessantly, appropriately and inappropriately, with the tenacity of right.
Above all things, the great violence of aroused him. There is no more sovereign eloquence than the true in indignation; he was eloquent with that eloquence. He was inexhaustible on that infamous date ofon the subject of that noble and valiant race suppressed by treason, and that three-sided crime, on that monstrous ambush, the prototype and pattern of all those horrible suppressions of states, which, since that time, have struck many a noble nation, and have annulled their certificate of birth, so to speak.
All contemporary social crimes have their origin in the partition of Poland. The partition of Poland is a theorem of which all present political outrages are the corollaries. There has not been a despot, nor a traitor for nearly a century back, who has not signed, approved, counter-signed, and copied, ne variatur, the partition of Poland.
When the record of modern treasons was examined, that was the first thing which made its appearance. The congress of Vienna consulted that crime before consummating its own. Such was Feuilly's habitual text. This poor workingman had constituted himself the tutor of Justice, and she recompensed him by rendering him great.
The fact is, that there is eternity in right. Warsaw can no more be Tartar than Venice can be Teuton. Kings lose their pains and their honor in the attempt to make them so. Sooner or later, the submerged part floats to the surface and reappears.
Greece becomes Greece again, Italy is once more Italy. The protest of right against the deed persists forever. The theft of a nation cannot be allowed by prescription. These lofty deeds of rascality have no future. A nation cannot have its mark extracted like a pocket handkerchief. Courfeyrac had a father who was called M. One of the false ideas of the bourgeoisie under the Restoration as regards aristocracy and the nobility was to believe in the particle.
The particle, as every one knows, possesses no significance. But the bourgeois of the epoch of la Minerve estimated so highly that poor de, that they thought themselves bound to abdicate it. Courfeyrac had not wished to remain behind the rest, and called himself plain Courfeyrac.
We might almost, so far as Courfeyrac is concerned, stop here, and confine ourselves to saying with regard to what remains: Part Two "Have you asked of yourselves Part Two is here! I shall restrain myself and not gush like a screaming fangirl, I promise-- --oh, who am I kidding. I really will do my best to remain mature and level-headed, but I can't promise that there won't be a few squeals. Or bounced on my bed. That was definitely a squeal. I was really apprehensive about Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche I was quite happily proven wrong TAC still rules though.
There was just too much adorableness bouncing around in that scene.
The extra verses added to Look Down loved those! I'm only disappointed that there wasn't more of it Oh, and for more on Gavroche, check out this post I wrote for Eva's blog And then a certain someone's face was flashing onto the screen and THIS was what I've been waiting for since Er, since last January when I first found out that the movie was being made.
So much passion, so much anger, so many people singing all at once. Even the concerts didn't have that many. The sheer magnitude of this film overwhelmed me many times, and this was one of those times. Shall we take this thing in an orderly manner and deal with all the barricade boys, one by one? And, naturally, we will begin at the beginning. I'm sorry, was that too many pictures? I'm just bowing to requests from the people who read this blog. If it were up to me the whole post would be photo-free.
Just so you know. Certain people who happen to be my siblings have pointed out that when I first found out Aaron Tveit and not Ramin Karimloo would be playing Enjolras in the movie, I was somewhat disgusted. He'll ruin the part and he probably can't hit the notes in One Day More. Don't say that you remember them.
I will do remembering. Basically, Aaron Tveit was the best Enjolras I've ever seen. I know, I know. The Ramin fans are approaching with menacing expressions and muskets held high even as we speak. I still think Ramin Karimloo was an absolutely fabulous Enjo.
He will always hold a special place in my estimation as the one who made the character come alive for me. Michael Maguire was great and all, but he just didn't cut it. And his voice is still the greatest as far as Enjolras is concerned.
But Aaron Tveit is the Enjolras of the book. The leader, the chief, the heart of the revolution, the one who could yell at his friends for mooning over girls and getting drunk instead of planning a riot, but in the next minute snap his fingers and have everyone's attention and loyalty to the end.
And I do mean the end. The marble lover of liberty, the boy disowned by his wealthy parents because of his political opinions, the man whose greatest love was his country which is referred to as Patria, and please tell me I'm not the only one who used to think that was a girl's name Also he's a really good singer. As a rule he fights well who has wrongs to redress; but vastly better fights he who, with wrongs as a spur, has also steadily before him a glorious result in prospect--a result in which he can discern balm for wounds, compensation for valour, remembrance and gratitude in the event of death.
Played to perfection by Fra Fee, who has the most amusing name in the credits and the most adorable accent in the entire film, Courfeyrac is one of my favorite barricade boys. Or whatever you want to call them. He's just so much fun. Gregarious, bubbly, always ready to discuss politics or doeskin trousers whichever topic comes up firstCourfeyrac is the glue that holds les Amis together. He's the one who welcomes Marius into the group, gives him a place to stay and shuts him up when his ranting about Napoleon begins entering dangerous waters.
