Tholomyes is losing his hair and teeth. How the heck did I not make that connection before?
Every time through the book, the bishop’s chapters are more interesting. But “In the Year 1817” gets more tedious each time through.
Argot, the sewers, the convent – there’s at least some substance there and you can see how things connect. “1817” is just a list of contemporary pop culture references that would already have been barely relevant 50 years on, never mind 200 years on and across the world.
Modern editions of it have more footnotes than text. Last time I read it, it took forever because I was looking up every footnote as I got to it.
And it’s all ONE LONG PARAGRAPH.
The bishop keeps reminding Jean Valjean about the cheese makers in the region he’s required to go to for his parole, and I can’t stop thinking of the joke in The Life of Brian where people mishear “peacemakers”
Yeah, I’ve definitely had similar thoughts over the past year.
Just noticed the list price for the Donougher translation of Les Mis is $18.32. How appropriate. https://www.ebooks.com/en-us/book/1210674/les-mis-rables/christine-donougher/
Javert is authoritarian, but he’s not a leader. He’s a follower of what he thinks authority dictates to him. Why? because he craves *certainty*. He hates having to think for himself. And submitting to authority lets him justify any cruelty he does because it *must* be righteous!
So when Valjean puts him into a position where he suddenly *has to start thinking for himself*, he (1) can’t justify who he’s been, and (2) can’t decide what path to follow, because he isn’t used to making decisions.
I also found out there was an 1863 edition from Virginia that removed all the abolitionist references, which explains why “Lee’s Miserables,” the Confederate soldiers who were fans of the book, didn’t flip out over mentions of, say, Harper’s Ferry.
Though considering that they somehow managed to identify with the societally-oppressed in a book about the evils of societal oppression, while fighting to preserve societal oppression…
Finding a specific translation of #LesMiserables as an eBook is tricky. Stores rarely list the translator & the market’s flooded with reprints of Wilbour & Hapgood. I’ve put together links to each English translation on Gutenberg & several eBook stores:
Thinking about how early in the siege at the barricade, before the troops arrive, a man called Le Cabuc shoots a bystander. Enjolras executes him on the spot to prevent the violence from spreading. He later turns out to have been an undercover police agent.
@readlesmispod Congratulations on completing the podcast! I really enjoyed listening to it and learned a lot, from the cultural background I was missing, to catching so many details and connections I’d missed.
@readlesmispod @FreedomTide I realized that I never got around to reading the unabridged version of Notre Dame, only an abridged one. I’m going to have to do that one of these days.
I don’t think I’ll live-tweet it, though!
The Les Miserables Reading Companion podcast @firstname.lastname@example.org has gotten to the infamous chapter on the Paris sewers. There’s a surprising amount of political context that contemporary readers would have caught.
RT @readlesmispod: In episode 49, now available….
RT @readlesmispod: I plan to live tweet #LesMisPBS (from the point of view of a reader/fan of the book) when it’s on here in the Eastern time zone of the US. More details soon….
— Masterpiece PBS (@masterpiecepbs) April 7, 2019
@readlesmispod Yeah, I suppose there’s that. Lowered expectations -> might appreciate it better. 🤷
RT @readlesmispod: This is not entirely encouraging:
“The book, […] is not the kind of book Davies is typically engaged with, he said, describing it as possessing ‘not many subtleties’.”