Johann Heinrich Füssli,
Nachtmahr is an old german word for “nightmare”, it is a mythical creature of pre-christian legends that survived until modern times. At night it rides a horse into chambers, sits on top of the sleeping and brings bad dreams, panic and fear. Some know them as incubus and succubus, bringing dreams of lust.
As someone who is prone to hypnogogic hallucinations and has experienced “Old Hag Syndrome” several times in her life, not to mention has a tendency towards extremely vivid nightmares (and, on at least one occasion, bona fide medication induced night terrors from which I couldn’t wake), this iconic Romantic era art work speaks to me on a very visceral level.
Seriously - people who share a bed with me are torn between horror and amusement at what might range from a benign hallucination (“Oh, look - there are magnets swirling around on the bedroom mirror and yes I’m awake and will remember this in the morning stop laughing at me”) to sitting bolt upright screaming about the giant glowing green spider I can see on the ceiling.
Not to mention the chit chat. Oh yes, I do like to sleep chat.
What surprises me a bit is that modern AU Grantaire is so often depicted to be the one who asks for proof and sources and Enjolras is the one who’s sent floundering by those questions.
I mean, yeah, optimism isn’t realistic. But neither is pessimism.
So why not have Grantaire mutter “that’s…
Yes, that confuses me too - Enjolras is, after all, the “logic” of Revolution. His is not a fluffy, emotive response - he is cold, remorseless analysis and action. He’s someone who is going to know all the intimate details of the subject under discussion and is going to very clearly, precisely and clinically dissect any criticism or question thrown at him…and then, just when you think he’s too icy and detached, he will astonish you with his soaring, and give a beautiful, elevating, impassioned vision of what things could be and what horizon he sees.
Grantaire is not a source of coherent criticism couched within any particular ology - his is an emotional response, his ideas rather formless. I could see a modern Grantaire, for example, telling people that sexism is a fact of life because that’s just how people are and how things work. Or even subsiding comfortably into the existing system because it’s not that bad for him (as he does in the book), while still expressing a vague opinion that, if he had enough wealth, he’d happily distribute it (because he is, after all, a kind and generous soul).
There is someone who fits into the role of questioning and refining Enjolras’ ideas: Combeferre. But I don’t think Enjolras would be flustered by his questions - he’d engage with them and refine his own viewpoints.
vautrin x montparnasse? anything anything.
"I’d like to make a deal with y—"
"You didn’t even listen to the terms."
"As long as they include you paying my tailor’s bill, I don’t care."
Two of his [Saint-Just’s] closest friends noted, independently, that in private and in public he was two different men. In private he was friendly and even gay, courteous, moved easily to pity, a singer of light airs, a good talker, with all the attraction that youth and beauty could give. In public he was grave, disdainful, insensitive, impassible, exercising a self-control almost inhuman, indifferent to pleasure, unapproachable. Even his face, which was the face of a voluptuary and a poet, became, in the tribune or at the Committee, hard and terrifying. He cultivated, in public, an arrogance that many found repulsive, and he appeared to be (what he most certainly was not) a man without feelings.
—J.B Morton on Saint-Just in his 1939 biography ‘Saint-Just’ (via unspeakablevice)
See, that’s one thing about the Revolutionaries. They’re far easier to turn into a caricature than their royalist counterparts. Their humanity is far too-easily stripped away, leaving nothing behind but marble pillars for their biographer to press his or her impressions on.
On the flip-side, we all know Louis XVI loved making locks. We all know the story of Marie-Antoinette’s agonizing separation from her homeland. We all know Louis and Antoinette were more than their absolutist political opinions, that they were very human, that they were much Like Us.
Their personal lives are precisely recorded and it can be difficult to eschew human sympathy for their plight just because 1789 rolls around.This is perhaps why thy Royal Family garners sympathizers even from those who find Royalism to be an evil ideology. Humans sympathize with other humans and the evidence of the royals’ humanity is abundant. Men like Saint-Just, however, left little evidence of the person beyond the politician. If one finds Jacobinism to be an inherently evil ideology, it can be difficult to see through the lens and find anything human in the men who adhered to it.
But a lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack. And as Morton points out, although the documentation is sparse, it is not nonexistent.
Reblogging for the analysis.
Miserable Advent is underway! And the first winner is Spiderfire47, who thus gets me drawing (HI SPIDERFIRE I HOPE THAT IS OKAY). Spiderfire gave me three choices of prompts, and of course I went with the one that had a Combeferre in it. But I didn’t know if it was supposed to be SRS PICTURE or something silly, so I kind of split the difference?
EVERYONE ELSE GO DO THE MISERABLE ADVENT THING, there’s 24 more chances to win and IT PROBABLY WON’T BE ME DRAWING THEM so there is MYSTERY EXCITEMENT on top of everything else!
Doctoring Courfeyrac’s hat! Adore it!
Had three separate asks for Enjolras, Combeferre, and the Unexpected Baby thing so HERE WE ARE.
(baby joke kinda ripped off Danielle Corsetto of Girls With Slingshots, which is quite cute and rather Pants-Business heavy, though not in the comics with babies!)
Both their expressions…! Intense-but-oblivious Enjolras in the first panel and “Just Hand Me The Baby” Combeferre. I love how there’s no disdain in your Enjolras in moments like this - he is just genuinely, 100% not noticing things that extraneous to The Big Picture.
I see him as growing and evolving from “Big Picture: Rousseau didn’t abandon the people!!!” to noticing an elderly lady keeping a candlelit vigil, and what that implied.
Although he’s never really going to notice babies or flowers. Much.
Nicolas de Courteille: Truth Bringing Republic and Abundance (1793)
Truth apparently knows how to throw a PARTY.
The Republic looks like they’ve already done some pre-celebrating - they’re trailing the unravelled scroll with (I assume) the Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen - probably insisting on reading ALL THE BEST BITS on the way over. Repeatedly. Truth has been shedding garments and is ready to go another round of Jaegerbombs.
Evidently Abundance is the designated driver.