genarti: Fountain pen lying on blank paper, nib in close focus. ([misc] ink on the page)
[personal profile] genarti posting in [community profile] club93
And another without a title: 2.3.7

Date: 2014-05-24 03:22 pm (UTC)
primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
From: [personal profile] primeideal
People showed each other the corner of the passage on the left where Robespierre whispered in the ear of Garat, Clavière’s friend, this terrible epigram: “Clavière has conspired wherever he has respired.” <- Terrible as in associated with terror and being bad because it’s about spreading rumors and denouncing people? Or breaking the fourth wall to comment on how bad the narrator’s puns are?

Then we get a bunch of different takes on capital punishment; specifically, the execution of King Louis. Some takes—
"A king is of no use until he is dead." <- How is a dead king useful? As a symbol? So is a live king, in a different way.
"If death did not exist to-day, it would be necessary to invent it." <- This is riffing on a Voltaire quote about God.
"I know nothing of a humanity which slaughters nations, and pardons despots; to ask a reprieve is to substitute an appeal to tyrants for the appeal to the people." <- War (against other European countries? in the Vendee?) is necessary/inevitable? So we might as well keep killing people while we’re at it.
"but the blood of a king is not the blood of a man." <- Parallels some stuff that’s come before. Sort of is one way of displaying their internal respect for the king, by treating him as inherently different from anyone else, the difference is that’s not a good thing from this perspective.

Contrast with the “indulgents,” I think Hugo being a little self-deprecating about his own inclinations. Some of the votes seem to be phrased as votes for something else, rather than just against death—in favor of imprisonment, exile, banishment.

A couple of these arguments are more concerned about the practical than philosophical implications—if the king is executed, he could be revered as a martyr, or it could open the way for an extremist republican to take leadership. Then there’s a sense of spite—it’d be funny to have to watch the king earn a trade, be a “scarecrow,” or treated as if he’s already a “spectre” (in which case it probably wouldn’t do much to kill him).

"condemned to learn a trade in order to earn his living" <- giving normal people the opportunity to learn a trade in order to earn their living would probably be perceived as a good thing for the reformers? But because the king is not a normal person, in his case it’s a condemnation sent down from the court of law.

"which had blown over the old torch of monarchy lighted for eighteen centuries," Again with the calendar stuff, the French monarchy did not start up around the birth of Christ.

Date: 2014-05-25 03:42 am (UTC)
bobbiewickham: Kalinda Sharma of The Good Wife (Default)
From: [personal profile] bobbiewickham
I *think* "indulgents" was the common contemporaneous term for the revolutionaries who didn't want to execute the king. People who actually know about the French Rev should correct me on this if I'm wrong.

"Condemned to learn a trade in order to earn his living" strikes me as coming from someone with a very poetic sense of justice, someone who would appreciate the "I sentence you to yourself" kind of justice. The point is the king is a man like any other and has to live like any other, and if he had the correct attitude then this wouldn't seem like a punishment to him--but since he has the wrong attitude, it's a huge punishment and a huge insult.

Date: 2014-05-26 12:24 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think "indulgents" usually refers to Danton & co who wanted to end the Terror- but who had been very much in favor of executing the king and earlier stages of the Terror. Not sure whether they called those who didn't want to execute the king the same thing. ~lifeisyetfair

Date: 2014-05-26 04:34 pm (UTC)
bobbiewickham: Kalinda Sharma of The Good Wife (Default)
From: [personal profile] bobbiewickham
Ah. Thanks!

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