As we’re in the middle of summer and a lot of us have time to read, I thought it would be great to list all the great french books I know and I’ve read if you want to practice french or read french books!! (or just if you don’t have books to read now) note : the list is faaar from being complete !
Apollinaire - Alcools, Calligrammes André Breton & Philippe Soupault - The Magnetic Fields Charles Baudelaire - The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du Mal), Paris Spleen (Le Spleen de Paris) Paul Éluard - Capitale de la Douleur, Les Mains Libres Paul Verlaine - Poèmes Saturniens, Romances Sans Paroles Arthur Rimbaud - Illuminations Victor Hugo - The Contemplations Stéphane Mallarmé - Poésies Comte de Lautréamont - The Lay of Maldoror Louise Labé - Poésies Pierre de Ronsard - Les Odes Marceline Desbordes-Valmore - Elegies et romances Alphonse de Lamartine - The Meditations
Albert Camus - The Stranger, The Plague, The First Man Jean-Paul Sartre - Nausea, The Words Annie Ernaux - The Years, The Possession, Shame, Happening, A Woman’s Story Stendhal - The Red and the Black Victor Hugo - The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Les Misérables Madame de La Fayette - La Princesse de Clèves Madeleine de Scudéry - Clélie Honoré de Balzac - The Unknown Masterpiece, Old Goriot Gustave Flaubert - Madame Bovary, Sentimental Education George Sand - Story of my Life Alfred de Musset - The Confession of a Child from the Century Laurent Binet - HHhH, The Seventh Function of Language Jean Teulé - The Suicide Shop, Eat Him if You Like, Monsieur Montespan, Charly 9 Voltaire - Zadig, Candide Chrétien de Troyes - Yvain, The Knight of the Lion + Lancelot, The Knight of the Cart Marguerite Duras - The Ravishing of Lol V. Stein Marguerite Yourcenar - Memoirs of Hadrian Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - Night Flight, The Little Prince, The Wisdom of the Sands Jean de la Fontaine - The Fables Émile Zola - The Beast Within Marcel Proust - In Search of Lost Time André Gide - The Counterfeiters, The Immoralist, The Vatican Cellars, The Pastoral Symphony François-René de Chateaubriand - René, Atala, Memoirs from Beyond the Grave Aragon - Aurélien Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Reveries of a Solitary Walker
Albert Camus - Caligula, The Just Assassins Jean-Paul Sartre - No Exit, The Flies, The Chips Are Down Bernard-Marie Koltès - Return to the Desert, The Night Just Before the Forests Jean-Luc Lagarce - It’s Only the End of the World Alfred de Musset - Lorenzaccio Jean Giraudoux - The Trojan War will not take place, Amphytrion 38, Ondine Eugène Ionesco - The Lesson, The Bald Soprano, Exit the King, Rhinoceros Voltaire - Zaïre Pierre de Corneille - La Place Royale, Le Cid, L’Illusion Comique Jean Racine - Bérénice, Phèdre Samuel Beckett - Waiting for Godot
(Les Misérables provides) …an excessive, radical, and sometimes unjust critique of society, which might lead human beings to hate what saves them, which is social order, and to become delirious about what will cause their downfall: the antisocial dream of the undefined ideal.
Alphonse de Lamartine
He calls les mis an “epic of the rabble”, the conversation between Monseigneur Bienvenu and G the Conventionist “a deification of terrorism”. He also assures us that the title is false; the characters were not misérables but guilty and lazy.
Senza musica la vita sarebbe un errore.
La musica è semplicemente là per parlare di ciò di cui la parola non può parlare. In questo senso, la musica non è del tutto umana.
La vera musica, che sa far ridere e all’improvviso ti aiuta a piangere…
La musica ha un grande potere: ti riporta indietro nel momento stesso in cui ti porta avanti, così che provi, contemporaneamente, nostalgia e speranza.
Senza la musica per decorarlo, il tempo sarebbe solo una noiosa sequela di scadenze produttive e di date in cui pagare le bollette.
La musica esprime ciò che è impossibile da dire e su cui è impossibile tacere.
La musica aiuta a non sentire dentro il silenzio che c’è fuori.
(Johann Sebastian Bach)
La musica scaccia l’odio da coloro che sono senza amore. Dà pace a coloro che sono in fermento, consola coloro che piangono.
La musica era il mio rifugio. Ho potuto strisciare nello spazio tra le note e dare la schiena alla solitudine.
La musica che ti rende felice è la musica che ti fa piangere.
La musica è un fluido in divenire, un linguaggio evanescente; ascoltandola entriamo in un’altra vita e in un altro tempo.
Secondo le statistiche la musica è l’ “oggetto” più rubato al mondo.
Un uomo non può essere ebbro di un romanzo o di un quadro, ma può ubriacarsi della Nona di Beethoven, della Sonata per due pianoforti e percussione di Bartók o di una canzone dei Beatles.
Il linguaggio della musica è un linguaggio che solo l’anima capisce, ma che l’anima non potrà mai tradurre.
La musica è basata sull’armonia tra Cielo e Terra, è la coincidenza tra il disordine e la chiarezza.
La musica è una rivelazione, più alta di qualsiasi saggezza e di qualsiasi filosofia.
(Ludwig van Beethoven)
La musica è la voce che ci dice che la razza umana è più grande di quanto lei stessa sappia.
