Wednesday, October 28, 2009

When I knew I'd made the right choice studying abroad....

I felt I had to share this gem:

I'm taking a class on the Romantic Apocalypse at the Sorbonne, which is divided into three parts, the discussion section in French, the discussion section in English, and the 100-person lecture. The lecture generally tends to be interesting, but kind of irrelevent to the books themselves; the professor herself said that the lecture is pretty much to give context for the four books we're reading and, to that end, has been lecturing on Revelations. She finally finished that today and gave us a brief list of works influenced by the notion of the apocalypse as revolution which, you guessed it, included Les Miserables, a novel of which I am inordinately fond.

After pointing out that Hugo called himself Saint John in another poem, that Hugo wrote the work not only to comment on the vast social inequalities of his society and the ideal New Jerusalem that would be a New French Republic, Madame la professeur asked the room at large if we remembered "ce magnifique personnage, Enjolras", the gorgeous, golden-haired (Hugo goes deliberately out of his way to say that the handsome Enjolras said something and cannot keep himself from mentioning Enjolras's hair whenever Enjolras appears) leader of a group of revolutionary students and Hugo's living symbol of the logic of the Revolution. The professor then proceeded to lecture at length about his similarities to the angels in Revelations.

She actually did not finish telling us the rest of the list of works featuring the apocalpyse as revolution because she spent too much time talking about Enjolras's hair.

I kid you not.

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