genarti: Fountain pen lying on blank paper, nib in close focus. ([misc] ink on the page)
[personal profile] genarti posting in [community profile] club93
Today's chapter is 2.4.3! (Or 3.1.3, depending.) 3.1.3, consensus seems to be! Anyway, it's "Connivence des hommes et des forêts," aka "Connivance of Men and Forests" or "Men and Forests in Connivance." Discuss away!

(And please go to that other post to weigh in on the numbering issue, if you feel inclined to do so.)

Date: 2014-06-01 03:56 pm (UTC)
primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
From: [personal profile] primeideal
So we start out with another magical mystery tour of “invisible battalions.”

"The subsoil of these forests was a sort of madrepore," <- or coral, later compared to "concealed sponges." So we’re getting our ocean parallels back in.

The Bretons are still described in fantastic terms: “giants for fighting, dwarfs for disappearing.” But they also have “the habits of moles,” because they’re still backwoods peasants.

"the wood of Bagnard near Fontenay, where Lescure challenged Chalbos, who, although one against five, accepted the offer" Lescure, Chalbos. This jumped out at me because of the mismatched armies, we saw some of those at sea.

"Often their smoke betrayed them." Sort of goes along with the double-agents theme from the sea chapters? We had England and France as well as nobles and peasants mixed; here we have men and forests working together.

"They brought food to the men buried in the caves." Again, another chance at agency for some women.

"Beside, there were some who were not bright enough to know how to open their pits." Narrator wants you to know that some Bretons are not bright people, news at 11.

"They thrived in them although they were without daylight, without fire, without bread, and without air." Being cut off from the light can be a more social criticism, the narrator might think it’s self-imposed in some circumstances. Or, just, "they don’t have the light of intelligence or whatever."

3.1.3

Date: 2014-06-02 01:02 am (UTC)
bobbiewickham: Kalinda Sharma of The Good Wife (Default)
From: [personal profile] bobbiewickham
I like that word in the title, connivence/connivance. It continues the motif of the forests as almost sentient, with agendas and schemes. It also generally reminds me of how conquering armies describe the lands they invade as inherently treacherous. They see the natives’ secret knowledge of the land as somehow eerie and mysterious and supernatural. All because it’s the Other, of course. When someone’s describing their own knowledge of their own land, that’s perfectly wholesome.

The end of the chapter, the way the fortress turns into a prison and a trap for its inhabitants as well as for its invaders—that has to have some metaphorical meaning as well as the literal one. Maybe it suggests that the tradition the peasants are defending entraps them as well as protecting them.

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