(M. C. Garretty)
La musica è arrivata prima di ogni teoria ad unire il tempo e lo spazio.
La musica è il solo passaggio che unisca l’astratto al concreto.
La musica è il calice che contiene il vino del silenzio.
La musica apre il cassetto dei sogni con la sua chiave di violino.
La musica è Dio che sorride all’uomo.
A che cosa faccia appello la musica in noi è difficile sapere; è certo però che tocca una zona così profonda che la follia stessa non riesce a penetrarvi.
Perché frequentare Platone, quando anche un sassofono può farci intravedere un altro mondo?
Non sarebbe la musica una lingua perduta, della quale abbiamo dimenticato il senso, e serbato soltanto l’armonia?
Ho i miei dolori, amori, piaceri particolari; e tu hai i tuoi. Ma dolore, gioia, desiderio, speranza, amore, appartengono a tutti noi, in ogni tempo e in ogni luogo. La musica è l’unico mezzo con cui sentiamo queste emozioni nella loro universalità.
Che cosa cercate nella musica?
Cerco rimpianti e lacrime.
A volte nella musica si trovano le risposte che cerchi, quasi senza cercarle. E anche se non le trovi, almeno trovi quegli stessi sentimenti che stai provando. Qualcun altro li ha provati. Non ti senti solo. Tristezza, solitudine, rabbia.
La passione per la musica è già da sola una confessione. Sappiamo di più su uno sconosciuto appassionato di musica che su qualcuno che alla musica è insensibile e che incontriamo ogni giorno.
La musica è una macchina per sopprimere il tempo.
La musica è l’unico piacere sensuale senza vizi.
La musica può fare di un’anima devastata una Cattedrale.
Fate un bagno di musica una volta o due alla settimana per alcune stagioni, e scoprirete che fa all’anima quello che il bagno d’acqua fa al corpo.
(Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr)
La musica può nominare l’innominabile e comunicare l’inconoscibile.
Più si conosce la musica, meno si è in grado di dire qualcosa di valido.
Il bello della musica è che quando ti colpisce non senti dolore.
La musica è tra i doni più misteriosi di cui sono dotati gli esseri umani.
La musica è il mediatore tra lo spirituale e la vita sensuale.
(Ludwig van Beethoven)
Una vita senza musica è come un corpo senz’anima.
(Marco Tullio Cicerone)
La musica è la lingua dello spirito. La sua segreta corrente vibra tra il cuore di colui che canta e l’anima di colui che ascolta.
Ci sono dei sentimenti così intraducibili che ci vuole la musica per esprimerli.
Amore e musica sono tutto, tranne il “non essere”.
Sai cos’è la musica!? È Dio che ci ricorda che esiste qualcos’altro in questo mondo!
(dal film “La musica nel cuore”)
La mia idea è che c’è musica nell’aria, musica attorno a noi; il mondo è pieno di essa, e basta semplicemente prendere ciò che si desidera.
La musica classica mi Mozart il fiato.
Il pittore dipinge su tela. I musicisti dipingono invece i loro quadri sul silenzio.
La musica non è nelle note, la musica è tra le note.
(Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Ognuno di noi ha un accompagnamento musicale interiore. E se gli altri l’ascoltano bene, si chiama personalità.
La musica rende pura la comprensione; la ispira, e la solleva in un regno che non avrebbe raggiunto se fosse stata lasciata sola con se stessa.
(Henry Ward Beecher)
Musica: ci hai insegnato a vedere con l’orecchio e a udire con il cuore.
Quando la musica inizia, non esiste nient’altro, dimentichi il mondo e le sue preoccupazioni e ti lasci travolgere dal turbine di note che sale in cielo.
La musica, la migliore religione al mondo in cui non ci sono minacce o promesse.
La musica è il vino che ispira nuovi processi generativi, e io sono Bacco che pressa questo vino glorioso per l’umanità e la rende spiritualmente ubriaca.
(Ludwig van Beethoven )
Chi ascolta musica, sente d’incanto popolarsi la sua solitudine.
La musica: una pompa per gonfiare l’anima.
La musica è l’arte che è più vicina alle lacrime e alla memoria.
La musica è quello che suona come la vita.
La musica esprime sentimento e pensiero, senza linguaggio, ma è al di sotto e prima del discorso, ed è al di sopra e al di là di ogni parola.
(Robert G. Ingersoll)
La musica è la letteratura del cuore; comincia dove finisce il discorso.
(Alphonse de Lamartine)
La musica è il più grosso equalizzatore di umore per gli alti e bassi della vita.
Impossibile vivere senza.
La Musica è un libro che puoi leggere anche ad occhi chiusi.
La musica è la stenografia dell’emozione.
La musica fonde insieme tutte le singole parti del nostro corpo.
Forse la musica è la cosa più vicina all’amore. Ti eleva. Personalmente mi dà le emozioni più vicine a quelle che provo quando mi sento innamorato.
La gente tradisce, ferisce. La musica è fedele, cicatrizza le ferite.
Non c’è verità più vera di quella a cui l’uomo arriva con la musica.
Dopo il silenzio, quello che più si avvicina ad esprimere l’inesprimibile è la musica.
La musica è amore in cerca di una parola.
La musica è il chiaro di luna nella notte cupa della vita.
(Jean Paul Richter)
La musica è la poesia dell’aria.
