“Paris işçileri, egemen sınıfların başarısızlıkları ve ihanetleri arasında anladılar ki, onlar için, halka ait işlerin idaresini kendi ellerine alarak durumu kurtarma saati gelmiştir… Anladılar ki, hükümet gücünü ele geçirerek kendilerini kendi kaderlerinin efendisi kılmak için, bu onların kaçınılmaz görevleri ve mutlak haklarıdır.”
18 Mart 1871 tarihli, Paris Ulusal Muhafız Merkez Komitesi bildirisinden alıntı
Henri Cartier-Bresson // France, Paris - May,1968 Events - From protest to Gilles Tautin
Everytime you pick the spot for a be-in
a demonstration, a march, a rally, you are choosing the ground
for a potential battle.
You are still calling these shots.
Pick your terrain with that in mind.
Remember the old gang rules:
stick to your neighborhood, don’t let them lure you
to Central Park everytime, I would hate
to stumble bloody out of that park to find help:
Central Park West, or Fifth Avenue, which would you
go to love-ins
with incense, flowers, food, and a plastic bag
with a damp cloth in it, for tear gas, wear no jewelry
wear clothes you can move in easily, wear no glasses
earrings for pierced ears are especially hazardous
try to be clear
in front, what you will do if it comes
if you’re going to try to split stay out of the center
don’t stampede or panic others
don’t waver between active and passive resistance
know your limitations, bear contempt
neither for yourself, nor any of your brothers
NO ONE WAY WORKS, it will take all of us
shoving at the thing from all sides
to bring it down.
Diane di Prima, ‘Revolutionary Letter #8′, May 1968-December 1971
Wait is there a big difference between brick and musical enjolras? I'm not that far in the book yet and I'm curious bc of that post you made
Hallo anon! There’s quite a significant difference, including some dramatic choices made for staging purposes. Movie Enjolras is a third character again.
Hugo did slightly remove his Republican characters from the very specific circumstances around the 1832 uprising (e.g. only a passing mention of 1830 and Louis-Philippe is treated very kindly in the text) because by 1862 social and political events had moved on - what he stressed was more the general Republican aims of personal freedom, representation, suffrage and education rather than the assembly laws, suppression of the press, reneging on the 1830 attempts to integrate Republican institutions into the Monarchy etc. Indeed, the very strong stress on education really takes us almost into the territory of 19th century Utopian Socialism than 1820s - 30s Republicanism.
The stage musical, in its efforts to create a universal black box staging, takes that further and eliminates even a reference to the monarchy (something I’m glad was restored in the movie, as it was referenced in the OFC) - what we’re left with is a vague “cut the fat ones down to size” which sounds like a caricature of a 20th century Marxist slogan. The Amis are about raising people up, not tearing them down, and the Enjolras of the Brick - with his lofty ideas about honour, not to mention brotherhood - would not be sloganeering in that fashion. The closest he comes is a reference to parasites in his View from a Barricade speech.
Depending on the direction and the acting, I’ve seen stage Enjolraii that come across as very hot-headed and impetuous to various degrees (some, like Thaxton, are more self-possessed and contained…others seemed almost unbalanced). They do things like charge to the top of the barricade and make themselves conspicuous targets in their red jacket. Brick!Enjolras is the opposite - he quietly settles himself in a corner of the barricade and picks off attackers as they charge in, many of them not even seeing them. He speaks little, and when he does it’s usually very brief and straight to the point (which lends a greater impact to those moments when he soars into speech).
There are reasons Musical!Enjolras is so conspicuously front and centre stage - a musical Enjolras who spends most of his time concealed and firing from behind his redoubt, alertly keeping his eye on the street and calling out terse commands, would not translate well to stage (thus front-row-centre in his red jacket Musical!Enjolras).
Musical!Enjolras does not have such scope to subtly convey Enjolras’ foresight and preparation - the closest we get is a reference to the fact that it’s “easy to sit here and swat them like flies/but the National Guard will be closer to catch”. Musical!Enjolras then goes on to act as if victory is their’s for the taking, and sometimes lapses into a sense of shaken faith when it becomes apparent it’s not. This is something that also bothers me about Aaron Tveit’s interpretation, and his reading of Enjolras as having “realised” he’s lead the Amis to their deaths. That has absolutely no counterpart in the book - quite the opposite. Brick!Enjolras is fully aware that this is a risk (a revolution is the act of kicking down a rotten door, and you don’t know if the door is rotten enough until you test it), and is already preparing for the possible fall of the barricade long before that happens, to the extent that he’s setting aside bottles of acid that, it’s hinted, were prepared well in advance.
Musical!Enjolras (again, depending on the actor and staging) is charismatic and passionate, but he doesn’t have the ice cold determination and remorseless logic that drives Brick!Enjolras. At times he comes across as a bit generic revolutionary leader, and the whole “they were school boys, never held a gun” sets up a narrative of naivete that is not reflected either in the fictional Amis or in their real-life student counterparts. These Amis seem to owe more to the Mai 1968 protests than to the students that took to the streets in the 1820s - 1840s. They were experienced street combatants - not “school boys”. Enjolras was a born soldier and leader, not a naive over-reaching dreamer.
Hope that starts to answer your questions - there’s a lot more I could write on the subject. I also have to stress again that it’s heavily dependent on how the libretto is interpreted - I’ve seen Les Mis performed in London, Paris, Melbourne and Sydney, and some of the performances differed almost unrecognisably. I used to drop in and see it often in London, and was transfixed the first time (Enjolras was more on the transcendent Revolutionary Priest end of the spectrum) and horrified the second (Second time Enjolras was swaggering around the stage like he was the Pirate King). I’ve seen an Enjolrai attack the barricade and have a hissy fit when people started dying, and I’ve seen him respond with ineffable dignity. Some Stage Enjolrai can overcome the weaknesses in the libretto, and the need for dramatic staging compromises, and reach back more to the Enjolras Hugo wrote.
“One man can change the world with a bullet in the right place."
if…. is a 1968 British film produced and directed by Lindsay Anderson satirising English public school life. Famous for its depiction of a savage insurrection at a fictitious boys boarding school, the X certificate film was made at the time of the May 1968 protests in France by a director strongly associated with the 1960’s counter-culture.