Wednesday, 19 December 2007 21:03
montagnarde1793: (frimaire)
[personal profile] montagnarde1793

And yet another, back in chronological order where we left off--that is, after City of Darkness, City of Light. Don't ask me why this author feels the impulsion to give such bizarre nicknames to her characters--I can't help cringing whenever I read Betsi instead of Babet for Élisabeth, and is Tanith Lee aware that Élie is a man's name? I mean, really. There's such a thing as taking the whole âme virile thing too far. >__> (Moreover, she stole her title from Anatole France, for some other unfathomable reason.)

Page 157

            Coming from between the house walls into the court, Maurice Duplay became busy guiding the immaculate Maxime among the seasoning boards, deals, and battens stacked up in the yard. Having climbed through a window frame and over some tall pots of glue (Maxime is by now coughing a little, wearily, at the strong aromas and wood dust), the door flies open. As in all the fables, there in yellow lamplight the welcoming wife, the three daughters, who, if not exceptionally comely, are certainly beaming.

            Maybe Maximilien was aware this might be a put-up job, an excuse to entertain the star Jacobin. But ever conscious of his physical reliance on some support or other, and of the loneliness of a creature of destiny, Robespierre always responded with a definite and genuine gratitude to kindness. Gravely he stepped over the threshold into the embrace of the lamplight. How good these people were, to shelter him! Almost curtseying, the women conducted him into the house which was about to become home for the rest of his life.


Page 193

            At this period I found Maxime calmed me [Desmoulins] down.

            He would wean me, for the afternoon, off wine onto coffee, and I was even permitted to choose for myself an orange from the dish in the Duplays’ drawing room—kept solely for God. For he was God to the Duplays. It was funny, and touching, the fuss they made of him and how he needed, enjoyed, responded to it all. As a workable theory, perhaps we become what others think us to be, like a chameleon, changing color to match our surroundings. So grave and gentle and nearly playful was Robespierre in this house. The three daughters were his priestesses. I’d swear he never laid a finger on any of them save in the most brotherly manner.


Page 292

            Maximilien put his hand to his brow. “Sit down, won’t you.”

            “Why not? Though I wish you’d get some more comfortable chairs.” Camille sat. “How are you?”


            “What is it?”

            “The usual. The fever doesn’t last long. And they’re very good to me here.”

            “Of course they are. Élie [Éléonore] has made up her mind to marry you. Or are you going to marry that rich widow from Marseilles who writes you love letters every week?”

            “Don’t be capricious, Camille, please. I really can’t stand it this afternoon.”

            “Oh, dear. You’re in that condition: There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m dying.”

            Robespierre looked (and was) hurt.


Page 345

            Do they still have their cozy family evenings over at the Duplays? Singing and reciting poetry: Elie, who had her agate eye on Maxime; little Betsi [Élisabeth], who had gained Philippe Lebas [Le Bas] of the well-padded chin, for her husband; and Lebas’s sister, to whom, one heard, Saint-Just had engaged himself; how long before he could wriggle out o fit, and what excuse? (Did Betsi practice with Lebas the naughty games I [Desmoulins] showed her in my book of Aretino? It seemed millennia ago, that act of folly.)

            I watched Saint-Just ushering Robespierre along, moving like a sacerdote in a holy procession.

            Robespierre is the truth and the way.

            But why joke about it? He’s the only one of us who seems to know anymore where he’s going, and why, and how.


Page 392

            He [Robespierre] took my [Desmoulins’] arm. We strolled along the street toward the Duplays.

            There had been the usual nightly run-in with Hebertt, army officer Ronsin, Momoro, and other Duchesnian barbarians. Robespierre spoke lowly of them, tapping with his stick at the cobbles sharply, to emphasize points. Feeling that I was trembling, he took it fro the cold weather and said we had neglected each other, I must take care, praised Betsi’s chocolate, or it may have been Elie’s, and lured me into the parlor.

            There we sat, with an audience of all the little Robespierres, the busts and cameos and etchings—there were several more since I had been there last.

            The chocolate came in, brought by a nervous smiling maid. It was tolerable, if I could have tasted it.


Page 425

            […] So he [Saint-Just] has brought—found somewhere—some silvery flowers which Élie has arranged in a glass vase.

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 05:38 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ahahah, that book. XDDDDD Maybe she thought it would be easier for people to read. Or maybe she didn't care. Or maybe she wants to imply that Éléonore is a male to female transexual, which would be interesting.