(Jean Paul Richter)
E innegabile che la musica induce in noi un senso di infinito e la contemplazione dell’invisibile.
(Victor de LaPrade)
La musica è il rifugio degli animi ulcerati dalla felicità.
La buona Musica accorda i sensi.
La pittura trasforma lo spazio in tempo, la musica il tempo in spazio.
(Hugo Von Hofmannsthal)
La musica comincia dove finisce il potere delle parole.
La musica crea uno spiraglio nel cielo.
Tra i piaceri della vita, la musica è seconda solo all’amore. Ma l’amore stesso è musica
Ascolti una musica, passano i giorni, passano gli anni, risenti quella musica e tutto ritorna, tutto rivivi: le immagini, i profumi, lo stato d’animo vissuto in quei 3 minuti di vita passata. Tutto è stato magicamente registrato nel profondo della tua anima… come una chiave riapre una vecchia porta, riaccedi, tramite dolci o amare note, in un mondo tuo al momento dimenticato…
Dove il mondo fallisce, parla la musica.
La musica è la più romantica di tutte le arti, si potrebbe quasi dire che essa sola è romantica, poiché solo l’infinito è il suo tema.
(Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann)
La musica è l’arte di pensare attraverso i suoni.
Penso che la musica contenga una libertà, più di qualsiasi altra arte, non limitandosi solo alla riproduzione esatta della natura, ma ai legami misteriosi tra la natura e l’immaginazione.
La musica è la rappresentazione sonora, simultanea, del sentimento del movimento e del movimento del sentimento.
La Musica è come il Mare.
Ti ci immergi e sai sempre dove sei.
La musica è forse l’unico esempio di quello che avrebbe potuto essere – se non ci fosse stata l’invenzione del linguaggio, la formazione delle parole, l’analisi delle idee – la comunicazione delle anime.
Per sua natura la musica non può spiegare niente: né delle emozioni, né dei punti di vista, né dei sentimenti, né dei fenomeni della natura. Essa non spiega che se stessa.
(Ígor Fiodorovich Sravinskij)
La musica è una legge morale: essa dà un’anima all’universo, le ali al pensiero, uno slancio all’immaginazione, un fascino alla tristezza, un impulso alla gaiezza e la vita a tutte le cose.
Ecco quel che ho da dir sulla musica: ascoltatela, suonatela, amatela, riveritela e tenete la bocca chiusa.
La musica è il miglior antidepressivo in commercio.
La musica è un’architettura senza edificio.
Non ci fa ragionare la musica però ci fa capire se e quando val la pena di ragionare.
La musica non trasporta: fa stare.
La musica viene creata dal silenzio, non dal suono.
Nessun teologo è stato così convincente come Bach: se si guarda bene, tutte le dottrine teologiche hanno lasciato delle fessure attraverso le quale si possono sbirciare difetti e bassezze indegne di una divinità. A vedere un Dio così mal parato, l’incredulità e l’ironia sostituiscono la fede. Al contrario, la musica di Bach è un’estasi che crea e rende credibili gli Dei e l’Infinito.
(Francisco Rodriguez Barrientos)
Se c’è qualcuno che deve tutto a Bach quello è proprio Dio.
La musica è la pittura dei ciechi
La musica è il tipo perfetto dell’arte, perché non può mai svelare il suo ultimo segreto.
La musica è abbastanza per una vita, ma una vita non è abbastanza per la musica
La musica è il piacere che la mente umana prova quando conta senza essere conscia di contare.
La musica può rendere gli uomini liberi.
Soltanto la musica è all’altezza del mare.
La musica è come il vento: soffia, continua a passare, a fluire. E finché c’è vento ci sono nuove canzoni.
Per me la musica è catarsi, respiro, aria nuova che pulisce l’aria vecchia, gioia.
Per me la musica è il riempitivo dei puntini della vita.
Non hai bisogno di un cervello per ascoltare la musica.
La musica è il linguaggio della passione, ma non tutte le passioni meritano di essere messe in musica.
(Christoph Martin Wieland)
La musica è l’unica lingua nella quale non si può dire una cosa mediocre o sarcastica.
La musica è ciò che ci permette di intrattenerci con l’aldilà
La musica è la mia via di fuga. Ogni nota mi apporta un battito cardiaco.
La musica è una matematica sonora. La matematica, una musica silenziosa.
La musica fa danzare le coscienze.
La musica è quella variabile che per un secondo può darti la sensazione di guidare non su una provinciale piena di buche ma sulla Route 66.
Ti penetra. La ami e neanche prende spazio nel letto. Ti manca e lei non sa forse neppure che esisti. La musica è l’amante migliore.
La musica è il miglior designer di interni emotivi.
Non si vende la musica. La si condivide.
La musica merita di essere la seconda lingua obbligatoria in tutte le scuole del mondo.
La musica ha sette lettere, la scrittura venticinque note.
La musica è l’aritmetica dei suoni come ottica è la geometria della luce.
Tutta la musica è semplicemente una sequenza di impulsi che convergono verso un punto di riposo definita.
La musica, quello che è: respirazione. Marea, la lunga carezza di una mano di sabbia.
La felicità non è una nota separata, è la gioia che due note hanno nel rimbalzare una contro l’altra.
La musica vale tutte le filosofie del mondo.
(Ludwig van Beethoven)
Il vaso dà forma al vuoto e la musica al silenzio.
