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Clearing the backlog: two weeks of notes and no limerick this time.
I'm now officially interested in where Victor is taking the characters and ideas. If I wasn't reading, um, three? four? fics at the same time, I'd probably not stop at a chapter a day...

Fantine Fifth II
The owner of a factory is a good person who provides others with work. What must Soviet lit criticism have thought?!

"Father Madeleine required of the men good will, of the women pure morals, and of all, probity. (..) gave employment to every one. He exacted but one thing: Be an honest man. Be an honest woman." Company values (that determine how you work): yay! Not hiring or firing based on who you are outside of work (as long as it's legal): booo.

Madeleine invests into the infrastructure of the town. Madeleine agrees to become mayor so he can do more good.

III
"He always took his meals alone, with an open book before him, which he read."
I hear this is bad for digestion.

"He loved books; books are cold but safe friends." omg. I don't think cold is the word. Distant?

"In proportion as leisure came to him with fortune, he seemed to take advantage of it to cultivate his mind." #lifegoals

M has outstanding physical strength. I thought Victor must really like writing about hunks.

"the nettle could be made useful.. there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators." OK, wow

"He performed a multitude of good actions, concealing his agency in them as a man conceals himself because of evil actions. He penetrated houses privately, at night" O_o Still effing creepy.

M's room furnished with skulls (only rumor) and candlesticks. Faint Spike's crypt vibe.

I accidentally glimpsed one of the next clues, so OMG! THIS GUY IS JEAN!

IV
"The supreme happiness of life consists in the conviction that one is loved; loved for one’s own sake—let us say rather, loved in spite of one’s self"
Why focus on "in spite" instead of "for"? It's the more unexpected part, I guess. And it's a given people will like you for the "good" parts?

[continuing the same thought] "..this conviction the blind man possesses. To be served in distress is to be caressed. Does he lack anything? No. One does not lose the sight when one has love."
wft
why don't you go stab your eyes out, then

V
Madeleine, nee Valjean: "It seemed as though he had for a soul the book of the natural law." (The bishop had been writing a book on duty... V. became his book instead...)

Only one person didn't love M. *cough cue foe-yay cough*

"It seems, in fact, as though there existed in certain men a veritable bestial instinct.. which creates antipathies and sympathies, which fatally separates one nature from another nature, which does not hesitate.., and which, in whatever manner destinies are arranged, secretly warns the man-dog of the presence of the man-cat, and the man-fox of the presence of the man-lion."

JAVERT IS HERE! Fabulous descriptions.

"from the oyster to the eagle, from the pig to the tiger, all animals exist in man" OK.

"Animals are nothing else than the figures of our virtues and our vices, straying before our eyes, the visible phantoms of our souls. God shows them to us in order to induce us to reflect. Only since animals are mere shadows, God has not made them capable of education in the full sense of the word; what is the use?" Jeez, show some respect

Narrator calls Javert a "dog-son of a wolf". Catchy!

So. Werewolf.

"Javert had been born in prison, of a fortune-teller, whose husband was in the galleys. As he grew up, he thought that he was outside the pale of society, and he despaired of ever re-entering it. He observed that society unpardoningly excludes two classes of men,—those who attack it and those who guard it; he had no choice except between these two classes"

"The human face of Javert" WEREWOLF

"This man was composed of two very simple and two very good sentiments, comparatively; but he rendered them almost bad, by dint of exaggerating them,—respect for authority, hatred of rebellion; and in his eyes, murder, robbery, all crimes, are only forms of rebellion. He enveloped in a blind and profound faith every one who had a function in the state, from the prime minister to the rural policeman. He covered with scorn, aversion, and disgust every one who had once crossed the legal threshold of evil. He was absolute, and admitted no exceptions. On the one hand, he said, “The functionary can make no mistake; the magistrate is never the wrong.” On the other hand, he said, “These men are irremediably lost. Nothing good can come from them.”"
haha, how about no

"He fully shared the opinion of those extreme minds which attribute to human law I know not what power of making, or, if the reader will have it so, of authenticating, demons, and who place a Styx at the base of society." Demons come into the picture. VERY nice, if I was planning a fantasy AU, which I'm not.

"he read, although he hated books" wtf

Javert relies on instinct like a Slayer. He's not much like Buffy, though. Amanda?

