30/09/08 – just finished Fantine. I’m going to leave this book for a while, so I can think and absorb it all in before I begin to read the next part. Two things: 1) I didn’t even comprehend the gravity of the siituation, nor Valjean’s intentions, until after he had entered the courtroom.
No, surely not, I thought to myself when Javert first informed the Major about Champmathieu. I thought Valjean would make some sort of brilliant compromise, like Dantes in Monte Cristo. Fish that idiot, Champmathieu out, without revealing his true identity. Even after Valjean had revealed himself, I was half hoping that the court would let him go. That would have been the idealistic solution.
I suppose by now I should know that Hugo doesn’t believe in idealism; he adores grim, solid reality. Poor Valjean – he’s gone from wrongly convicted galley slave, to venerable Major of M- sur M-, back to shamed convict all within a few chapters.
2) Fantine died without seeing Cosette? Valjean allowed – no, VICTOR HUGO (that bastard) – allowed Cosette to stay in the hands of the Thenardiers, when he could so easily have gone and fetched the child himself before denouncing himself to the officials? Idiotic man! Now Cosette will never know how much her mother loved her (incisors). Perhaps it’s better the girl didn’t see her mother in such a repugnant state of existence.
Clearly this is why I should not review books as I’m reading them. I realise this is incoherent, and what not, but I can’t even be bothered to writer properly – I just want to read the next section of the book, quick!