Quando passiamo il tempo a fare o ascoltare musica qualcosa nel tempo cessa di passare.
Come fa la musica a sapere sempre quello che senti?
Se volete conoscere un popolo, dovete ascoltare la sua musica.
Se dovessi mai morire, e Dio non voglia, chiedo che questo sia il mio epitaffio:
“L’unica prova di cui aveva bisogno PER L’ESISTENZA DI DIO era la musica”.
“nothing is impossible for a willing heart.” ☽ « à vaillant cœur rien d’impossible. » - jacques cœur
“little by little, the bird makes his nest.” ☽
petit, l’oiseau fait son nid. » - french proverb • le proverbe français
“to have another language is to possess another soul.”
☽ « avoir une autre langue, c'est posséder une deuxième âme. » - charlemagne
“time is a great teacher. unfortunately, it kills all its students.” ☽
le temps est un grand maître, dit-on. le malheur est qui’il tue ses élèves.
» - hector berlioz
“love doesn’t mean gazing at each other, but looking, together, in the same direction.”
aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.
» - antoine de saint-exupery
“love is being stupid together.”
l’amour c’est être stupide ensemble.
» - paul valéry
“the world is a book, with each step we open a page.”
le monde est un livre dont chaque pas nous ouvre une page.
- alphonse de lamartine
“go, i don’t hate you.”
va, je ne te hais point.
» - pierre corneille
☽ « c’est la vie.
» - french proverb • le proverbe français
The July Revolution in images: the most mega of all mega-posts
Who doesn’t feel a total frisson of excitement when they hear those words in sequence, “July,” then “Revolution”? Unless you are Enjolras, of course. But she is a hater, ignore her.
This is such a cool event in French history. A three-day revolution! I mean, c’mon! The three days of barricades, 27-29 July 1830 (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday), are called “les Trois Glorieuses” in French, and I agree. They are chock full of awesome anecdotes and weird happenings and dire previews for future barricades.
And Victor Hugo almost totally ignores them in Les Misérables. Why? You could argue that he doesn’t want to get off-topic by going there, but, um, it’s Victor Hugo. The history of female monasticism and a mini-thesis on street slang were not considered off-topic for him. I can think of two possible reasons why he didn’t set any of his narrative during the July Revolution: 1.) he didn’t want to open the possibility of redundancy by having two exciting barricade sequences, and 2.) he is really weird about his three-year time-skip during Marius’ plotline. I have always thought that maybe this time-skip must have been shoehorned in later, after much of the narrative had already been written, because it often doesn’t match up with other things we are told in the narrative. Are we really supposed to believe that there is this secret society of revolutionaries already fully formed up and organized ca. 1828-1829, when Marius meets them? (FYI, unless they were super-secretive carbonari badasses, most republicans were not yet organized into societies prior to the 1830 revolution. If the ABC already existed in, say, 1828, they would be the most precocious secret society ever.) And these guys don’t change at all for the next three years? None of them graduate, none of them leave the group and no one else enters the group, none of them even really change in mentality, despite the huge fact of 1830 being in between there. 1830, being an epic failure from the POV of radical republicans, would have had a HUGE impact on the way this group was organized and the way they understood the challenges facing them. But to Victor Hugo, the ABC is a toy set that he can play with when he needs them to meet Marius, and then just set aside for three years, when he can pick them up again and they will be exactly as he remembered them. How many people do you guys know who can stay exactly the same for three years, especially with a life-altering traumatic event in between (and the July Revolution would have been traumatic for this society)? And what’s with the ages he gives for the Friends, anyway? Enjolras is said to be twenty-two when we first meet him, and other ages are given for some of the others, with everyone else generally implied to be older than Enjolras. Three years later, that makes Enjolras twenty-five, and everyone else even older. Um, I get that some of them are, like, eternal students who never intend to graduate, but uh, mid-to-late twenties (thirties for Bahorel!) is a little bit old for reckless barricade bros in this period. The “young people” that 1832 newspapers accuse of starting the trouble at Lamarque’s funeral are described as being, like, 18 or 19. You know, like undergrads. Law students, med students, polytechniciens, lycée students: all of these were generally in their teens or very early twenties in this period. For God’s sake, even space-case Marius graduates law school when he’s, like, 19 or 20! Enjolras, you and your friends have not only officially aged out of crazy revolutionary antics, you’ve even aged out of student antics. You know what I’m starting to think? I think Hugo meant for Enjolras to stay 22 throughout the time-skip, and all the other Friends should “keep as they are” as well: essentially, he has them cryogenically frozen until he needs them again, and he expects them to still be youthful and rash when he picks them up again. Imagine how much trouble this creates when you go to write a story that follows these characters from 1828 to 1832. How to give people character arcs when they must also, on some level, remain static and steadfast for the entire period? How to handle the July Revolution, that elephant in the room?
ANYWAY. Speaking of off-topic, I always get off-topic when it comes to Victor Hugo’s three-year time-skip, which makes no sense.
So today, I’m going to post my favorite images from the July Revolution. I’m sure much artistic liberty was taken for some of these, but they are awesome sources nonetheless. Many of the engravings appeared in cheap publications only days after the events depicted, often as illustrations for eyewitness accounts and anecdotes. These pamphlets were sold to benefit the charities for the widows and orphans of the barricade dead. Other images, especially the paintings, were created later, and many of them have been retconned and carefully composed to provide justification and/or support for the “winners” of the conflict, that is, for the orléanistes and King Louis-Philippe.
