patria_ou_mort: (book'd!)
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Grantaire: And Eponine thought that she had it bad...

If Combeferre is Enjolras's not-boyfriend, Grantaire is his fanboy-stalker. Among Les Amis de l'ABC, Grantaire is the One Of These Things That Is Not Like The Others. Others are there for a variety of reasons, but mainly because they are of a common liberal ideology, share a common cause.

Grantaire's there for Enjolras. No, really.

On his own, pretending he's beside him~. )

Grantaire is something that Enjolras can't rid himself of. They're too polarized for Grantaire to be able to sway him like Combeferre -- not that Grantaire has anything he's trying to convince anyone of (actively, at least). (He makes me think of a quote from Angels in America, when Belize is bitching out Louis and tells him that it's no fun arguing with him because it's like throwing darts at jello.) Grantaire's very existence is an argument, one could say, perhaps. And it's one that Enjolras labels as invalid and does his best to ignore. Ignoring it doesn't make it go away, though. It also doesn't erase the fact that Grantaire is actually, you know, a human being whom Enjolras is rejecting so harshly.

As far as CFUD goes, Grantaire would be a challenge if you didn't share his same knowledge-base. (The most Hugo-esque, IC Grantaire I have ever known was written by a person who happens to be a classics expert. Yeah. While the allusions, etc. aren't everything... well, I don't think that it's a coincidence.) But a little knowledge (and a handy reference for double-checking) goes a long way. He's just... such a wonderfully charming and infuriating character. And he let's you go on such amazing flights of language.

...of course, he might die of alcohol withdrawal. But, I mean, Camp is probably like one long absinthe dream, anyways, so the psychological aspect would be taken care of, at least.


Being Gay is One Thing... But a Country?

Yeah, yeah, Francosexual, you've heard me say it before blah blah blah.

Coming into CFUD, I didn't want to play Enjolras as asexual. As a matter of fact, in the back of my mind, he was actually straight when I first started playing.

...I found that playing him as heterosexual was very difficult, so I just stopped trying to force it.

But what are his thoughts on slash? )

You just wish that your love was as pure as Enjolras/Hospital.


You People: An Experiment in Human Relations

So, we have a doctor, a tennis player- no, I mean the ones in CFUD; I.e. The Section About Enjolras’s Relationships with People in Camp. )
patria_ou_mort: (book'd!)
My introduction to slash came through Les Misérables. It was then that I started down my current path to that special hell.

Anyhow. The predominant slash pairing was Enjolras/Grantaire (and this still seems to be the case). All of this slash stuff was quite new and exciting to me; I read it and loved it and searched for more of it and devoured it.

And then I suffered a backlash.

It turned out that I actually didn’t like E/R ("R" being a familiar abbreviation for "Grantaire") as a pairing. Unfortunately, due to its overwhelming prevalence, what should be just a matter of preference tends to have something of a knee-jerk negative response from me now. But I do my best to be a good fan and play nice.

Still, it’s probably obvious that I am of the Enjolras/Combeferre bent. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine – I don’t believe that it would actually happen. But I would like for it to be able to happen – I believe that it would be good for Enjolras while not pushing the boundaries of character and canon as I see E/R doing (at least when it’s good for him).

Enough shipping, though!

So. There's an "Enjolras in camp" section at the end, but on a whole, this here is about Combeferre and Grantaire. Why am I doing a canon compilation/essay for two characters that I don't (and won't ever) play in CFUD?

My impression is that Enjolras's two most notable relationships in canon are with Combeferre and Grantaire -- extremely different, but both important for a character who has next-to-no personal interactions. Both Combeferre and Grantaire are fascinating characters on their own and you should app them, but they also help me to get a better grip on Enjolras, who risks floating away from the rest of humanity without them. You know what they say about getting to know someone by seeing whom they hang around with. Or something like that. Actually, I'm not sure exactly what they say, but it's something to that effect, I'm sure.

Anyways.


Combeferre: The Right-Hand Renaissance Man

Combeferre is a medical student/doctor, a member of Les Amis de l'ABC (the republican political club of which Enjolras is the de facto leader), a complete geek and probably the most underappreciated of Les Amis. While not as flashy or obviously charming as some of the other Amis, he's a witty voice of reason and helps to connect Enjolras to the rest of us lesser mortals. Very often portrayed in fandom as wearing spectacles.

You should app him. I would app him in a heartbeat, except that the playercest would kill me.

