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[personal profile] genarti posting in [community profile] club93
More of the Convention, more subchapters without titles! 2.3.5, this time.

Date: 2014-05-21 04:28 pm (UTC)
primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
From: [personal profile] primeideal
"He had stopped at the Third-Estate and had never been able to rise to the height of the people." Sieyès wrote a pamphlet called “What is the Third Estate?” It starts out: “What is the Third Estate? Everything. What has it been hitherto in the political order? Nothing. What does it desire to be? Something.”

The “things” they turn into aren’t always praiseworthy: “They were numbers, they were force, they were fear.” Wikipedia conflates “La Plaine” and “Le Marais” as the moderate party, and positions them in between the Mountain and Girondist factions. Either way, Hugo depicts them as just trying to back a winning team. The crowd goes along with whoever takes charge and throws other leaders under the bus.

"There are thinkers who are anxious to live; such were with Sieyés." Also from Wikipedia: "Menaced by the Reign of Terror and offended by its character, Sieyès even abjured his faith at the time of the installation of the Cult of Reason; afterwards, when asked what he had done during the Terror, he famously replied, "J’ai vécu" ("I lived")." (Although maybe he’d already abandoned some/many of his religious ideas? Not sure what to make of that.) Either way, the in-book depiction is of someone who’s willing to compromise their thoughts to survive in a changing political landscape. It’s not a positive take.

"tragedies knotted by giants and untied by dwarfs." We’ve already seen Danton=giant, Marat=dwarf.


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