^^^The immediate cause of the July Revolution was something called the July Ordinances. On Sun., 25 July 1830, King Charles X and his ministers issued four royal ordinances attacking freedom of the press and altering electoral regulations, measures that were likely to piss off pretty much everyone but especially journalists. The Ordinances were published in Le Moniteur (the official government newspaper) on Mon., 26 July 1830, and they caused an immediate uproar throughout Paris. In this period, when most people couldn’t read and couldn’t afford newspaper subscriptions anyway, they got their news from literate people reading the papers aloud in public spaces like the Parc Luxembourg and the Palais-Royal. This process facilitated the spread of popular outrage over the Ordinances. The above image shows a public reading of the Ordinances on 26 July and the speeches and debates that it occasioned.
^^^As the news of the Ordinances spread, the liberal activists (both republicans and orléanistes) gathered at the offices of their newspapers (especially the republican Tribune des départements and the orléaniste National), where they debated what was to be done in response to the government. They decided to defy the Ordinances’ attack on the freedom of the press by publishing a protest in their papers. This led to the government attempting to silence the opposition press by sending troops to seize the journalists’ printed issues and their means of production (their presses). The above image shows the seizures at the offices of Le Temps, which the journalists are protesting vigorously to the gathering crowd.
^^^This shows the seizures at the offices of the orléaniste daily Le National. The gentlemen in suits are the editors of the paper, and the workingmen shown to the right are the printers. The crackdown on the freedom of the press united journalists and printers in protest.
^^^Detail: The editors of Le National. Probably these are intended to be mini-portraits of actual people, but I can’t identify them for sure. The fellow to the far left, making a classical gesture of protest, looks a lot like Alphonse de Lamartine (a figure later important in the 1848 Revolution), but I’m not sure if Lamartine was involved with Le National. Probably one of the dark-haired fellows is supposed to be Armand Carrel, though none of them really resembles him. The fair-haired fellow with the spectacles might be Adolphe Thiers, one of the editors-in-chief of the paper and later a powerful figure in Louis-Philippe’s government. These very public scenes of seizing newspapers played out in front of angry crowds in the streets, and served to whip up even more public outrage against the Ordinances.
The armed conflict began almost unwittingly outside the gates of the Palais-Royal, in the rue Saint-Honoré, where the army and the king’s personal Swiss guard were trying to lock the people out of the Palais-Royal. This was essentially an attempt to stifle public debate and protest, since the Palais-Royal was a popular location for such activities. The people began throwing rocks at the troops, there was gunfire, and before long, there were skirmishes between the soldiers and the people in the street, and the people in the windows of the buildings above got into the action as well, throwing down projectiles and firing on the troops. Chaos ensued, and makeshift barricades were thrown up to provide cover and to hinder the troops.
^^^Furniture thrown down upon the heads of the troops in the rue Saint-Antoine on the 28 July. The paving-stones and the rubble are being used for makeshift barricades, as you can see in the lower corners of this image, but there is no fully-formed barricade yet in this street.
^^^During the 27 and 28 July, hardly anyone in the crowd had guns yet. This was remedied by attacking guardhouses and taking the weapons of the troops/police on guard there. Guns could also be obtained by sacking gun shops and commandeering the merchandise “in the name of the people.” A well-known anecdote, illustrated above, relates how a famous gun shop located right near the Palais-Royal was one of the first to be attacked by the crowd. The owner, Le Page, urged the crowd to stop sacking the shop and harassing his employees–instead, he declared himself a patriot and willingly distributed his guns to the crowd.
^^^Building a barricade in the rue Saint-Honoré. This street was the site of some of the earliest barricades during the Three Days.
^^^The fully formed barricades of the rue Saint-Honoré.
^^^Battling at the barricades of the rue Saint-Honoré.
^^^A barricade on the 28 July led by a polytechnicien. Notice the antique battle-ax and pikes being brandished by the insurgents. A famous anecdote from the revolution tells of how a group of workingmen broke into the Museum of Artillery in the rue du Bac and made off with a bunch of antique weapons and armor, which they then proceeded to use in battle. A similar anecdote tells the same about a group that raided the theatres to get their hands on the weapons used onstage in plays and operas (these were real guns, pikes, crossbows, etc.). Such stories must have amused contemporaries, because these antique weapons and armor pieces often show up in illustrations of the July Revolution.
^^^This barricade depiction is titled ”La charte, ou la mort!” La charte, that is, the Constitutional Charter of 1814, was an important rallying point for the July Revolution. It was a document that had been created in 1814 by King Louis XVIII, which promised some basic liberties to the French people. Charles X’s Ordinances of 26 July 1830 were widely seen as being in violation of the Charter of 1814, so the insurgents had a legal basis for revolt. A certain (more conservative) segment of the insurgents painted their rebellion as a defense of the legality of the Charter, and wanted to abolish Charles X’s ordinances and return instead to the Charter: hence the barricade battle cries “Vive la charte!” and “La charte, ou la mort!”