The art of the manly shoulder-grasp. For hand-clasping, please see appendix. )

In short? Combeferre is a completely awesome guy. In fact, he is so awesome that even Enjolras is aware of his awesomeness, or at least won over by it, if not consciously aware. Combeferre might function as Enjolras's right-hand man, but he's actually quite equal to Enjolras (perhaps even a little more than equal at times).

Aaaaah, if the playercest wouldn't kill me, I would so app him.

[Part Two]
patria_ou_mort: (book'd!)
I have just been randomly filled with a large amount of character love lately, and I need to declare to the world how happy I am to be playing these folks here. Starting with Enjolras! (Others later in their respective journals.)

Enjolras's canon is this awesome work of literature that amazes me each time I read it. Sure, Victor Hugo could have used an editor like burning, but some of the digressions actually are interesting to me and the others -- well, it's one of those situations where you love something so much that you even love what drives you crazy about them. The characters have become archetypes (Valjean and Javert, in particular) and the story has been re-told in movies and on stage and in recordings. And I get to use it as my playground. Public domain, ftw. 8D

And Enjolras himself... oh, Enjolras. He's just a delicious puzzle to me. He is incredibly badass and he tops almost everyone in his canon (the big exception being History), but looking at him as a Real Live Boy turns that Very Model of a Modern Insurrectionist -- and he really is a leader, not just some ironically employed literary puppet -- into someone so complex and deeply human. Not to mention tragic. But canon itself allows us to laugh at him. And you just have to. Because dude. In the context of everyday life? The guy is so weird.

Which all adds up into him being a joy to play here. It's fun having a different voice -- something very non-contemporary and strictly defined by not just the character but by the canon. And a lot of that fun comes from him being so out of place. Just the juxtaposition of a Totally Serious character from a Totally Serious piece of Classical Literature being gender-switched and Inui-juiced and turning into The Mole from South Park at a zombie summer camp with a bunch of folks, many whose canons' media weren't even invented when he was written. But the reason that I can continue to play him beyond the "ahaha stuffy nineteenth-century dude in zombie camp" is because he was an unusual individual amongst normal people in his canon -- really, not that much different than here (except for the fact that he's more like an usual individual among more unusual individuals, ahah).

So overall? Enjolras is awesome -- he's smart, good with guns, has a commanding presence, keeps his cool and totally tops -- and he's awesome to play at CFUD.

I'M GLAD TO BE ENJOLRAS WITH Y'ALL. ♥
patria_ou_mort: (book'd!)
Or, Enjolras and Canon, The Very Abridged Version That Is Nevertheless Rather Lengthy (with Commentary of Dubious Quality)

So my heading for this entry was too long for the subject field. What.


So way back during Disney weekend, Enjolras changed into Phoebus from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He kept his mind, but was in the body of a guy who's something of a ladies man. When Enjolras found himself flirting with Megan and, you know, thinking about women in, you know, that way, he proceeded to have a frickin' spazz attack at lucky Dr. Umeda.

My first reaction: Sweet Jesus, Enjolras, you're twenty years old, you'd think we'd be past the "girls have cooties" stage by this point. Dude, has camp made you gay or something?

My second reaction: Where the hell is this all coming from?

I wondered how the hell I had developed the interpretation that I was using. Not that I felt that it was grossly inaccurate or anything of the sort. I just realized that it was high time for me to go back to canon. Here I must confess to having been a bad mun and having been mainly basing my Enjolras off of a fan interpretation rather than off of canon. Granted, the fan interpretation that I was using was mine, so my crime was not too large, I like to think. Still, canon had mainly been fact-checking tool for me for the past five or six years. Time to get back to the basics, I decided.

And so, here is where I go through every single one of Enjolras's canon appearances (this being defined as every time that Enjolras appears or is mentioned -- I really do need to do the historical and contextual sections at some point, but I really can't see those of being of any use or interest to anyone but me, so), mostly in the order that they appear in the book (exceptions sometimes being made for his interactions with Combeferre and Grantaire, who have their own essays in the works), and over-think every single one of them (yes, I'm an English major -- why do you ask?).

Commentary varies -- I'd call this more of a project than an essay, with the aim more of putting all of Enjolras's canon material here rather than really interpreting it. Given that his entire canon is nearly 1500 pages of very small type, this should make things easier not only for me, but for anyone who might be interested in his canon basis but, you know, doesn't feel like reading a 1500-page novel right now. Which is more than totally understandable.

