bobbiewickham: Kalinda Sharma of The Good Wife (Default)
[personal profile] bobbiewickham posting in [community profile] club93
Oh hai there, I forgot I'm a mod and can post things, so here it is: discussion for 3.2.11, "Affreux Comme L'Antique," or "Terrible as Antiquity." Go for it!

Date: 2014-06-30 12:24 am (UTC)
primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
From: [personal profile] primeideal
(I posted a bunch of these on Tumblr but never really crossposted them here so I'm just going to dump them all now for archive purposes, sorry for the imminent notification spam!)

"Cimourdain, as we know, had become famous in this country made bloody by civil war;" Okay, yeah, it’s possible Lantenac mostly recognizes him because of his exploits getting around…but I like my version better.

"Marat, in Paris; Châlier, in Lyons; Cimourdain, in Vendée." Marat we know is super hardcore about being merciless. Châlier was a “fanatical imitator of Marat”.

"A Lycurgus, who is not explained seems a Tiberius." Lycurgus established the austere, militaristic society of Sparta: “Lycurgus himself was said to be mild, gentle, forgiving, and calm in temper, even when attacked; he was thought to have been extraordinarily sober and an extremely hard worker…” Tiberius “was one of Rome’s greatest generals… But he came to be remembered as a dark, reclusive, and sombre ruler.” An ancient source writes “Executions were now a stimulus to his fury, and he ordered the death of all who were lying in prison under accusation of complicity with Sejanus. There lay, singly or in heaps, the unnumbered dead, of every age and sex, the illustrious with the obscure.” But, “Were he to have died prior to AD 23, he might have been hailed as an exemplary ruler” because of his economically-smart plans for consolidating the empire.

"The two men, the Marquis de Lantenac and the Abbé Cimourdain were equal in the balance of hatred" We have a total mismatch of the size of the armies, but Lantenac and Cimourdain are exact counterweights.

"Charette, at Noirmoutier was setting a price on the head of Cimourdain." Charette was a Vendée military leader. I like the paragraph breaks here; “At some point he became a Freemason.”

"Cimourdain would have liked to have Gauvain made adjutant-general to command these four thousand five hundred men, who made almost an army. But Gauvain had refused, saying, "When Lantenac has been taken we will see. I have not yet done anything to deserve it."" Again, Gauvain really not drawn into the personal rivalries or individual ambition side of things. Cimourdain has dreams for him, but those are just Cimourdain’s dreams.

"Monsieur de Lantenac was one of those men who have no regard for anything" This is not a compliment.

"and had no superstitious feeling for la Tourgue," Interesting choice of words; this will parallel how Cimourdain "frowned on all this Gothic rubbish." IDK, Hugo does sort of have the noble-savage thing going when the peasants revere their own homelands and are comfortable playing defense; to a certain extent, I think he’s going to excuse this sentiment in Gauvain, and side-eye Lantenac and Cimourdain a little bit for not caring. But, higher principles are more important.

"it seemed to Gauvain that burning the archives was attacking his ancestors" Attacking his ancestor is what this is totally all about, and he’s not afraid to do it! The holdup is these babies, who have more to do with the future than the past, and aren’t really his.

"he did not wish to be any more indulgent toward buildings than toward men. To care for a castle was a beginning of clemency." Clemency really begins with pity for the women and old men, at least in Gauvain’s case—they’re actual people. But Cimourdain is aware that even seeming noncombatants can still pose a threat, so he avoids pity there. He’s just sort of moved by the tower, because of what it means to Gauvain and his happy memories.

"in the library was where he used to hold the little Gauvain on his knees while he learned the alphabet;" Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah these two I cannot.

"Eteocles and Polynices" <- Orestes’ kids. Messed-up family drama indeed.

That’s the title drop—families going to war against each other is an old-school theme, associated with acts of terror. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be like a Bible quote or something too? Halfhearted Googling suggests maybe Isaiah 51:9? “Put on strength…as in the ancient days” but I’m not sure about this. Actually, this isn’t Latin, so scratch that.

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