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04 October 2007 @ 12:36 am
Discuss with examples from the text.  
Homoerotic subtext between Enjolras and Grantaire: deliberate on Hugo's part, or the wishful thinking of slash fangirls?

For a bonus point: who'd be on top?
 
 
 
Ten little bullets in my hand: if you permit it10littlebullets on October 5th, 2007 02:06 am (UTC)
I could, at that.

The wonderful thing is how much more BLATANTLY and OBVIOUSLY GAY their relationship becomes when you actually go look up Hugo's references. (Or are nerdy enough to already know them, and the fact that they were often used as codewords for the Unspeakable Sin of the Greeks in 19th century literature.)

[Enjolras] was a savage Antinous. - Lover of the Emperor Hadrian, who deified him after his death as the embodiment of male beauty.

...the bare throat of Evadne would have moved him no more than it would have moved Aristogeiton; he, like Harmodius, thought flowers good for nothing except to conceal the sword. - Harmodius and Aristogeiton, lovers and warriors who attempted to overthrow the tyrant Hipparchus by hiding their daggers in wreaths of myrtle--symbolic of Aphrodite, by the by.

the gallant Cherubino of Beaumarchais - who falls in love with another girl each week and is generally the antithesis of Enjolras. ;)

There are men who seem to be born to be the reverse, the obverse, the wrong side. They are Pollux, Patrocles, Nisus, Eudamidas, Ephestion, Pechmeja. - A nice little catalog of historical lovers if I do say so myself, not even limiting itself to antiquity--google Dubreuil and Pechméja and the first thing that comes up is an article from a journal of gay and lesbian studies. It's also to be noted that much like Enjolras and Grantaire--whose importance to the plot has nothing to do with their homoerotic tension--all of these people have a claim to fame besides being lovers.

By the way, who the fuck is Eudamidas? He's the only one I haven't found yet. There were several kings of Sparta with that name, but I can't tell what Vic's referring to.

And just for kicks, a little quote from Byron concerning how he and his boyfriend John Edlestone would outdo assorted famous pairs of lovers: In short, We shall put Lady E. Butler & Miss Ponsonby to the Blush, Pylades & Orestes out of countenance, & want nothing but a Catastrophe like Nisus & Euryalus, to give Jonathan & David the "go by".
you were made for this: les miserablesevewithanapple on October 5th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
. . . I think I love you a little bit right now.

I actually talked to my history teacher (Ancient History, but we haven't gotten to the Greeks yet) about O&P because I didn't recognize the names. He's a Miz fan as well. I didn't mention why I was asking though, because talking about slash with my history teacher would be creepy.

Byron had a boyfriend? Damn, was there anything he wouldn't screw?

(Funny that this came up today, because I showed the Death Scene of Hand-Holding to a girl in my writer's group at lunch, and she was bawling over it. My evil plan is working!
Ten little bullets in my hand: lamarck is dead10littlebullets on October 5th, 2007 02:57 am (UTC)
Byron was about as gleefully bisexual as you could openly be in the early 19th century. *g* Such a manwhore, but it only adds to his appeal.

Orestes is actually more commonly referred to in conjunction with his sister Electra and the sticky issue of whether their matricide was justified or not, but Pylades is pretty much only remembered for being Orestes' friend--or "friend" as the case may be.

Oh, other random things. I may be reaching a bit on these, but they're still fun to suss out:

There are men who seem to be born to be the reverse, the obverse, the wrong side - One of the most common 19th century euphemisms for a homosexual was "invert." Hugo doesn't come right out and use the word, but it does seem to be on the tip of his tongue. ;)

This is really reaching, but ties in nicely with the one-off reference to Enjolras as Apollo: in the chapter "Enjolras and his Lieutenants," Hugo makes it clear that Grantaire's flat is within about two minutes' walk of the Café Musain, which makes it quite probable that he lived in the rue Sainte-Hyacinthe.
AuroraExecutiona_execution on December 1st, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)
Okay, so this is like...4 years too late, but I also want to say I love you a little bit right now. I've seen a lot of "but people weren't gay back then", and it's getting rather old.

The list that Hugo gives is rather telling, honestly. It amuses me how wikipedia (and most other, more legit sources) tiptoe carefully around the relationship between people who were most likely lovers of some sort. It's always documented that Alexander and Hephaestion were great friends and may or may not have been lovers but we totally don't want to accuse them of being such. Incidentally, let's ignore the fact that someone wrote Alexander a letter accusing him of being ruled by Hephaestion's thighs. Um, I'm not sure there /is/ a straight way to take that...

Personally, I'm of the fangirl type (in case you couldn't already tell), but I'll respect someone's interpretation that E/R is platonic. It just pisses me off when the reasoning is "but there were no gay people then".
Theneathenemiranda on February 5th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Forgive me for popping up a few months after the event (Google win): I've just been blogging this, so help me, and I can tell you that Eudamidas is a Lucian character. Whether he was fictional or real I've yet to discover; his other half was Aretaeus, his testator, who faithfully cared for his mother and daughter after Eudamidas's death - Lucian explicitly compared them to Orestes and Pylades.