Enjolras doesn't take kindly to opposition in debate. Not one of the barricade boys gets the amount of attention he deserves in the film I know, I know, time constraints but Courf's personality shines through despite his limited screen time. And as we all know, nothing beats that line. Gentle and yet resilient-- one gets the impression, at least in the movie, that Combeferre is tough as nails. Killian Donnelly who, incidentally, has also played Enjolras and Courfeyrac does a fabulous job of playing the student who took care of everyone else even under cannon fire and while dodging bayonets and spouted long harangues on everything under the sun, yet summing up the thing they were all striving for--"to be free"--in three simple words.
Enjo's my favorite, as you probably already guessed, but Combeferre comes second. And he, too, has a great voice. But hey, almost all the barricade boys are seasoned West End veterans, well-versed pun not intended I'll admit, I had my misgivings about George Blagden's ability to play Grantaire.
Most of these stemmed from the fact that he looks nothing like Hadley Fraserwho played R in the 25th Anniversary Concert and also happens to be one of my favorite musical theatre actors and that he wasn't a Broadway or West End star. I was quite happy to be proven wrong-- his Grantaire is everything that book-Grantaire ought to be, with an excellent voice to boot. Am I sounding redundant? The barricade boys should have their own band.
There will be a ranting session in Part Three about how "Drink With Me" was cut down to practically nothing Anyways, Grantaire is the cynic of the group who also happens to have the best sense of humor which is why he wasn't booted out of the Cafe Musain ages ago.
He basically worships the ground Enjolras walks on, because Enjolras is everything he isn't-- charismatic, focused, has a goal in life, doesn't get drunk before breakfast, etc. George Blagden did a wonderful job of communicating all this just with a few facial expressions and, like, ten and a half minutes of screen time.
Joly is just adorable, okay? So is Hugh Skinner He's a medical student who's more knowledgeable in How to Be a Patient than How to Be a Doctor-- that is, he's les Amis' resident hypochondriac, but he's also hilarious. And a proud member of the Make Fun of Marius Club. We're getting to Marius. In the book, he whiles away the time before the final attack calmly inspecting his tongue in the mirror.
Looking for strep throat, maybe? In a morbidly tragic kind of way. Jean Prouvaire sometimes known as Jehan to the other Amis is a real sweetheart. Hugo tells us that he liked to go for long walks and write poetry, that he was in love, that he wanted freedom for the people just as much as anyone else but he went about it gently.
Alistair Brammer played Prouvaire in the 25th Anniversary Concert as well, and he did beautifully in both parts. I liked how he portrayed Jehan as quiet and affectionate without being a wimp We are told that Bossuet was a cheery fellow who was unlucky, but unfortunately Stuart Neal as Bossuet or Lesgles, his actual name has so few appearances that we don't really get to see that side of his character.
We see the cheery bit, that is, because he's literally ALWAYS smiling except when he's getting killed and warning the others about more soldiersbut we don't really see the unlucky part.
I do, however, wish to point out that the Bossuet of the book is the oldest of the group when they are first introduced twenty-five, how frightfully Methusalehsque! The pathetic shortage of pictures of Bahorel from the movie have forced me to resort to using this one, from The Young Revolutionaries DVD extra. Well worth your six minutes.
Bahorel's pretty young and he gets excited easily and he likes to smash things up. And he dies in Enjolras' lap. We'll get to that.
les misérables quote
We're getting into Obscure Character Territory here. Last one, I promise. This poor barricade boy doesn't even have a name, but he's played by Jamie Muscato, a West End actor who portrayed Joly in I've named him Pierre, since the screenwriters didn't see fit to give him a real name, and I get excited and point like a two-year-old when his face flashes blurrily on the screen.
I'm not really sure. I just remembered him as the only one of les Amis other than Enjo and Grantaire who stood out to me on my first couple viewings of the 25th concert probably his distinctive nose and hair had something to do with it and when I discovered he was in the movie, it was like seeing an old friend.
Or at least a familiar face. Oh, now come on. Put the bottles down. Marius IS kind of a loser. You have to grant me that.
But he's a lovable loser. And it's absolutely impossible to hate him, because whether we admit it or not, we all have a little bit of Marius in us. Failure to see things staring us in the face, making the wrong remark at the wrong time, getting overdramatic when we don't get our way Marius is relatable whether we want him to be or not.
I feel like a broken record here, but Eddie Redmayne was another of the "I-am-totally-not-sure-about-this-actor's-ability-to-play-that-character" people. I believe my initial reaction upon seeing a picture of him for the first time was something along the lines of "ewww. At any rate, I was proven wrong Still not Michael Ball. But then, who is? Don't say Michael Ball. You knew what I meant.