Radical republicans like the Friends of the ABC of course thought the Charter itself sucked, since it was still an document issued at the pleasure of kings and subject to royal manipulation. Courfeyrac argues vehemently against the Charter of 1814 in Les Misérables: “‘Secondly, no offense to Combeferre, a charter granted is a vicious expedient of civilization. To avoid the transition, to smooth the passage, to deaden the shock, to make the nation move unawares from monarchy to democracy by the practice of constitutional fictions, these are all detestable arguments! No! No! Never give the people a false light. Principles wither and grow pale in your constitutional cellar. No half measures, no compromises, no grant from the king to the people. In all these grants there is an Article 14. Along with the hand that gives there is the claw that takes back. I wholly refuse your charter. A charter is a mask; the lie is under it. A people who accept a charter, abdicate. Right is right only when entire. No! No charter!’” [Article 14 was an article in the Charter of 1814 that allowed the king to contravene the Charter’s provisions when it was a matter of national emergency. This was Charles X’s official justification for why he could issue ordinances that were seemingly contrary to the provisions of the Charter. Courfeyrac implies that having such an open-ended clause allows kings to abuse their power with only the slightest pretext and pretty much invalidates the point of a Charter in the first place, which ought to be making the king accountable to his people.]
^^^”Vive la charte!”
^^^The barricades in the place de Grève, during the fight for the Hôtel de Ville. At the crest of the barricade, a bourgeois (a portrait of a real person, possibly?) supports a wounded workingman, who holds the tricolor standard aloft. A dead Swiss guard is sprawled at the bottom of the barricade. One workingman reaches back for more ammunition as he prepares to fight the soldiers on the other side. The barricade here is more formed, but still not very formidable in size. Most of the barricades of 1830, as seen in these images, were not very tall or impressive. There was no time in the beginning of the 1830 conflict to build such well-designed barricades, so the result is that they are often no more than quick breastworks designed to protect the fighters, but they are not the carefully constructed fortresses seen in Les Misérables or in the Revolution of 1848.
^^^Detail: The group on the right: a rapturous bourgeois with a saber, a polytechnicien giving orders, and, behind them in the background, the towers of Notre-Dame just across the river. The flag proclaims: “Vive la charte!”
^^^The place de Grève barricades again. You can see how spread out and disorganized the fighting is, due to the sheer size of the place de Grève.
^^^Battling for the Hôtel de Ville. A wounded man urges the fighters on while dying in a woman’s arms, and a polytechnicien rallies the insurgents, carrying a tricolor that reads “Vive la charte!!!” (Abusing punctuation marks–it’s not just an internet age thing.)
^^^More battling for the Hôtel de Ville. These images are not very consistent in showing the layout of this battle (where the insurgents were, and where the troops were), which gives the impression that it must have been a very confused atmosphere. I’ve assumed that there must have been insurgent forces attacking both from the inland side (the rue du Mouton) as well as from the river side (the pont de Grève), with the troops trapped somewhere in between.
^^^More battling for the Hôtel de Ville. This painting captures a famous event in the July Revolution, in which a group of insurgents lead a crazy courageous suicidal charge across the pont de Grève in the face of steady grapeshot and gunfire. The insurgents’ standard-bearer was a fellow who told his companions, “Remember me–my name is Arcole!” He was the first to fall as they stormed the bridge, and the bridge came to be named after him: it is still called the Pont d’Arcole today. (An alternate explanation for the bridge’s name is that the insurgents’ charge across the bridge reminded onlookers of the Napoleonic Battle of Arcole. Both anecdotes circulated at the time, but the one featuring a martyred patriot named Arcole seems to have been more compelling, and hence more popular.)
^^^Detail: Arcole leading the charge on the bridge.
^^^Detail: A surgeon working on a wounded man. Many doctors and medical students had come to help on the barricades by the 29 July, but in the days before that widespread response, the barricades suffered from a serious lack of trained doctors.
^^^Detail: Men and a woman work on another wounded man. Notice the guys wearing Renaissance armor in the upper right corner–more “loans” from the Museum of Artillery and/or the theatres.
^^^Another view of the conflict at the place de Grève/Hôtel de Ville/pont de Grève. The gun smoke covering the bridge and the place is amazing and eerie.
^^^A barricade, possibly at the place de Grève/Hôtel de Ville, just based on what the background looks like.
^^^Battling at the Porte Saint-Denis.
^^^A worker declaring his solidarity with the army soldiers who came to join the insurgent ranks.
^^^Building barricades on the 29 July, using furniture, paving-stones, and what looks like some kind of cabriolet or omnibus. This could be on the Left Bank, since many of the barricades on the Right Bank were built earlier, on the 28 July, while those on the Left Bank were later, mostly on the 29 July.
^^^Detail: Workingmen tearing up paving-stones for the barricade.
^^^Defending a barricade.
^^^Delacroix’s famous painting depicting and celebrating the July Revolution: “Liberty Leading the People.” When he showed it for the first time at the Spring Salon of 1831, it’s said that the critics were less than impressed: Lady Liberty should not look so vulgar, they said (translation: bare boobs are okay, but she looks too much like a real workingwoman, and that feels socially threatening).
^^^Detail: Lady Liberty, said to be modeled after Marie Deschamps, a famous female fighter on the barricades of 1830.
^^^Detail: A child brandishing pistols (often thought to be one of the inspirations for the child Gavroche in Les Misérables). Children are commonly represented in images of the July Revolution barricades, though scholars believe that this is not so much because children were actually all over the barricades, but as a way of visually representing the broad cross-section of society that came together to fight against the government (not only workers were there, but also bourgeois and polytechniciens; not only men, but also women and children; and so on).
