|fifty frenchmen can't be wrong (some_stars) wrote,|
@ 2013-01-28 08:46 pm UTC
"In this situation Jean Valjean meditated; and what could be the nature of his meditation?
If the grain of millet beneath the millstone had thoughts, it would, doubtless, think that same thing which Jean Valjean thought."
--Volume 1, book 2, ch. 7
"M. Francois de Neufchateau, the praiseworthy cultivator of the memory of Parmentier, made a thousand efforts to have pomme de terre pronounced parmentiere, and succeeded therein not at all."
--V1, B3, CH1
"Beware! his hair filled with wrath, is epic; his blouse drapes itself like the folds of a chlamys."
--V1, B3, CH5
"Come to yourselves. This pun which has fallen from the skies must not be received with too much stupor. Everything which falls in that way is not necessarily worthy of enthusiasm and respect. The pun is the dung of the mind which soars. The jest falls, no matter where; and the mind after producing a piece of stupidity plunges into the azure depths. A whitish speck flattened against the rock does not prevent the condor from soaring aloft."
--V1, B3, CH7
"It is our conviction that if souls were visible to the eyes, we should be able to see distinctly that strange thing that each one individual of the human race corresponds to some one of the species of the animal creation; and we could easily recognize this truth, hardly perceived by the thinker, that from the oyster to the eagle, from the pig to the tiger, all animals exist in man, and that each one of them is in a man. Sometimes even several of them at a time."
--V1, B5, CH5
"His brow was not visible; it disappeared beneath his hat: his eyes were not visible, since they were lost under his eyebrows: his chin was not visible, for it was plunged in his cravat: his hands were not visible; they were drawn up in his sleeves: and his cane was not visible; he carried it under his coat."
--V1, B5, CH5 (I don't know why I find this so hilarious, I think it's just the image of some dude with his hat pulled down to his nose and his scarf pulled up over his mouth and his sleeves too long for his arms and how fucking ridiculous that would look.)
"It was an insult such as a thunder-cloud might hurl! It reaches the grandeur of Aeschylus!"
--V2, B1, CH15 (about the guy who says "merde" to the English at Waterloo)
"...and lastly, because Javert, being an artist, had a taste for the unforeseen. He hated those well-heralded successes which are talked of long in advance and have had the bloom brushed off. He preferred to elaborate his masterpieces in the dark and to unveil them suddenly at the last."
--V2, B5, CH10
"Then he began the game. He experienced one ecstatic and infernal moment; he allowed his man to go on ahead, knowing that he had him safe, but desirous of postponing the moment of arrest as long as possible, happy at the thought that he was taken and yet at seeing him free, gloating over him with his gaze, with that voluptuousness of the spider which allows the fly to flutter, and of the cat which lets the mouse run. Claws and talons possess a monstrous sensuality,—the obscure movements of the creature imprisoned in their pincers. What a delight this strangling is!
Javert was enjoying himself. The meshes of his net were stoutly knotted. He was sure of success; all he had to do now was to close his hand."
--V2, B5, CH10
"Brushing one's teeth is at the top of a ladder at whose bottom is the loss of one's soul."
--V2, B6, CH2
"At Ecouen, in order to take rank in the procession of the Holy Sacrament, a distinction was made between virgins and florists."
--V2, B6, CH4
"As for us, we respect the past here and there, and we spare it, above all, provided that it consents to be dead. If it insists on being alive, we attack it, and we try to kill it."
--V2, B7, CH3
"Every one has noticed the taste which cats have for pausing and lounging between the two leaves of a half-shut door. Who is there who has not said to a cat, 'Do come in!'"
--V2, B8, CH4
As you can see I rapidly left off highlighting the dramatic and affecting passages and settled for the ridiculous.