VI
"An old man named Father Fauchelevent had just fallen beneath his cart, his horse having tumbled down. (..) This Fauchelevent was one of the few enemies whom M. Madeleine had" d'aww, M is going to get busted doing sth extra good!

Fuck yeah, that was noble! He knew J. would recognize him (+ risked his life) & did the thing anyway to save a life. I wanted to applaud.

VII
"When work is abundant, when the country is rich and happy, the taxes are paid easily and cost the state nothing." And when the system is easy to understand and use.

There were 4 paragraphs in this chapter. Fantine got a job at Valjean's factory.

VIII
"When Fantine saw that she was making her living, she felt joyful for a moment. To live honestly by her own labor, what mercy from heaven!" I KNOW

"She bought a looking-glass, took pleasure in surveying in it her youth, her beautiful hair, her fine teeth; she forgot many things; she thought only of Cosette and of the possible future, and was almost happy." Aww, this is lovely!

"She hired a little room and furnished on credit on the strength of her future work—a lingering trace of her improvident ways." I have improvident ways.

"Certain persons are malicious solely through a necessity for talking. Their conversation, the chat of the drawing-room, gossip of the anteroom, is like those chimneys which consume wood rapidly; they need a great amount of combustibles; and their combustibles are furnished by their neighbors."

F. has golden hair, the princess

"An old gossip was found, who made the trip to Montfermeil, talked to the Thénardiers, and said on her return: “..I have seen the child.”
The gossip who did this thing was a gorgon named Madame Victurnien.."

"Fantine had been at the factory for more than a year, when, one morning, the superintendent of the workroom handed her fifty francs from the mayor, told her that she was no longer employed in the shop, and requested her, in the mayor’s name, to leave the neighborhood."

"She was advised to see the mayor; she did not dare. The mayor ..was just. She bowed before the decision." Fuck

On AO3, page 1 by kudos is soulmate AUs and modern AUs. Where are they hiding the serious genderswaps and Homestuck quadrant fusions? Not on page 1.

IX
"But M. Madeleine had heard nothing of all this." headdesk

Workroom superintendent "full of the charity which consists in giving, but not having in the same degree that charity which consists in understanding and in forgiving" so: giving, but only as long as she likes you

"Fantine tried to obtain a situation as a servant in the neighborhood; she went from house to house. No one would have her." Fucking small town

"The householder, whom she owed for her rent, said to her, “You are young and pretty; you can pay.”" Is he saying what it sounds like he's saying?

F. learned to be a frugality ninja.

"Nevertheless, when she combed her beautiful hair.., she experienced a moment of happy coquetry." ominous

X
"Winter: no warmth, no light, no noonday, the evening joining on to the morning, fogs, twilight; the window is gray; it is impossible to see clearly at it. The sky is but a vent-hole. The whole day is a cavern. The sun has the air of a beggar. A frightful season! Winter changes the water of heaven and the heart of man into a stone."
Yeah, I feel you. :D

F has sold all the labor she can and starts selling parts of herself (hair, teeth). Brutal.

The Thénardiers are being evil.

"one of those attics whose extremity forms an angle with the floor, and knocks you on the head every instant. The poor occupant can reach the end of his chamber as he can the end of his destiny, only by bending over more and more."

I'm waiting for the C part of H/C, but the H might be it. Anyway, at this point the hurt to Fantine is permanent.

XI
Title: Christus Nos Liberavit - sounds hopeful, no?

"What is this history of Fantine? It is society purchasing a slave.
From whom? From misery.
(..) A soul for a morsel of bread.
"

"it is said that slavery has disappeared from European civilization. This is a mistake. It still exists" yes, yes it does. Slaves probably made parts of my phone, some of my clothes etc. :c

"nothing is left to Fantine of that which she had formerly been.
She has become marble.. Whoever touches her feels cold.
" Making the fantasy AU too easy

"She is resigned, with that resignation which resembles indifference, as death resembles sleep."

"it is an error to imagine that fate can be exhausted, and that one has reached the bottom of anything whatever"
aren't you a little ray of sunshine

XII
8-10 months later, F. is a sex worker "sans hair" (if Fantine's hair grows like mine, she should have a really shapeless pageboy length thing by this time? Maybe it qualifies as no hair)

Wannabe dandy Bamatabois insulted and lightly assaulted F. (with snow), F. hit back for real, Javert arrested F.

XIII
I see "Javert", but I read "Kendra".

"Curiosity is a sort of gluttony."

Whut, no trial??