^^^Detail: Speaking of diversity on the barricades: a workingman (left, with saber), a bourgeois (right, with carbine), and in the background on the far right, a polytechnicien (in the bicorne hat).
^^^Transporting a wounded man away from the front lines, as the crowd salutes him. Circulation and transportation was not a huge problem during this revolution, since the people had control over most of the city throughout the Three Days–everyone pretty much came and went as they pleased, many went home at night to sleep in their own beds, and many wounded were brought back to their own homes to recuperate. Quite a difference from the enclosed, claustrophobic nature of barricade warfare that Les Misérables makes us think is normal.
^^^Artist Léon Cogniet’s paint sketch of flags flying during the July Revolution. Super artsy symbolism: rising out of the smoke of the gunfire, a progression from the white flag of the Bourbons (on the left) to a bourbonniste flag torn and bloodstained to resemble the tricolor (on the right).
^^^Workingmen chatting on the barricades.
^^^A barricade on the boulevard des Italiens. Boulevards were often lined with big trees, and insurgents chopped many of these down to make their boulevard barricades.
^^^Defending a barricade on the rue de l’Echelle.
^^^The battle for the rue de Rohan, a fierce battle late in the conflict (29 July) that resulted in horrible casualties.
^^^Detail: A polytechnicien leading the insurgents. Polytechniciens are frequently portrayed in these images as being leaders on the barricades, which is to give them too much credit. It seemed safer at the time, though, to portray trained future soldiers (for the most part the sons of wealthy bourgeois) as leaders in battle than to portray low-class workingmen as militant leaders.
^^^Detail: Workingmen shooting and reloading, and wearing silly shit into battle. This guy in the left foreground of this painting thinks a Renaissance helmet’s going to protect him from grapeshot or something. The blond man fainting on the right side of the painting may be the liberal journalist Farcy, who was struck down at this battle.
^^^Detail: Or perhaps this is Farcy’s death. Too many dying blond fellows in this battle.
^^^A posthumous commemorative sketch of Jean-Georges Farcy, a gifted writer who became a martyr for the liberal opposition when he was killed in the battle of the rue de Rohan.
^^^Another posthumous commemorative portrait of Farcy, which hangs today in the July Revolution room of the Musée Carnavalet in Paris. It immortalizes him in a revolutionary state, armed with a musket and two pistols (Combeferre-style!) and crushing beneath his foot a copy of the Ordinances.
^^^Detail: Definitely going for the martyrdom angle here.
^^^Another view of the battle in the rue de Rohan.
^^^The attack on the Palais du Louvre, one of the final major battles of the July Revolution.
^^^The siege of the Louvre. Scaling the palace walls!
^^^The attack on the Palais du Louvre, in which the people and the king’s Swiss guards fought a bloody battle, which ended with the people taking the palace but fortunately did not end with a massacre of the Swiss guards (as had a similar event in the first French Revolution). Another polytechnicien leading the charge here.
^^^Detail: Bourgeois fighters with guns and bayonets (and, in the case of half-naked guy in the foreground, a charming little earring).
^^^Detail: A bourgeois fighter striking with a saber as he falls. (Sorry for the crappy photo quality. Whoever hung this awesome painting in terrible lighting in the Musée Carnavalet is officially a bad person.)
^^^One of the less admirable episodes of the July Revolution: the sack of the archbishop’s palace on the 29 July.
^^^A woman and child offer watered wine to an insurgent, who thanks them. This was, by all accounts, a common sight on the barricades of 1830: the population living around the barricades acted as support for the fighters, bringing them refreshment and medical supplies. That’s what it means to get the people on your side…
^^^Scenes of women’s contributions to the barricades of 1830. The upper left corner shows a Marie Deschamps type figure (perhaps Deschamps herself) leading the charge and capturing one of the enemy’s cannons. The upper right corner shows a woman dragging a wounded man to safety. The lower right corner shows women tending to the wounded and offering them food and drink. The lower left corner shows women actively fighting on the barricades (possibly taking the place of a husband or male relative who’s just fallen). Anecdotes reported in newspapers and pamphlets during the days following the revolution love to tell stories like these about women’s activities on the barricades. Another common anecdote is that of the devoted wife who dresses in men’s clothing so that she can stay by her husband’s side on the barricades. (Claude Enjolras would appreciate, I suppose.)
^^^A barricade scene at an unknown location.
^^^Another unknown barricade.
^^^Artist Paul Gavarni drew these studies of wounded men at the barricades of 1830, possibly intended for a painting or lithograph to be completed later.
^^^Gavarni’s studies of dead bodies on the barricades.
^^^On the night of 30 July 1830, the Duc d’Orléans (Louis-Philippe), advised by his supporters of the possibility of seizing power, came to Paris to be close to the action, and there he took up residence in his palace, the Palais-Royal. This painting depicts that arrival, while showing the barricades still standing in the background.
The next day, the 31 July 1830, with the fighting over, Charles X having fled, and Paris solidly in the control of the people and a provisional government, Louis-Philippe’s supporters urged him to seize the opportunity to present himself as a candidate for leading the provisional government. Meanwhile, orléanistes like Adolphe Thiers got to work pumping out propaganda to support Louis-Philippe’s claim to power. In the above painting, Louis-Philippe rides out of the Palais-Royal and sets out for the Hôtel de Ville, where the provisional government is meeting. Along the way he checks out the barricade damage to the city and schmoozes with “the people.”
