April 23, 2014 at 07:38 AM   + 1058

ClubNinetyThree: 1.2.2: Nuit sur le navire et sur le passager

We directly continue the parallelism of the ship and the fake peasant from the last chapter in the very title.  The structure of this chapter also mimics the previous one — it’s short, it starts out descriptive, it ends with a bang.  (And promises a literal one!)

The ship takes the less-traveled, longer route for security — though evidently not safety, since it’s away from all the lighthouses — aiming to make landfall by morning.  It’s dark and foggy, the sea is a little rough, but our fake peasant is walking sure-footed around the deck, eating a bar of chocolate.  Chocolate!  Where did he get that and why isn’t he sharing.  With me, I mean, but he isn’t sharing with the crew, either.

Especially when the captain has given up his cabin for him!  Because that won’t lead anyone on board — or anyone who happens to capture the ship — to suspect anything fishy at all.  (As Pilf’s entry for the previous chapter noted, the deception decidedly doesn’t seem aimed at the ship’s crew.)

Then there’s conversation.  Apparently it’s very, very important that no one find out who our fake peasant is.  The captain, the second, and the man himself will all die sooner than give out his identity.  It has to remain secret — until the moment of explosion.  What explosion?  A literal explosion, or a metaphorical one?  What is happening!  Why are these chapters so short!

April 23, 2014 at 07:01 AM   + 0

Ninety-Three 1.2.2 A Night on Shipboard, and Concerning the Passenger


At one point in this chapter, M. Not-A-Peasant “drew out of his pocket a cake of chocolate, broke off a piece and ate it.” My first thought was that this was something like a chocolate bar, but molded bars of chocolate as we know them today weren’t invented until 1847 (and milk chocolate wouldn’t come along until the 1870s). 

So…chocolate cake then? It’s possible but unlikely — chocolate started being used in Europe for baking in addition to drinking in the mid-18th century. However, I’ll be darned if I could find any contemporary references to a cake (as in pound cake) flavored with chocolate. 

What he’s most likely gnawing on is basically a chunk of compressed cocoa, probably flavored with spices, which would be used to make drinking chocolate. You can see a picture of a modern-day recreation of one of these cakes (and a 1750s recipe for chocolate meringues) here. It sounds like a chalky and not very appetizing snack.

Original says “tablette de chocolat” which is literally a chocolate bar, so maybe Hugo’s just indulging in some anachronism to show off how not-at-all-a-peasant this guy is…

Or maybe it just meant something else at the time.  I don’t know!  Though thinking further about it as I just have, would the compressed cocoa require having all your teeth to be able to eat it?  Though on that thought — would a chocolate bar?  I’d think either of those would melt in your mouth.  Possibly Hugo mentions it because he’s just specified that he was chewing the chocolate.  Hmmm.

April 23, 2014 at 06:58 AM   + 2

It’s hard for me to even be angry about that because it’s just pure nonsense. What is he even saying?

It’s tricky to parse, but I think what he’s saying is: “People saying nice things to me has gone to my head and now I think I am an infallible writing genius, also no homo, but yes homo, but seriously no homo at all ever.  Did I mention no homo.”

The “fallen angel” thing is the most bullshit of all bullshit.  Where is he getting this from.  Hannibal is not the goddamn devil, he a white male serial killer, one of the most boring things in existence honestly, stop glorifying this. 

But mostly he’s so far up his own ass he can’t see sense.  I’m not — angry, exactly, I’m just rolling my eyes. 

April 22, 2014 at 10:54 PM   + 1

what are you even doing bryan fuller what is your problem

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When confronted with the accusation that she had contemplated the demise of her husband in order to marry Gaston, [Anne] claimed with defiance, “That would have been a mediocre bargain.”

Jean-Vincent Blanchard, Éminence: Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise France

Wherein Anne, being questioned under humiliating circumstances about her involvement in a failed conspiracy to put Louis XIII’s younger brother on the throne, is not having any of Richelieu’s shit. 


paging beccatoria 

April 22, 2014 at 10:22 PM   + 111



I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.

I must go on standing
You can’t break that which isn’t yours.

April 22, 2014 at 07:06 PM   + 3685

What a surprising result!!  — but also, yes, my Musketeers feelings are in a constant state of flux, well-spotted, even I don’t know what they are on this particular day, what fun(!).

Favorite Female: Okay, this one isn’t ever changing, so let’s try my favorite female in the latter two books.  Actually Louise, I think!  She’s just got so much stuff going on.  I don’t mean in an “oh no her life is a disaster” way, but in a “so much rich inner life that actually gets explored in text” way, even if sometimes this leads to maddening results.  I have like five separate drafts of a Complete Theory of Louise essay that will not be finished until the next time I re-read the book.         

Favorite Male: And for this one let’s do favorite-dude-not-a-Musketeer, because, honestly, also not about to change.  …It’s Raoul, isn’t it, oh no, it totally is, fuck, this wasn’t where I was going wit this.  My poor baby.  :(  And I do have that essay finished, so moving on. 

3 Other Favorite Characters:I actually got really attached to Fouquet, so, good work selling me on that, Dumas.  Poor darling extreme extrovert who can’t seem to stop robbing France, but, when he basically got himself arrested holding onto his one single virtue, his ability to stick to his word, I was done.  Constance.  God damn I’m angry about Constance not getting to stick around and have adventures, she’s delightful.  Still fondly nursing the AU where Milady and Constance run away together to have spy adventures all over Europe.  Aaaand I’m just going to drop Aramis here, because I hate him, but also I love him, I am very confused, what do I do with myself, why are you so terrible but so entertaining, go away you stupid genius jerk. 

3 OTPs: What do we ship today.  Gosh.  Montalais/Malicorne always, precious terrible children, etc., etc.  I actually guess at this moment I think I especially ship d’Artagnan/Aramis (from a more general position of d’Artagnan/every Musketeer, jointly and severally).  As previously referenced, I am fascinated by the Anne/Mazarin trainwreck.  Such a trainwreck.  And they’re both such Problems.  But also hilarious.  

NOTP: Louis/Louise is still the worst pairing in existence.       

Funniest character: This one is actually kind of hard, but I think Athos and his inability to be appropriate at authority figures is my favorite source of unfortunate humor.

Prettiest character: …definitely Aramis, yeah? 

Most Annoying Character: Nice Guy Buckingham.  What an irritating fancy douche. (Sorry.) 

Most Badass character: Grimaud.  The shit he has put up with.  The level of badassery he achieves while doing so.  Very impressive. 

Character I’d like as my BFF: But actually d’Artagnan.  Yes.  Hi.  (There was never anything ahead of that ‘but’ aside from internal turmoil, I was just checking in and reminding myself that, yeah, these are feelings I still have, forever and ever and ever.) 

Female Character I’d Marry: Uhhhh.  Being married to Milady is really obviously really inconvenient and potentially fatal, so, um, no.  But who else do I love enough.  I’m just going to say Constance again! 

Male Character I’d Marry: Still Porthos, this one isn’t changing.  

Character I hate/dislike/least like: Fucking Louis XIV, what a sack of shit.  And I felt for him, I did, when he was a little kid, and even later when he was being overshadowed by Mazarin, but then he grew into himself and turned into a total asshole.  Absolute power, etc., etc. 

April 22, 2014 at 05:21 PM   + 2