Seth’s Reviews > Les Misérables > Status Update

Seth
Seth is 68% done
Two-thirds of the way through the book and Marius finally connects with Cosette. Now on to the adventures of Little Gavroche, who fits into the pattern of exemplary conduct and selfless sacrifice demonstrated by Bishop Welcome and Jean Valjean. Utopian literature, indeed.
Aug 14, 2011 02:59PM
Les Misérables

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Seth’s Previous Updates

Seth
Seth is 93% done
When Jean Valjean improbably rescues Marius at the barricade and carries him to safety through the Paris sewers, he is being used as a "deus ex machina" literary device (Latin for "God out of the machine.") Wikipedia describes it as a "plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object."
Sep 18, 2011 03:46PM
Les Misérables


Seth
Seth is 84% done
The answer to the quiz question is g) the narrator. According to Vargas Llosa, the main character in Les Mis is the "insolent narrator who is constantly cropping up between his creation and the reader." (Mario Vargas Llosa, The Temptation of the Impossible, p. 11)
Sep 05, 2011 12:14PM
Les Misérables


Seth
Seth is 75% done
The action is heating up. I took an early look at Mario Vargas Llosa's critique of Les Mis. So here's a quiz question: According to Vargas Llosa, who is the most important character in Les Mis? a) Monseigneur Bienvenu b) Jean Valjean c) Fantine d) Gavroche e) Marius f) Cosette g) the narrator
Aug 29, 2011 04:24AM
Les Misérables


Seth
Seth is 61% done
A series of improbable events is bringing Marius and Cosette together.
Aug 07, 2011 04:38PM
Les Misérables


Seth
Seth is 56% done
Marius could be a bit more decisive.
Jul 31, 2011 02:44PM
Les Misérables


Seth
Seth is 49% done
Jul 23, 2011 08:03PM
Les Misérables


Seth
Seth is 40% done
Les Misérables is making me miserable. The story of Jan Valjean is quite exciting at times, but the author's digressions into the minutiae of French history and culture are extremely tedious. I will soldier on because it is my duty to do so.
Jul 04, 2011 06:41PM
Les Misérables


Seth
Seth is 35% done
Parallels with War and Peace abound, yet the two novels are fundamentally different. Hugo's theme is social justice, whereas Tolstoy's themes are Russian patriotism and debunking the great man theory of history. Both feature examples of extreme piety and self-sacrifice. For all her altruism, Marya Bolkonskaya is at a loss when she encounters restive serfs. Bishop Welcome and Jean Valjean do not share this reticence.
Jun 26, 2011 08:38AM
Les Misérables


Seth
Seth is 26% done
My fellow readers may be interested that Mario Vargas Llosa published a book offering his interpretation of Les Misérables: "The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and Les Misérables." According to the publisher's description, "Hugo...had at least two goals in Les Misérables--to create a complete fictional world and, through it, to change the real world...The book embodies a utopian vision of literature."
Jun 18, 2011 06:17PM
Les Misérables


Seth
Seth is reading
I decided to read Les Misérables instead of Swann's Way for now. I think it's more accessible.
May 09, 2011 05:41PM
Les Misérables


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