Because I feel like I should mention it, I'm using the paperback Signet Classic edition translated by Lee Fabnestock and Norman MacAfee (which was waiting for me at home -- hence, the seed-planting taking place during Disney weekend and the bulk of the actual work not being done until now, ahaha). For anyone who wants to read more complete sections, I’ve included links to the appropriate sections of a different translation.

Despite him being the principal student -- for those who know Les Mis from the musical, Enjolras is the only one of the revolutionary students (that is, the lot of 'em minus Marius and Grantaire) that is easily identified -- he is arguably the most inscrutable of all of them (with the possible exception of Feuilly, who literally says less than forty words in the entire book -- most of which are something along the lines of "yes, we have a poleax" or something -- but we love Poland Boy anyway) in terms of being a three-dimensional human being. Because using only the text? He's pretty much the Picture Perfect Revolutionary Leader. (And he does fill the role perfectly and seemingly effortlessly -- which is, I think, considered by the text to be his greatest flaw.) But despite the book's fondness for symbolism, etc., the story is set in a realistic world. Between the lines and behind the scenes, I'm assuming that Enjolras is a Real Person, not just a symbol on legs. So...



Pre-1830 )


Post 1830, Pre-Barricade )

[Part Two]
patria_ou_mort: (France goes here)
Disclaimer: I have not had to do it before this, but I am mixing and matching from different translations in some of the quotes included here.


Courfeyrac and Bossuet, whose brave good humor increased with the peril, like Madame Scarron, replaced nourishment with pleasantry, and, as wine was lacking, they poured out gayety to all.

"I admire Enjolras," said Bossuet. "His impassive temerity astounds me. He lives alone, which renders him a little sad, perhaps; Enjolras suffers from his greatness, which binds him to widowhood. The rest of us have mistresses, more or less, who make us crazy, that is to say, brave. When a man is as much in love as a tiger, the least that he can do is to fight like a lion. That is one way of taking our revenge for the capers that mesdames our grisettes play on us. Roland gets himself killed for Angelique; all our heroism comes from our women. A man without a woman is a pistol without a trigger; it is the woman that sets the man off. Well, Enjolras has no woman. He is not in love, and yet he manages to be intrepid. It is a thing unheard of that a man should be as cold as ice and as bold as fire."

Enjolras did not appear to be listening, but had any one been near him, that person would have heard him mutter in a low voice: "Patria."


-from Chapter 14, Book I, Volume V


Whenever I get to contemplating Enjolras and relationships, that is the passage that comes to my mind. Canon really does not give much about Enjolras's relationships with anyone. The other Amis chat with each other at various points -- gossip*, whine, mock, rant -- but Enjolras is basically all business, all the time. If he talks to someone, it is usually either a Big Speech or a terse order (or, in the case of Grantaire, perhaps an insult). (Sort of into extremes, this guy. Go figure.) So trying to figure out how to relate to people in camp? The vast majority of it is my personal interpretation and speculation, because in canon, despite being all for the People, Enjolras just does not really relate to people. At all.

First of all, concerning non-romantic relationships, the passage quoted above is canon evidence that Enjolras's friends talk about him as if he is not even there. In other words, while being talked about behind his back (*coughMegan&MariuscoughUmeda&Ncough*) or as if he is not there might mildly irritate him, he ignores it for the most part. To me, it implies a certain distance between Enjolras and his friends -- while mocking your friends in the third person is a source of amusement, this passage has always struck me as a little weird.

Enjolras really is more of a symbolic character than an especially human character in the book, which makes playing him as a "real person" both interesting and a little problematic at times, with the way that he is objectified by both the author and his own friends. (This can be troublesome in trying to keep him "real" but IC -- a lot of him is defined by how others relate to him as a sort of "unreal" person, so people treating him as "real" puts me into an area with next to no canon support!) While Enjolras may have his little posse of Les Amis, he is very much not "one of the guys". In fact, sociable and jolly fellows such as Courfeyrac and Bossuet seem almost alien to him. Still, canon describes Les Amis as all being bound together by their shared passion for justice and country (they all "held the same religion: Progress"), so he isn't totally disconnected from others -- he just connects through a common purpose rather than in more normal, "social" ways.

With Enjolras, I am basically approaching relationships from two directions: 1) commonality of purpose and shared ideals, and 2) personal affinity. His strongest relationships are, obviously, ones that grow from both directions (e.g. Combeferre, from back home). He will bond more strongly with you through the first, but that is obviously in somewhat short supply here at camp. So #2 is getting some exercise. It is likely that he will get a little better at not being such a distant block of ice to everyone but a select few, but there is a limit for how far that can pushed.