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 05:53 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, that book. The one that magically manages to give one a headache if one attempts to read more than about five pages of it in one sitting.

Or maybe she wants to imply that Éléonore is a male to female transexual, which would be interesting.
XDD! Éléonore is a transsexual is an amusing theory, but I think s/he would have to settle for being a transvestite, even for crack purposes, considering the medical technology. And no, I don't doubt that this book qualifies as crack...

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 06:05 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
XDDDDDD I keep trying to reread it, but it hurts my soul.

Aww. ;__; She could still identify as female. If only she'd given up and written a crackfic instead. Then we could have avoided all of that. And possibly also the horrible pr0n.

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 06:10 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It has a few amusing points, but mostly soul-in-pain tends to be my reaction to it as well.

Well, it would make an interesting alternate history at least...

If only she'd given up and written a crackfic instead.
I only wish the list of authors that can be said to be true for was shorter. -__-

And yes, the horrible pr0n--that was one of the worst parts, assuredly. Honestly: Camille/Danton/prostitutes is really the last thing I need to read. *shudders*

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 06:18 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry. D: *offers biscuit of consolation*

Yes. It would take a lot of explaining, though.

Aww. ;__; Maybe one day someone will write an amazing book where Éléonore is not ebil or insignificant. And everyone will be brilliantly characterized, and it will portray the revolution in a positive light, and it will magically spawn kittens every time you turn the page.

It wouldn't have been so bad, except it was very poorly written. D: It could have been cute if it had been written well.

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 06:40 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*munches* Thank you. I still have problems with that book though. D:

Which would admittedly make it a good premise for a crack!fic...

Don't I wish! (If I had the talent, I'd write it, but I seriously doubt that I would. >__>) Actually, I'd read any book that magically spawned kittens, whether it had the other components or not. XD

And what exactly would well-written Camille/Danton/prostitutes entail, do you think? O.o

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 06:57 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...Um. ;___; Pretend it's a parody?

Yes. :D I think Laurel and I once had a similar idea involving Lucile, only she was a boy pretending to be a girl and had no gender issues, or something. >_> Poor things.

I know. ;-; (You might one day. :D) Me too. ^__^ It would be the best book ever. It would get kind of hard to read with all of the kittens crawling all over it, though.

...Um. Interesting revelations about their characters and how this relates to them as revolutionaries? Or she could've just cut it and replaced it with PG rated Danton/Camille snuggling or something.

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 19:20 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wish I had that talent, but it's difficult, since I know that it's not a parody. D:

XD So where did Horace come from then?

(Maybe if I somehow miraculously develop brilliant writing skills. ;-;) Well....yes. But that wouldn't be the point of it, would it?

That would have made some sense at least. But that still doesn't mean I want to read it. :P

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 22:32 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Secret adoption, I think. >.>

(Um. You can already write well, though. >.>) Maybe. ;-; Or the point could be to encourage illiterate kittens to read.

Awww. ;___; But.butbut. Danton and Camille are so cute when they're being homoerotic in an unlikely way.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, 21 December 2007 06:42 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
At least it's not mpreg. *facepalm*

(Not well enough for that--I can't plot and I don't have the discipline at this point to write an entire novel, much to my chagrin.) Aww, that would be so cute. ^__^

It's a matter of opinion, I suppose: I would find it more disturbing than anything else. (Just because Danton + anything sexual *is* pretty disturbing.)

(no subject)

Date: Friday, 21 December 2007 07:28 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That wouldn't make sense. ;-;

(;__;) Yes. ^__^ Awwwwww.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, 21 December 2007 15:32 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Indeed not, but it would sort of have to be if Lucile was really male... unless of course Camille was female. Which would be interesting...

(Maybe someday.) Vive les chatons! XD

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, 22 December 2007 03:38 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, it would.

(Hopefully.) XDD That makes me think of a kitten republic. Except I don't think cats would do republicanism well.

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, 22 December 2007 06:54 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It reminds me for an idea I had once for all the personages' genders to be switched. Which would work excellently for Camille: he wouldn't even have to change his name. XD

(And in the meantime I can practice. :D) Aww... well at least, since they're independent, no one could ever enslave them...

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, 22 December 2007 07:06 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aww. Think of poor girl!Danton, though. ;__; She'd be pitiful.