The mayor can judge people???

"it was the townsman who was in the wrong and who should have been arrested by properly conducted police.”
Javert retorted:—
“This wretch has just insulted Monsieur le Maire.”
“That concerns me,” said M. Madeleine. “My own insult belongs to me, I think. I can do what I please about it.”
“I beg Monsieur le Maire’s pardon. The insult is not to him but to the law.”
“Inspector Javert,” replied M. Madeleine, “the highest law is conscience. I have heard this woman; I know what I am doing.”
“And I, Mr. Mayor, do not know what I see.”
“Then content yourself with obeying.”
“I am obeying my duty. My duty demands that this woman shall serve six months in prison
.”"
clash of the titans :)

"Then M. Madeleine folded his arms, and said in a severe voice which no one in the town had heard hitherto:—
“The matter to which you refer is one connected with the municipal police. According to the terms of articles nine, eleven, fifteen, and sixty-six of the code of criminal examination, I am the judge. I order that this woman shall be set at liberty.”
Javert ventured to make a final effort.
“But, Mr. Mayor—”
“I refer you to article eighty-one of the law of the 13th of December, 1799, in regard to arbitrary detention.”
“Monsieur le Maire, permit me—”
“Not another word.”
“But—”
“Leave the room,” said M. Madeleine."

I'd have thought throwing a law book at J. first thing would be most efficient.

"I undertake the care of your child and yourself. You shall not work any longer if you do not like." (????? Taking it too far? She'd depend on his mercy. I do get that he feels mondo guilt.) "I will give all the money you require. You shall be honest and happy once more. And ..you have never ceased to be virtuous and holy in the sight of God."

F Sixth I
You have suffered much, poor mother. Oh! do not complain; you now have the dowry of the elect. It is thus that men are transformed into angels. (..) It was necessary to begin there.
No, it fucking wasn't

M. gives the Thénardiers money to bring F's child. T. correctly infer that keeping the child will let them extort more money.

Nuns take care of F. "The sisters had at first only received and nursed “that woman” with repugnance. Those who have seen the bas-reliefs of Rheims will recall the inflation of the lower lip of the wise virgins as they survey the foolish virgins. The ancient scorn of the vestals for the ambubajæ is one of the most profound instincts of feminine dignity; the sisters felt it with the double force contributed by religion." Slut shaming isn't instinct, and religion shouldn't make you more angry and narrow-minded.

F: "It was for her sake that I did evil, and that is why God pardons me." Evil? You for real?

"Carve as we will the mysterious block of which our life is made, the black vein of destiny constantly reappears in it." pretty

II
PLOT TWISTY
Javert asks to be fired for telling the police he thinks M. is Valjean.

"the strength of your loins" loins?? the slash writes itself, I bet

"the real Jean Valjean has been found" OMG

"among those classes a family often disappears. Search was made, and nothing was found. When such people are not mud, they are dust." Sadness, but also vampires.

"To climb a wall, to break a branch, to purloin apples, is a mischievous trick in a child; for a man it is a misdemeanor; for a convict it is a crime. ..the galleys for life." Like being on infinite probation

"Javert, you are a man of honor, and I esteem you." *ships it*

"suspicion directed above ourselves is an abuse" wtf.
that's... no.
Sick system

J: "I have often been severe in the course of my life towards others. That is just. I have done well. Now, if I were not severe towards myself, all the justice that I have done would become injustice." ilu

I do love Javert's "not very enlightened but pure and rigid conscience".

J.: "The kindness which consists in upholding a woman of the town against a citizen, the police agent against the mayor, the man who is down against the man who is up in the world, is what I call false kindness. That is the sort of kindness which disorganizes society. Good God! it is very easy to be kind; the difficulty lies in being just." here it is, the conflict of ideals. Yum. If only J wasn't such an idiot and V. hadn't become so VERY good.
Javert means existing law and existing authority when he says justice. On the one hand, you've gotta uphold something, right? There are people who will hurt others otherwise. Otoh, that's not necessarily justice. How to know when the law does more harm than good? And the "people in power can do no wrong" thing that J. has got going is just so stupid and bad I have a hard time taking J. seriously. I'd like to, but I can't. I wonder if it's an era/culture thing. Does my upbringing give me a bias against Javert? Or is he meant to be just barely/almost understandable? OR maybe he's in for some epic character growth. Though I think not, based on what I remember from the movie.
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