Moving on to romance and sex -- [livejournal.com profile] classprotector's drabble and [livejournal.com profile] _diesmiling_'s drabble are sadly not too far off the mark. "Patria" is Latin for "country" or "homeland". (Hence the username! With French because -- I mean, really.) The passage quoted above is all "france is enjolras's g/f lolz". And because I love to complicate things like this, I really am letting the patriotism bleed over into all other parts of his life, and am playing Enjolras as a guy who has a significant other back at home. Only his s.o. happens to be his home.

...yeah.

Of course, if you ever phrased it that way, Enjolras would look at you as though you were crazy. I don't have him thinking about France/himself in that particular metaphorical context at the current time, despite what Kio might claim about Enjolras and the Eiffel Tower. Things concerning romance are not part of Enjolras's personal life at all; it's just not part of his worldview. So, while he's a smart guy, unless you are being as clear and direct as humanly possible, romantic/sexual stuff is likely to fly completely over his head. (...some of you have already encountered this.) Once he gets the clue, he'll keep it and be able to use it regarding that particular situation, etc., but we're talking a blank slate here.

...It has been too long without a song. Here, have some song lyrics. In my canon pimping post, I had uploaded "Anthem" from Chess, and I feel that I need to put the lyrics here -- to me, this song is about as Enjolraic as you can get. The music itself is very grand, dignified and soaring; sung by Anthony Warlow on his Centre Stage album, it is quite beautiful.

Anthem )

How lovely and pure.

It is canon that Enjolras spurns romance with women. Of course, the implication of that is that Enjolras is just a 100% Virginal, No Romance Zone. I'm playing Enjolras as being more comfortable around men just because in his time and environment, he is accustomed to hanging out with the guys and rarely interacts with women (despite my joking, he doesn't really hate women). So that is the gender thing we have going here. As for the romance thing, there is perhaps a 1% chance of such a thing happening. Just not in the personality. An enjoyable romantic evening for Enjolras is probably something like reading Rousseau together and debating the impact of the most recent parliamentary elections after having spent a few hours networking with other fine, upstanding men intent on overthrowing the government. (Though there is always, I suppose, some nice and manly companionable silence.) As for the virginal thing -- dude, look at the guy's purity test results. (The gayness is all from you, Marius. WTF, man, WTF.) He's human, yeah, but sex is about the last thing on his mind.

But let us return to that "he's human" part for a moment.

So. All of his devotion going toward France. Here comes the big surprise: bitch ain't giving nothin' back. (Unless we fast-forward to 1832, when she doles out a big-ass heap of bullet-riddled death.) There are some limitations to this "relationship" here. Because you know what? A country cannot hang out with you and say something stupid to cheer you up when you are feeling down. A country cannot give you a hug. A country just, you know, lacks certain things because it's a god damned country plus a bag of ideals. The perhaps 8% chance of Enjolras ever getting into a relationship with someone that extends beyond friendship comes from that fact, though unless Enjolras ever gets his relationship issues straightened out (i.e. country =/= person, and one can simultaneously have a large amount of devotion to both), the person would have to be willing to take a distant second to France.

So basically? We pretty much have a one-sided, slightly dysfunctional relationship going on here. Enjolras himself is happy with the way things are for him back home, but he's not so comfortable in the situation at camp. With the, you know, distinct lack of France and the ability to do anything about it.

As something of a postscript to this canon-babble, as far as my personal Les Mis shipping preferences go, it is probably rather obvious that I am a Combeferre/Enjolras fan, though that is more out of my fondness for, and resultant championing of, Combeferre than anything else. I used that in my app because Combeferre's role in life is to be Useful. I ♥ Combeferre, which probably bleeds into my Enjolras more than it should. Fangirling aside, though, I do consider Combeferre to be Enjolras's closest friend and that if Enjolras could be said to need any person, it would be him -- he does "complement and correct" Enjolras, after all. And-

Fuck. Complementary colors have never been the same to me ever since Saiyuki.



*To paraphrase a snippet of conversation overheard in the back room of the Café Musain...

Joly: My girlfriend who's part of that threesome with Bossuet and me is being a bitch.
Bahorel: Dude, just wear some tight leather pants and that ho will be all over you.
Grantaire: *wolfwhistles*

...all right, so that is a very loose paraphrasing. Nevertheless.

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Enjolras

December 2012

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