That's true. XDD

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, 22 December 2007 07:32 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, poor hypothetical Georgette-Jacqueline. XD!

True, they wouldn't carry out the concept of Fraternity very well...

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, 22 December 2007 07:37 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She'd be ;__; Creepy looking. I kind of want to try and draw her now, but I can't draw Danton normally.

Probably not. >__> Um. Oh well.

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, 22 December 2007 18:31 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Incredibly so. Maybe you could draw Danton better as a woman...?

It's all right though--it's not as if they could ever have a monarchy or a dictatorship either.

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, 22 December 2007 20:06 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe. O_O

That's true.

(no subject)

Date: Saturday, 22 December 2007 22:39 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You'll never know unless you try. :D?

In fact, since they don't have societies at all, it's something of a moot point. >__>

(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 23 December 2007 03:18 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

You never know. >.>

(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 23 December 2007 07:00 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What, you mean you've changed your mind about wanting to draw female!Danton? XD

That's true, I suppose.

(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 23 December 2007 07:53 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No. ;-; I'm just confused as to how to go about it.

(no subject)

Date: Sunday, 23 December 2007 08:14 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, if you do attempt it, good luck!

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 15:47 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OH. IT'S THAT BOOK WITH THE DANTONISTE THREESOME!!1!~ It's been so long I last heard about it. And what a very random and disturbing scene.

Isn't that the also book with plenty of random religious references everywhere too? Because, apparently, when you write from Desmoulins' POV, you must put as many random religious references as he would have. Even though I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have called Saint-Just Maxime's "altar boy" or "priestly slave". CATHOLICISM ABUSE. CATHOLICISM ABUSE. XDDDDD

And isn't that also the weird book in which S-J gives flowers to Maxime "like a bride"? I'm actually about to start an investigation (that is, a real historical work) on WHERE THE HELL it comes from to start with. The starting hypothesis is that Wajda and Lee are the only two wackos who imagined it, that it's all inside their homophobic and insane heads, and then it spread to all the squeeing fangirls.

The three daughters were his priestesses. I’d swear he never laid a finger on any of them save in the most brotherly manner.

Ahahahahahahahaomsb. Why, OF COURSE, whenever a man is in a house with girls, he must FUCKIN' GET LAID WITH EACH ONE OF THEM. Otherwise he's a God-like wacko. And everybody are priests. Because priest-references are just so fuckin' cool. Uh-huh. XDDDDDD

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 19:30 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, unfortunately. D: That's because we in enlightened circles are not fond of discussing it. XD It was most disturbing. I mean, I wouldn't want to read Danton pr0n in the first place, but then adding Camille and prostitutes to the mix... It's just all bad.

Unfortunately, yes. There ought to be warnings placed on such books about--as you say--their Catholicism Abuse.

And yes, Saint-Just also gives Maxime flowers "like a bride" in this book. *sighs* And apparently, there is nothing "sexual" between them, but they're still "married." Somehow. I'm rather unable to process the WTF-ness of that statement, so I'll just shut up now. >__> I'm sure it goes back farther than that... I don't know how far, but it might behoove you to do a more thorough investigation, just to make sure.

Well, leaving aside the point that it's probably not true that "he never laid a finger on any of them save in the most brotherly manner," the implication that if you don't sleep with anything that moves you're God makes absolutely no sense. In fact, it would be a lot more fucked up if he were sleeping with more than one of them.--though I'm sure Desmoulins would find this entirely normal. *headdesk*
(Really though, I think Tanith Lee just made Camille think of Maxime as God to be able to beat the priest-references to death.)

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, 20 December 2007 21:43 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just to be sure: it's the scene where Danton pets Camille in the back as Camille is doing a prostitute, right?

There must be something very profound about a sexless same-sex married couple. Just that I don't see it. How farther back can that go? Romanticism? I fail to see who the hell would have written robespierriste gayness before the 20th century. It's just so typical of the homophoby of the 20th century.

(It seems like fun to beat to death those priest-references, eh?)

(no subject)

Date: Friday, 21 December 2007 06:34 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes. Aagh, I don't want to think about that. Even briefly for indentification's sake. D: D:

Maybe... But I kind of doubt it. >__> No, probably not that far back, but as you say, the 20th century: Wajda's film is from the 80s and Lee's book is from the 90s, so presumably someone could have come up with something before then.

(If they didn't have to do with Robespierristes, perhaps. D:<)


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