^^^Detail: Louis-Philippe greeting his supporters.
^^^Detail: Barricade bros. Another symbolic representation of social consensus in favor of Louis-Philippe’s takeover. A National Guard links arms with a workingman smoking a pipe and wielding a pick-ax, who links arms with a bourgeois bearing a gun, who links arms with another workingman wearing a Renaissance cuirass and armed with what looks like an antique sword, who links arms with yet another workingman wearing a Renaissance helmet: men of different classes join together in brotherhood on the barricades. And join together in their love of ridiculous historical armaments.
^^^Detail: An elderly man puts money into a collection bowl. By the 31 July, unofficial collections had been set up throughout the city to support the widows and orphans of the barricade dead.
^^^Louis-Philippe riding through the barricaded place du Châtelet on his way to the Hôtel de Ville.
^^^A model in the Musée Carnavalet showing the arrival of Louis-Philippe at the Hôtel de Ville on 31 July 1830.
^^^Different angle of the same model. Here you can see the huge size and unusual shape of the place de Grève, which really does not lend itself naturally to barricade-building.
^^^A painting depicting the same event, Louis-Philippe arriving at the Hôtel de Ville. This representation has pretty well retconned this event into some rapturous orléaniste rally, when in reality it was quite a tricky situation for Louis-Philippe, in which eyewitnesses say that the crowd was sullen and even downright hostile to this potential future king. It was only later that Lafayette persuaded the crowd to accept Louis-Philippe’s leadership. Louis-Philippe was crowned king only about a week later, on the 9 August. Thus, whether the revolution succeeded in its aims depended on who you asked: the orléanistes got what they wanted (a moderately liberal king and a government controlled by the bourgeois), while the republicans felt betrayed and tricked at the bait-and-switch of having one king replaced by another.
^^^The heat of July resulted in the quick decay of dead bodies on the barricades, which caused concern over hygiene. The solution was to give the unidentified dead makeshift graves throughout the city until they could receive a more suitable burial spot. One of the spots chosen for the mass graves was the place des Innocents, another was the Champ de Mars (where the Eiffel Tower now stands), and another was the Louvre, shown above. The dead were buried in a trough along the Louvre’s outer wall, as seen here, and the crowd went to the neighboring church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois to demand that one of its priests perform the mass for the dead.
^^^Detail: A wounded bourgeois mourns a dead man in the foreground, while behind him workingmen bring another body to the grave and the priest conducts the mass.
^^^Detail: Workingmen and a polytechnicien comfort a woman mourning one of the dead.
^^^Burying the dead in the place des Innocents. Before you freak out about having been walking over dead people all these years when you’ve visited Les Halles or the Eiffel Tower, you should know that these mass graves were emptied at some later point (during Haussmann’s renovations?) and the remains were moved to more suitable locations (the catacombs, I think).
^^^The Duchesse d’Orléans, Louis-Philippe’s wife, visits the wounded of the barricades at the Hôtel-Dieu hospital on 2 August 1830. Good PR move.
^^^A fashion plate celebrating the July Revolution. Tricolor revolutionary fashion, hurrah! (”Suck-ups,” grumbles Enjolras. “Kiss-ass fashion designers.”)
^^^Photos of the so-called “medailles de juillet.” During the year following the July Revolution, the new king had a medal designed to reward men who were identified as having been especially brave or instrumental in the July Revolution. In other words, they were an orléaniste propaganda statement with which Louis-Philippe could thank those who put him into power. The front features the Gallic cock (a standard symbol of France) holding a tricolor flag, with the message, “A ses défenseurs la patrie reconnaissante” [”The grateful fatherland, to its defenders”]. On the back it has three laurel wreaths (symbols of victory) with the numbers of the Three Days (27, 28, 29), “July 1830″ at the bottom, and “patrie” (“fatherland”) and “liberté” (“freedom”) along the top.
Those given this award were called “décorés de juillet” (and were often referred to as such for decades afterward, as if they were actually veterans of combat, which many weren’t). Many of those awarded with this medal were republicans, who were offended at the award and took it as an attempt to buy their loyalty. So confused were loyalties during the year after the revolution that some republicans were offered this medal one month and arrested for political crimes the next.
^^^A rather republican political cartoon lamenting the outcome of the July Revolution. “Pauvre liberté, qu’elle queue!!” it declares, which translates roughly to “Poor liberty, what an end for her!” (A pun on the word “queue,” which means “end,” but also “tail” or “ponytail.”) Louis-Philippe is shown as a hairdresser, yanking on Marianne’s hair as she dejectedly looks down at the revolutionary phrygian cap that she’s not allowed to wear.
All of this stuff and much more forms a huge part of the 1830 volume of Virago, hence my research on this topic. Poor Enjolras can’t quite come to terms with the outcome of 1830, and she copes by pinning all her hopes on the future instead:
“It could be, as Combeferre might have suggested, that we had simply embraced an idea whose time had not yet come. In that case we were doomed to fail. But I could not accept that. It must have been something we’d done, some error we’d committed somewhere along the way. I would dedicate myself to finding that error, and correcting it. Next time things would be different.”